"I am not sure that it is impossible," continued Sir Graham. "To-morrow I begin to make studies for the figures. If he comes to me again, I shall sketch him in." Uniacke's uneasiness increased. Something within him revolted from the association of his guest and the Skipper. The hidden link between them was a tragedy, a tragedy that had wrecked the reason of the one, the peace of the other.
Only think" and the girl, recovering her spirits, tossed her handsome head, and spread out her showy, tawdry gown "only think of being called 'Lady! Lady Uniacke." Had Miss Bennett been less occupied in admiring herself in the mirrors she must have seen the start Mrs. Grey gave for the moment only, however and then she spoke. "Sir Edwin Uniacke's character here is well known. He is a bad man.
No longer did Uniacke hesitate, or pause to ask himself why he permitted the sorrow of a stranger thus to control, to upset, his life. And, indeed, is the man who tells us his sorrow a stranger to us? Uniacke's creed taught him to be unselfish, taught him to concern himself in the afflictions of others. Already he had sinned, he had lied for this stricken man.
"It has never happened to me to do such a thing." "Why do I ask? Well, I'll " He hesitated, keeping his eyes fixed on Uniacke's face. "Yes, I'll tell you what took place. I went out thinking of my picture, of its composition, of the light effect, of the faces of the drowned men, especially of the face of little Jack.
For still the egoism was in Uniacke's heart. There is no greater egoist than the good man who has sinned against his nature. He sits down eternally to contemplate his own soul. When the hymn was over Uniacke mechanically gave the blessing and knelt down. But he did not pray. His mind stood quite still all the time he was on his knees.
And Uniacke's trouble increased, seeming to walk in the familiar music which had been whistled by Jack Pringle as he swarmed to the mast-head, or turned into his bunk at night far out at sea. Sir Graham had spoken of intuitions. Surely, the clergyman thought, to-night he will feel the truth and my lie.
It was the day of the Uniacke's garden-party; they had actually asked the poor author, and the poor author had intended to go. Not that he either shone or revelled in society; but Mrs.
"Thank you, I will. And some day you must come to me in London." Now the painter was installed at the Vicarage, and blessed, each hour, his happy escape from the inn, whose walls seemed expanded by the forcible and athletic smell of stale fish. Uniacke's servant girl brought in the tea. The two men had it by the fire. Presently Hamilton said: "Nightfall is very interesting and curious here."
He returned to the fireplace, and leaned his face on his arm against the mantelpiece. "I believe you," he repeated presently. "I have been mistaken." "Mistaken how?" "Sometimes I have thought that you have lied to me." Uniacke's heart grew heavier at the words. In the morning Sir Graham said to him, with a curious calmness: "I think perhaps you are right, Uniacke.
He heard the sea faintly. Was it not weeping too? It seemed to him in that dark hour as if one power alone was common to all people and to all things the power to mourn. Next day, despite Uniacke's renewed protests, Sir Graham began to paint steadily. The clergyman dared not object too strongly. He had no right. And brain-sick men are bad to deal with.