It is the beginning of September and anything more dreary and deserted than the parks could not be imagined. No one is in London. Who would be when the seaside is everything delightful and the moors are covered with heather and grouse?
About twelve o'clock we thought it was time to say good-bye, as it was Saturday night. Beneath a brilliant full moon the drive to the wharf and row off in the boat were delightful. Sunday, December 31st.
I heard him coming, and turned round just in time to meet my aunt's husband face to face as, climbing across from the nearest barge, he leaped over the rail on to our little deck. I smiled brilliantly at the dear fellow. I sprang to him, holding out a welcoming hand. "Why, Sir Alec, this is a delightful surprise!" I exclaimed. "Where did you come from? I thought I had lost you, at Leeuwarden."
Now it bears a harvest so rich that one cannot here begin to classify or to name. The war-time is bearing an aftermath, of less importance in its romances, but admirable and delightful in its biographies and reminiscences.
Half a mile farther on, we turned to the right into a characteristic Southern road, a way entirely unkempt, and wandering free as the wind; now fading out into a broad field; now contracting into a narrow track between hedges; anon roaming with delightful abandon through swamps and woods, asking no leave and keeping no bounds.
Where is Robert?" "With the churchwardens. I want to talk to you seriously. We shall be alone for an hour. Come as soon as you can." "In five minutes. It will be delightful to have you all to myself once more." He came back quickly and placed his chair close to hers, and lifted her face to his face and kissed her, saying fondly, "My dear little sister." "Where have you been, Roland?"
Then, without understanding how it happened, they clasped each other tightly, to the point of suffocation, and kissed each other's face, weeping, the while, hot tears. And it was that delightful memory which Pierre had ever carried with him, which he felt alive within him still, after so many years, and after so many painful renunciations.
That's Pa you are speaking of." "Just so that is what I said. You call your paternities PA, do you? we always call the old fellows governors, in England." "Do you call your father Gov. Kockney? I did not know that governor was an English title; it sounds very plebeian in my ears." "Now, what DO you mean? ha! ha! you are delightful. You put me in mind of a good scene at the drawing-room, last June.
They happened to be amiable, to be delightful; but I think I have already put the question what would have become of us all if they hadn't been? a question the shudder of which could never have been suggested by the presence I am considering.
Of course, the situation was very irksome in a way, but it is not to be denied that it had a charm of its own. To begin with, once thoroughly known, Jess was one of the most delightful companions possible to a man like John Niel. Never, till this long tete-a-tete at Pretoria, had he guessed how powerful and original was her mind, or how witty she could be when she liked.