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us--considering everything; but she tried to be practical and
sympathetic and live down to our standards."
Capes looked at his wife's unsmiling face.
"Your father," he said, "remarked that all's well that ends well, and
that he was disposed to let bygones be bygones. He then spoke with a
certain fatherly kindliness of the past...."
"And my heart has ached for him!"
"Oh, no doubt it cut him at the time. It must have cut him."
"We might even have--given it up for them!"
"I wonder if we could."
"I suppose all IS well that ends well. Somehow to-night--I don't know."
"I suppose so. I'm glad the old sore is assuaged. Very glad. But if we
had gone under--!"
They regarded one another silently, and Ann Veronica had one of her
"We are not the sort that goes under," said Ann Veronica, holding her
hands so that the red reflections vanished from her eyes. "We settled
long ago--we're hard stuff. We're hard stuff!"
Then she went on: "To think that is my father! Oh, my dear! He stood
over me like a cliff; the thought of him nearly turned me aside from
everything we have done. He was the social order; he was law and wisdom.
And they come here, and they look at our furniture to see if it is good;
and they are not glad, it does not stir them, that at last, at last we
can dare to have children."
She dropped back into a crouching attitude and began to weep. "Oh,
my dear!" she cried, and suddenly flung herself, kneeling, into her
"Do you remember the mountains? Do you remember how we loved one
another? How intensely we loved one another! Do you remember the light
on things and the glory of things? I'm greedy, I'm greedy! I want
children like the mountains and life like the sky. Oh! and love--love!
We've had so splendid a time, and fought our fight and won. And it's
like the petals falling from a flower. Oh, I've loved love, dear! I've
loved love and you, and the glory of you; and the great time is over,
and I have to go carefully and bear children, and--take care of my
hair--and when I am done with that I shall be an old woman. The petals
have fallen--the red petals we loved so. We're hedged about with
discretions--and all this furniture--and successes! We are successful
at last! Successful! But the mountains, dear! We won't forget the
mountains, dear, ever. That shining slope of snow, and how we talked of
death! We might have died! Even when we are old, when we are rich as we
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