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need to clutch at way-side flowers. And put 'em in little books for
remembrance. Flattened flowers aren't for the likes of us. Moments,
indeed! We like each other fresh and fresh. It isn't illusions--for us.
We two just love each other--the real, identical other--all the time."
"The real, identical other," said Capes, and took and bit the tip of her
"There's no delusions, so far as I know," said Ann Veronica.
"I don't believe there is one. If there is, it's a mere
wrapping--there's better underneath. It's only as if I'd begun to know
you the day before yesterday or there-abouts. You keep on coming truer,
after you have seemed to come altogether true. You... brick!"
"To think," he cried, "you are ten years younger than I!... There are
times when you make me feel a little thing at your feet--a young, silly,
protected thing. Do you know, Ann Veronica, it is all a lie about your
birth certificate; a forgery--and fooling at that. You are one of the
Immortals. Immortal! You were in the beginning, and all the men in the
world who have known what love is have worshipped at your feet. You have
converted me to--Lester Ward! You are my dear friend, you are a slip of
a girl, but there are moments when my head has been on your breast, when
your heart has been beating close to my ears, when I have known you for
the goddess, when I have wished myself your slave, when I have wished
that you could kill me for the joy of being killed by you. You are the
High Priestess of Life...."
"Your priestess," whispered Ann Veronica, softly. "A silly little
priestess who knew nothing of life at all until she came to you."
They sat for a time without speaking a word, in an enormous shining
globe of mutual satisfaction.
"Well," said Capes, at length, "we've to go down, Ann Veronica. Life
waits for us."
He stood up and waited for her to move.
"Gods!" cried Ann Veronica, and kept him standing. "And to think that
it's not a full year ago since I was a black-hearted rebel school-girl,
distressed, puzzled, perplexed, not understanding that this great
force of love was bursting its way through me! All those nameless
discontents--they were no more than love's birth-pangs. I felt--I
felt living in a masked world. I felt as though I had bandaged eyes. I
felt--wrapped in thick cobwebs. They blinded me. They got in my mouth.
And now--Dear! Dear! The dayspring from on high hath visited me. I love.
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