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CHAPTER IV When Addie came downstairs he met Constance. A gas-jet was burning with a small flame in the brown dusk of the oak wainscoting. She was obviously tired: " I am going to my room," she said. " I was looking for you, Mummy." " Come along with me then." " Perhaps you're tired, perhaps you want to rest . . . and sleep." " I can rest as well when you are with me as when I am alone. Come." She put out her hand, took his and drew him gently up the stairs. She turned up the gas in her sitting-room. She changed quickly into a tea-gown; and he thought that he would not speak to her that evening, because she really seemed very weary. . . . While she was busy in her dressing-room, he looked round him and felt the years of his boyhood. The room was so exact a copy of the little drawing- room in the Kerkhoflaan that the past always came back to him here. And it brought with it the strange melancholy of all things that had been and no longer were. . . . "Hark how it's blowing!" she said. "It reminds me ..." "Of what, Mamma?" " Of an evening, more than ten years ago, at the Hague. It was after the death of Grandmamma van der Welcke. I had returned from here, from the room which is now Papa's bedroom. I had been to Grandmamma . . . and it was stormy weather,like to-day, and, when I got home, I was fanciful and frightened: the wind seemed to me so gigantic and I ... I was so small. . . . Then you came home . . . and I was so frightened ... I crept into your arms ... I looked into your eyes, Addie. ... In those days, it was very strange, they changed colour, they turned grey. . . . Now they are sometimes quite dark-grey, but sometimes I see a gleam of blue in them. I used to feel sosorry . . . that they changed colour. . . . Do you remember? It was not long b...
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