Chapter 16: Lying to George
Lucy thought of a very good remark.
"You say Mr. Vyse wants me to listen to him, Mr. Emerson. Pardon
me for suggesting that you have caught the habit."
And he took the shoddy reproof and touched it into immortality.
"Yes, I have," and sank down as if suddenly weary. "I'm the same
kind of brute at bottom. This desire to govern a woman--it lies
very deep, and men and women must fight it together before they
shall enter the garden. But I do love you surely in a better way
than he does." He thought. "Yes--really in a better way. I want
you to have your own thoughts even when I hold you in my arms,"
He stretched them towards her. "Lucy, be quick--there's no time
for us to talk now--come to me as you came in the spring, and
afterwards I will be gentle and explain. I have cared for you
since that man died. I cannot live without you, 'No good,' I
thought; 'she is marrying some one else'; but I meet you again
when all the world is glorious water and sun. As you came through
the wood I saw that nothing else mattered. I called. I wanted to
live and have my chance of joy."
"And Mr. Vyse?" said Lucy, who kept commendably calm. "Does he
not matter? That I love Cecil and shall be his wife shortly? A
detail of no importance, I suppose?"
But he stretched his arms over the table towards her.
"May I ask what you intend to gain by this exhibition?"
He said: "It is our last chance. I shall do all that I can." And
as if he had done all else, he turned to Miss Bartlett, who sat
like some portent against the skies of the evening. "You wouldn't
stop us this second time if you understood," he said. "I have
been into the dark, and I am going back into it, unless you will
try to understand."
Her long, narrow head drove backwards and forwards, as though
demolishing some invisible obstacle. She did not answer.