"It doesn't matter," said Philip. "I'm so glad to be able to do anything I can for you."
She could not sew well and so did not make the necessary things for the baby; she told Philip it was much cheaper in the end to buy them. Philip had lately sold one of the mortgages in which his money had been put; and now, with five hundred pounds in the bank waiting to be invested in something that could be more easily realised, he felt himself uncommonly well-to-do. They talked often of the future. Philip was anxious that Mildred should keep the child with her, but she refused: she had her living to earn, and it would be more easy to do this if she had not also to look after a baby. Her plan was to get back into one of the shops of the company for which she had worked before, and the child could be put with some decent woman in the country.
"I can find someone who'll look after it well for seven and sixpence a week. It'll be better for the baby and better for me."
It seemed callous to Philip, but when he tried to reason with her she pretended to think he was concerned with the expense.
"You needn't worry about that," she said. "I shan't ask you to pay for it."
"You know I don't care how much I pay."
At the bottom of her heart was the hope that the child would be still-born. She did no more than hint it, but Philip saw that the thought was there. He was shocked at first; and then, reasoning with himself, he was obliged to confess that for all concerned such an event was to be desired.
"It's all very fine to say this and that," Mildred remarked querulously, "but it's jolly difficult for a girl to earn her living by herself; it doesn't make it any easier when she's got a baby."
"Fortunately you've got me to fall back on," smiled Philip, taking her hand.
"You've been good to me, Philip."
"Oh, what rot!"
"You can't say I didn't offer anything in return for what you've done."
"Good heavens, I don't want a return. If I've done anything for you, I've done it because I love you. You owe me nothing. I don't want you to do anything unless you love me."
He was a little horrified by her feeling that her body was a commodity which she could deliver indifferently as an acknowledgment for services rendered.
"But I do want to, Philip. You've been so good to me."
"Well, it won't hurt for waiting. When you're all right again we'll go for our little honeymoon."
"You are naughty," she said, smiling.
Mildred expected to be confined early in March, and as soon as she was well enough she was to go to the seaside for a fortnight: that would give Philip a chance to work without interruption for his examination; after that came the Easter holidays, and they had arranged to go to Paris together. Philip talked endlessly of the things they would do. Paris was delightful then. They would take a room in a little hotel he knew in the Latin Quarter, and they would eat in all sorts of charming little restaurants; they would go to the play, and he would take her to music halls. It would amuse her to meet his friends. He had talked to her about Cronshaw, she would see him; and there was Lawson, he had gone to Paris for a couple of
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|