Join date: Jun 15, 2022


She turned her face away and once again stared at the picture as she went on, Suppose I were to ask you to marry me, you would . . . you would, on the face of it I know, refuse, forgoing all the advantages that would go with such a suggestion, but suppose I were to say to you that this would be no ordinary marriage, that I . . . I would expect nothing from you that an ordinary wife would from her husband. You could have your own apartments, all I would ask for is . . . is your companionship, and your presence in this house, of which . . . of which you would be the master. She again turned her face towards him

He was sitting bolt upright in the chair now; his eyes were wide and his mouth slightly open. He said under his breath, That would be the poor end of the stick for you, wouldn t it?

Poor end of the stick? She gave a short laugh. Well, if I would be quite satisfied with the poor end of the stick, shouldn t that be enough for you?

He shook his head. No! No! It wouldn t be right, for as I see it you wouldn t be gettin any more out of me than you do now . . . . So why not let things be as they are?

There now came upon them an embarrassing silence, before she said, Because I need companionship, male companionship. Not just anyone, someone, an individual, someone whom I consider special, and . . . and I chose you. What is more, I feel I know you, I know you very well. I know that you like this house, you like this way of living, I know that you could learn to appreciate finer things. Not that I dislike the roughness in you; no, it is part of your attraction, your bumptiousness, your arrogance. It is more difficult to be arrogant when you have nothing to be arrogant about than when you have something.

His face took on its blank look. This was the kind of clever talk that maddened him, and he had no way of hitting back except by using the arrogance she was on about. He said gruffly, You seem to think you know a lot about me, everything in fact.

No, not everything, but quite a bit. I ve always given myself the credit of being able to read character. I know a lot of things about a lot of people, especially in this town, and I know what a good many of them are saying at this very moment—and about us.



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