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Later they loitered along a winding path above the inn, and made love
to one another. Their journey had made them indolent, the afternoon was
warm, and it seemed impossible to breathe a sweeter air. The flowers and
turf, a wild strawberry, a rare butterfly, and suchlike little intimate
things had become more interesting than mountains. Their flitting hands
were always touching. Deep silences came between them....
"I had thought to go on to Kandersteg," said Capes, "but this is a
pleasant place. There is not a soul in the inn but ourselves. Let
us stay the night here. Then we can loiter and gossip to our heart's
"Agreed," said Ann Veronica.
"After all, it's our honeymoon."
"All we shall get," said Ann Veronica.
"This place is very beautiful."
"Any place would be beautiful," said Ann Veronica, in a low voice.
For a time they walked in silence.
"I wonder," she began, presently, "why I love you--and love you so
much?... I know now what it is to be an abandoned female. I AM an
abandoned female. I'm not ashamed--of the things I'm doing. I want to
put myself into your hands. You know--I wish I could roll my little body
up small and squeeze it into your hand and grip your fingers upon it.
Tight. I want you to hold me and have me SO.... Everything. Everything.
It's a pure joy of giving--giving to YOU. I have never spoken of these
things to any human being. Just dreamed--and ran away even from my
dreams. It is as if my lips had been sealed about them. And now I break
the seals--for you. Only I wish--I wish to-day I was a thousand times,
ten thousand times more beautiful."
Capes lifted her hand and kissed it.
"You are a thousand times more beautiful," he said, "than anything else
could be.... You are you. You are all the beauty in the world. Beauty
doesn't mean, never has meant, anything--anything at all but you. It
heralded you, promised you...."
They lay side by side in a shallow nest of turf and mosses among
bowlders and stunted bushes on a high rock, and watched the day sky
deepen to evening between the vast precipices overhead and looked over
the tree-tops down the widening gorge. A distant suggestion of chalets
and a glimpse of the road set them talking for a time of the world they
had left behind.
Capes spoke casually of their plans for work. "It's a flabby,
loose-willed world we have to face. It won't even know whether to be
scandalized at us or forgiving. It will hold aloof, a little undecided
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