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  In The Mountains H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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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 content."

"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.

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"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. . . ."

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Ann Veronica
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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