"It is nothing to the purpose who told me. My wife was here for a long time, and when she went away, you accompanied her." "I understand." "That is more than I do. Will you please to explain it?" "You are accurately informed. Mrs. Elgar came here, naturally enough, to ask if I knew what had become of you." "And why should she come to you?"
"Ah!" he said, with a sort of groan, "here is a broken arrow in his shoulder, and in his hand somewhat to muffle the oars withal. Well done, brave Elgar well done!" Then I climbed softly over the gunwale, and so it was.
I hope it was reluctance to face her. You can only go and wait. If I hear any news of her, you shall at once receive it. And if she comes, I desire to know of it as soon as possible." Elgar could say nothing more. He would have liked to ask several questions, but pride forbade him.
The girl listened frankly; no sense of anything improper appeared in her visage. Nay, she was about to interpose a remark. "Isn't there a hope, Mr. Elgar, that this envy of which you speak will be one of the things that the upward path leaves behind?" "I should like to believe it, Miss Doran," he answered, his eyes kindling at hers. "It's true that I haven't yet gone very far."
"My life hitherto has not been wasted," Elgar pursued, leaning forward with a new light on his countenance. "I have been gaining experience. Do you understand? Few men at my age have seen more of life the kind of life that is useful as literary material. It's only quite of late that I have begun to appreciate this, to see all the possibilities that are in myself.
It was all but as though she pleaded against a mistaken judgment which troubled her. To Mallard she had spoken of her fellow-boarders in quite a different way, with merry though kindly criticism, or in the strain of generous idealization which so often marked her language. "Do you know anything of his work?" Elgar pursued. "I have seen a few of his water-colour drawings." "He showed you them?"
Elgar had yet returned from abroad; then went on to say that her sister Madeline had been suffering dreadfully of late. "Perhaps you know that Mrs. Travis has left us. Madeline has missed her company very much, and often longs to see the face of some visitor. She speaks of the one visit you paid her, and would so like to see you again. Forgive me for asking if you could spare half an hour.
Lessingham at once went to their private room. Cecily sat down to write a letter. When she moved, as if the letter were finished, her aunt looked up from a newspaper. "I've been thinking, Cecily. Suppose we go over to Capri for a change?" "I am quite willing, aunt." "I think Mr. Elgar has not been there yet. He might accompany us." Unprepared for this, Cecily murmured an assent.
I have quite enough discouragement in my attempts at painting, as it is." M. Silvenoire was bowing low, as Mrs. Lessingham presented him. To his delight, he heard his own language fluently, idiomatically spoken; he remarked, too, that Mrs. Elgar had a distinct pleasure in speaking it. She seated herself, and flattered him into ecstasies by the respect with which she received his every word.
So I told them of Elgar the fisher and of his brave deeds, and they were silent, thinking of what his worth was; too great indeed for praise. Only the bishop said he should surely have a mound raised over him as over a warrior, charging us three, or whichever lived after this fight, to see to that.