"Strangely, Domini, strangely, that day, of all the days of my life, I was most in love it was like that, like being in love with my monk's existence. The terrible feeling that had begun to ravage me had completely died away. I adored the peace in which my days were passed. I looked at the flowers and compared my happiness with theirs. They blossomed, bloomed, faded, died in the garden.
Will you go to the wall then?" He touched her hand again and walked away towards the villa, slowly on the pale silver of the sand. When his figure was hidden by the trunks of the trees Domini made her way to the wide parapet. She sat down on one of the tiny seats cut in it, leaned her cheek in her hand and waited.
Despite her lassitude of body, which kept her motionless as an idol in her chair, with her arm lying along the parapet of the verandah, Domini felt as if a confused crowd of things indefinable, but violent, was already stirring within her nature, as if this new climate was calling armed men into being. Could she not hear the murmur of their voices, the distant clashing of their weapons?
Even his desire to find rest in a religion seemed to me to have greed in it, to have something in it that was akin to avarice. He was a human storm, Domini, as well as a human fire. Think! what a man to be cast by the world which he knew as they know it only who are voracious for life and free into my quiet existence.
He made an uncertain movement, as if to go towards the dunes, checked it, and went hurriedly into the dressing-tent. As he disappeared De Trevignac came into the camp with his men. Batouch conducted the latter with all ceremony towards the fire which burned before the tents of the attendants, and, for the moment, Domini was left alone with De Trevignac. "My husband is coming directly," she said.
There is a relief of graceful boys on the Rio del Palazzo side of the Doges' Palace; there is a S. George and Dragon on a building on the Rio S. Salvatore just behind the Bank of Italy; there is a doorway at 3462 Rio di S. Margherita; there is the Campo S. Maria Mater Domini with a house on the north side into whose courtyard much ancient sculpture has been built.
But though he had surely come to ask for alms, he took no heed of it. While the Arabs round him fell upon their knees and fought like animals for the plunder, he stood gaping at Domini. The smile still flickered about his lips. His hand was still stretched out. Instinctively she had moved backwards.
"It's I who am wrong, Domini. The truth is, I can't bear our happiness to be intruded upon even for a night. I want to be alone with you. This life of ours in the desert has made me desperately selfish. I want to be alone, quite alone, with you." "It's that! How glad I am!" She laid her cheek against his arm. "Then," he said, "that other signal?" "Monsieur de Trevignac gave it."
He asked himself the question, but no answer came, and he dropped his eyes. A new and horrible sadness came to him, a new sensation of separation from Domini. She had set their bodies apart, and he had yielded. Now, was she not setting something else apart?
"Do you remember," she went on, "in the garden what you said about that song?" "No." "You have forgotten?" "I told you," he said, "I mean to forget everything." "Everything before we came to Beni-Mora?" "And more. Everything before you put your hands against my forehead, Domini. Your touch blotted out the past." "Even the past at Beni-Mora?" "Yes, even that.