|• Main||• Contacts|
muddled for a time. But it's as you say. I've had the rarest luck and
fallen on my feet."
"We've both fallen on our feet! We're the rarest of mortals! The real
thing! There's not a compromise nor a sham nor a concession between
us. We aren't afraid; we don't bother. We don't consider each other;
we needn't. That wrappered life, as you call it--we've burned the
confounded rags! Danced out of it! We're stark!"
"Stark!" echoed Ann Veronica.
As they came back from that day's climb--it was up the Mittaghorn--they
had to cross a shining space of wet, steep rocks between two grass
slopes that needed a little care. There were a few loose, broken
fragments of rock to reckon with upon the ledges, and one place where
hands did as much work as toes. They used the rope--not that a rope was
at all necessary, but because Ann Veronica's exalted state of mind made
the fact of the rope agreeably symbolical; and, anyhow, it did insure a
joint death in the event of some remotely possibly mischance. Capes went
first, finding footholds and, where the drops in the strata-edges came
like long, awkward steps, placing Ann Veronica's feet. About half-way
across this interval, when everything seemed going well, Capes had a
"Heavens!" exclaimed Ann Veronica, with extraordinary passion. "My God!"
and ceased to move.
Capes became rigid and adhesive. Nothing ensued. "All right?" he asked.
"I'll have to pay it."
"I've forgotten something. Oh, cuss it!"
"He said I would."
"That's the devil of it!"
"Devil of what?... You DO use vile language!"
"Forget about it like this."
"And I said I wouldn't. I said I'd do anything. I said I'd make shirts."
"Shirts at one--and--something a dozen. Oh, goodness! Bilking! Ann
Veronica, you're a bilker!"
"Will you tell me what all this is about?" said Capes.
"It's about forty pounds."
Capes waited patiently.
"G. I'm sorry.... But you've got to lend me forty pounds."
"It's some sort of delirium," said Capes. "The rarefied air? I thought
you had a better head."
"No! I'll explain lower. It's all right. Let's go on climbing now. It's
a thing I've unaccountably overlooked. All right really. It can wait
a bit longer. I borrowed forty pounds from Mr. Ramage. Thank goodness
you'll understand. That's why I chucked Manning.... All right, I'm
coming. But all this business has driven it clean out of my head....
Page 4 from 8: Back 1 2 3  5 6 7 8 Forward