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Bliss and Other Stories


This is how we parted. As we stood outside his hotel one night waiting for the concierge to release the catch of the outer door, he said, looking up at the sky : " I hope it will be fine to-morrow. I am leaving for England in the morning."

" You're not serious."

" Perfectly. I have to get back. I've some work to do that I can't manage here."

" But—but have you made all your preparations?"

" Preparations ? " He almost grinned. " I've none to make."

" But—enfin, Dick, England is not the other side of the boulevard."

" It isn't much farther off," said he. " Only a few hours, you know." The door cracked open.

" Ah, I wish I'd known at the beginning of the evening! "

I felt hurt. I felt as a woman must feel when a man takes out his watch and remembers an appointment that cannot possibly concern her, except that its claim is the stronger. " Why didn't you tell me ? " page 90He put out his hand and stood, lightly swaying upon the step as though the whole hotel were his ship, and the anchor weighed.

" I forgot. Truly I did. But you'll write, won't you ? Good night, old chap. I'll be over again one of these days."

And then I stood on the shore alone, more like a little fox-terrier than ever. . . .

" But after all it was you who whistled to me, you who asked me to come ! What a spectacle I've cut wagging my tail and leaping round you, only to be left like this while the boat sails off in its slow, dreamy way. . . . Curse these English ! No, this is too insolent altogether. Who do you imagine I am ? A little paid guide to the night pleasures of Paris ? . . . No, monsieur. I am a young writer, very serious, and extremely interested in modern English literature. And I have been insulted—insulted."