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You've got me. I'm like a creature just wakened up. My eyes are open to
you. I keep on thinking of you. I keep on thinking of little details and
aspects of your voice, your eyes, the way you walk, the way your hair
goes back from the side of your forehead. I believe I have always been
in love with you. Always. Before ever I knew you."
She sat motionless, with her hand tightening over the edge of the table,
and he, too, said no more. She began to tremble violently.
He stood up abruptly and went to the window.
"We have," he said, "to be the utmost friends."
She stood up and held her arms toward him. "I want you to kiss me," she
He gripped the window-sill behind him.
"If I do," he said.... "No! I want to do without that. I want to
do without that for a time. I want to give you time to think. I am a
man--of a sort of experience. You are a girl with very little. Just sit
down on that stool again and let's talk of this in cold blood. People of
your sort--I don't want the instincts to--to rush our situation. Are you
sure what it is you want of me?"
"I want you. I want you to be my lover. I want to give myself to you.
I want to be whatever I can to you." She paused for a moment. "Is that
plain?" she asked.
"If I didn't love you better than myself," said Capes, "I wouldn't fence
like this with you.
"I am convinced you haven't thought this out," he went on. "You do not
know what such a relation means. We are in love. Our heads swim with
the thought of being together. But what can we do? Here am I, fixed to
respectability and this laboratory; you're living at home. It means...
just furtive meetings."
"I don't care how we meet," she said.
"It will spoil your life."
"It will make it. I want you. I am clear I want you. You are different
from all the world for me. You can think all round me. You are the one
person I can understand and feel--feel right with. I don't idealize you.
Don't imagine that. It isn't because you're good, but because I may be
rotten bad; and there's something--something living and understanding
in you. Something that is born anew each time we meet, and pines when
we are separated. You see, I'm selfish. I'm rather scornful. I think
too much about myself. You're the only person I've really given good,
straight, unselfish thought to. I'm making a mess of my life--unless
you come in and take it. I am. In you--if you can love me--there
is salvation. Salvation. I know what I am doing better than you do.
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