The Law and the Lady: A Novel

The Law and the Lady: A Novel

Read FREE!

The Law and the Lady: A Novel

The Law and the Lady: A Novel

Read FREE!

Excerpt

We had been traveling for a little more than an hour when a change passed insensibly over us both.

Still sitting close together, with my hand in his, with my head on his shoulder, little by little we fell insensibly into silence. Had we already exhausted the narrow yet eloquent vocabulary of love? Or had we determined by unexpressed consent, after enjoying the luxury of passion that speaks, to try the deeper and finer rapture of passion that thinks? I can hardly determine; I only know that a time came when, under some strange influence, our lips were closed toward each other. We traveled along, each of us absorbed in our own reverie. Was he thinking exclusively of me—as I was thinking exclusively of him? Before the journey’s end I had my doubts; at a little later time I knew for certain that his thoughts, wandering far away from his young wife, were all turned inward on his own unhappy self.

For me the secret pleasure of filling my mind with him, while I felt him by my side, was a luxury in itself.

I pictured in my thoughts our first meeting in the neighborhood of my uncle’s house.

Our famous north-country trout stream wound its flashing and foaming way through a ravine in the rocky moor-land. It was a windy, shadowy evening. A heavily clouded sunset lay low and red in the west. A solitary angler stood casting his fly at a turn in the stream where the backwater lay still and deep under an overhanging bank. A girl (myself) standing on the bank, invisible to the fisherman beneath, waited eagerly to see the trout rise.

The moment came; the fish took the fly.

Sometimes on the little level strip of sand at the foot of the bank, sometimes (when the stream turned again) in the shallower water rushing over its rocky bed, the angler fol-

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