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Chapter 11. Above the Trap-Doors
The next day, he saw her at the Opera. She was still wearing the plain gold ring. She was gentle and kind to him. She talked to him of the plans which he was forming, of his future, of his career.
He told her that the date of the Polar expedition had been put forward and that he would leave France in three weeks, or a month at latest. She suggested, almost gaily, that he must look upon the voyage with delight, as a stage toward his coming fame. And when he replied that fame without love was no attraction in his eyes, she treated him as a child whose sorrows were only short-lived.
"How can you speak so lightly of such serious things?" he asked. "Perhaps we shall never see each other again! I may die during that expedition."
"Or I," she said simply.
She no longer smiled or jested. She seemed to be thinking of some new thing that had entered her mind for the first time. Her eyes were all aglow with it.
"What are you thinking of, Christine?"
"I am thinking that we shall not see each other again..."
"And does that make you so radiant?"
"And that, in a month, we shall have to say good-by for ever!"
"Unless, Christine, we pledge our faith and wait for each other for ever."
She put her hand on his mouth.
"Hush, Raoul!...You know there is no question of that... And we shall never be married: that is understood!"
She seemed suddenly almost unable to contain an overpowering gaiety. She clapped her hands with childish glee. Raoul stared at her in amazement.
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