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She was frightened. The fear was as sudden and, in one sense, as
unexpected as an unheralded sharp stab in the breast. And yet not
unexpected, because it had been hovering near her, almost out of
her consciousness but not quite, for many weeks.
They were at the Cross-roads. Pelynt Cross. She knew where they
were, for Julius had told her and in her hands was a map. The
Cross-roads. Pelynt Cross. You can smell the sea here, Julius
said. She sniffed through the open window. Yes, she could smell
it. On a clear day you could catch a glimpse of the sea from the
Cross, which stood naked and bare on the edge of the Moor. But
today you could not see far because of the summer honey haze which
veiled the world in trembling heat.
The car had stopped for a moment while Curtis hesitated. Then he
saw the finger--'Garth in Roselands 1 1/2 M.--Rafiel 10 M.' To the
left of them ran Pelynt Moor for miles and miles. The light
enwrapped it and struck at fragments of quartz, at rough white
stones. It seemed to shake with voluptuous pleasure at being thus
enwrapped. The air through the window smelt of honey and gorse.
The car went on. She had taken off her hat, and the short curls of
her dark hair moved in the breeze. She had thrown back her coat,
and her body drank in the heat. She loved, she LOVED the sun! She
looked quickly across to Julius and then quickly back again. Was
he asleep? Who could tell? His eyes were closed, but that meant
nothing at all. She had been married to him for six months, and
yet about a matter like that she could not be certain. His big
body sprawled against the corner of the car. He too had taken off
his hat, and his hair, so fair a yellow that in certain lights it
seemed white, moved a little against his forehead.
His face, which she loved so dearly, was composed and calm. Why
had she been frightened? Was it because she was coming to a new
place? No. She was never frightened of a new place. She loved
new places and new people because she always conquered them with
her charm. She did not pride herself on her charm. She had no
conceit. But she was pleased, as anyone would be, with its
Was it because her new home was his OLD home that she was
frightened? No. Anything that was his was hers. He gave her
everything freely, abundantly, completely. She would never feel a
stranger where he was.
Was it because of herself that she was frightened? She sat up very
straight and looked out of the window, shaking her little head as
though she would have the sun penetrate and enrich the curls.
Well, what about herself? For six months she had made Julius so
happy that he told her he was 'mad' with happiness. She had
behaved well. She had lost her temper only twice, once with that
silly old Mrs. Gayner, the housekeeper whom Julius adored so. Only
once had she broken something and then it was only a glass--old it
was, but you could always find another like it. She had forgotten
engagements scarcely at all and had shown impatience with tiresome
visitors very seldom. She could not help it if she showed her
feelings clearly. That was her character. After all, she loved
people twice as often as she hated them. She had tried in every
way to make herself a good wife and she had succeeded.
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