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|8. Full Moon||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
|Page 2 of 4||
"It is the home we come from."
"You belong to it still."
"No more than you do. I belong to a big overworking modern place called London which stretches its tentacles all over the world. I am as much a home-coming tourist as you are. Most of this western country I am seeing for the first time."
She said nothing for a space. "I've not a word to say tonight," she said. "I'm just full of a sort of animal satisfaction in being close to you. . . . And in being with you among lovely things. . . . Somewhere--Before we part tonight--. . . . "
"Yes?" he said to her pause, and his face came very near to hers.
I want you to kiss me. "
"Yes," he said awkwardly, glancing over his shoulder, acutely aware of the promenaders passing close to them.
"It's a promise?"
Very timidly and guiltily his hand sought hers beside it and gripped it and pressed it. "My dear!" he whispered, tritest and most unavoidable of expressions. It was not very like Man and Woman loving upon their Planet; it was much more like the shy endearments of the shop boys and work girls who made the darkling populous about them with their silent interchanges.
"There are a thousand things I want to talk about to you," she said. "After we have parted to-morrow I shall begin to think of them. But now--every rational thing seems dissolved in this moonlight. . . ."
Presently she made an effort to restore the intellectual dignity of their relationship.
"I suppose I ought to be more concerned tonight about the work I have to do in the world and anxious for you to tell me this and that, but indeed I am not concerned at all about it. I seem to have it in outline all perfectly clear. I mean to play a man's part in the world just as my father wants me to do. I mean to win his confidence and work with him--like a partner. Then some day I shall be a power in the world of fuel. And at the same time I must watch and read and think and learn how to be the servant of the world. . . . We two have to live like trusted servants who have been made guardians of a helpless minor. We have to put things in order and keep them in order against the time when Man--Man whom we call in America the Common Man--can take hold of his world--"
"And release his servants," said Sir Richmond.
"All that is perfectly clear in my mind. That is what I am going to live for; that is what I have to do."
She stopped abruptly. "All that is about as interesting tonight--in comparison with the touch of your dear fingers--as next month's railway time-table."
But later she found a topic that could hold their attention for a time.
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|The Secret Places of the Heart
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
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