"Come and help me, Muddy?" he coaxed, and as she looked up he suddenly let fly all his armory of weapons at once, two dimples, tossing back of curls, parted lips, tiny white teeth, sweet voice.
Her face, wiped clean of its powder, was white as paper, with that deathlike whiteness which counts as beauty in Circassia; only the shadows of her eyelids and the broad red of her lips stained her pallor. Across her breast the red and blue hem of the quilt lay like a scarf. Mr. Baruch looked at the arrangement critically. He was a connoisseur in perfection, and something was lacking.
"I was wrong to have answered so soon," and he asked himself, "Why did I say 'yes'?" The recollection of this word pronounced by his lips, conceived by a will which was still his own and yet other than his, came back to his mind.
Her face, outlined to express a gentle gravity, was now haughtily passionate; nostrils and lips thrilled with wrath, and her eyes were magnificent in their dark fieriness. 'You shall not need to tell me that again, she answered, and immediately left him. She went into the sitting-room, where Mrs Yule was awaiting the result of the interview.
He noted that feeling of enthusiasm as strange in himself, and had a thought in consequence that such scenes were hardly of the kind to help Clarice to the rest she needed. The hall for a moment became a sea of tossing handkerchiefs. He took a glance at Clarice. She sat bent forward with parted lips and a bosom that heaved. Fielding turned on his cold-water tap of flippancy.
"Now you are young and foolish, the milk is hardly dry on your lips, and it seems to you in your foolishness that you are more wretched than anyone; but the time will come when you will say to yourself: 'I wish no one a better life than mine. You look at me.
"You love me." "No!" "You love me." "N no!" As she protested he took her lips, pale lips that would have mocked again, yet dared not, for her eyes had stolen a glance through half-closed lashes and learned that what he said was true. The warm color flooded upward, staining crimson beneath the tan, and her body which had relaxed for a moment under the gust of his ardor protested anew.
"Then be secret until it has really gone out to him." "I don't know why I let you talk to me like this." "There you go again," he said, and she bit her lips. "It is very awful for me," he said, "to think that I have raised my voice in any criticism or disparagement of you." "Oh, it's all true, and it's all deserved." "But you are like that.
She listened to me with her face grave again and her lips a little compressed, listened as if in no doubt, of course, that her husband was remarkable, but as if at the same time she had heard it frequently enough and couldn't treat it as stirring news.
The girl looked at him with that deep, eager look of fear he had seen before, and met that unconquerable smile of his. The rope was still round his neck and the coat was stripped from his back. He was white to the lips, and she could see he could scarce stand, even with the support of the pine trunk. His face was bruised and battered.