Chapter 14

When she got near the park-gate, she heard the click of the latch. He was there, then, in the darkness of the wood, and had seen her!

`You are good and early,' he said out of the dark. `Was everything all right?'

`Perfectly easy.'

He shut the gate quietly after her, and made a spot of light on the dark ground, showing the pallid flowers still standing there open in the night. They went on apart, in silence.

`Are you sure you didn't hurt yourself this morning with that chair?' she asked.

`No, no!'

`When you had that pneumonia, what did it do to you?'

`Oh nothing! it left my heart not so strong and the lungs not so elastic. But it always does that.'

`And you ought not to make violent physical efforts?'

`Not often.'

She plodded on in an angry silence.

`Did you hate Clifford?' she said at last.

`Hate him, no! I've met too many like him to upset myself hating him. I know beforehand I don't care for his sort, and I let it go at that.'

`What is his sort?'

`Nay, you know better than I do. The sort of youngish gentleman a bit like a lady, and no balls.'

`What balls?'

`Balls! A man's balls!'

She pondered this.

`But is it a question of that?' she said, a little annoyed.

`You say a man's got no brain, when he's a fool: and no heart, when he's mean; and no stomach when he's a funker. And when he's got none of that spunky wild bit of a man in him, you say he's got no balls. When he's a sort of tame.'

She pondered this.

`And is Clifford tame?' she asked.

`Tame, and nasty with it: like most such fellows, when you come up against 'em.'

`And do you think you're not tame?'

`Maybe not quite!'

At length she saw in the distance a yellow light.

She stood still.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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