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That's why he was so annoyed, you know."
"Who was annoyed?"
"Mr. Ramage--about the forty pounds." She took a step. "My dear," she
added, by way of afterthought, "you DO obliterate things!"
They found themselves next day talking love to one another high up on
some rocks above a steep bank of snow that overhung a precipice on the
eastern side of the Fee glacier. By this time Capes' hair had bleached
nearly white, and his skin had become a skin of red copper shot with
gold. They were now both in a state of unprecedented physical fitness.
And such skirts as Ann Veronica had had when she entered the valley of
Saas were safely packed away in the hotel, and she wore a leather belt
and loose knickerbockers and puttees--a costume that suited the fine,
long lines of her limbs far better than any feminine walking-dress could
do. Her complexion had resisted the snow-glare wonderfully; her skin had
only deepened its natural warmth a little under the Alpine sun. She had
pushed aside her azure veil, taken off her snow-glasses, and sat smiling
under her hand at the shining glories--the lit cornices, the blue
shadows, the softly rounded, enormous snow masses, the deep places
full of quivering luminosity--of the Taschhorn and Dom. The sky was
cloudless, effulgent blue.
Capes sat watching and admiring her, and then he fell praising the day
and fortune and their love for each other.
"Here we are," he said, "shining through each other like light through a
stained-glass window. With this air in our blood, this sunlight soaking
us.... Life is so good. Can it ever be so good again?"
Ann Veronica put out a firm hand and squeezed his arm. "It's very good,"
she said. "It's glorious good!"
"Suppose now--look at this long snow-slope and then that blue deep
beyond--do you see that round pool of color in the ice--a thousand feet
or more below? Yes? Well, think--we've got to go but ten steps and lie
down and put our arms about each other. See? Down we should rush in a
foam--in a cloud of snow--to flight and a dream. All the rest of
our lives would be together then, Ann Veronica. Every moment. And no
"If you tempt me too much," she said, after a silence, "I shall do
it. I need only just jump up and throw myself upon you. I'm a desperate
young woman. And then as we went down you'd try to explain. And that
would spoil it.... You know you don't mean it."
"No, I don't. But I liked to say it."
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