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Chapter 13

  • ### I
  • Emily was reading by the window of her room when she heard it—reading Alic_eynell's strange poem, "Letter From A Girl To Her Own Old Age," and thrillin_ystically to its strange prophecies. Outside dusk was falling over the ol_ew Moon garden; and clear through the dusk came the two high notes and th_ong low one of Teddy's old whistle in Lofty John's bush—the old, old call b_hich he had so often summoned her in the twilights of long ago.
  • Emily's book fell unheeded to the floor. She stood up, mist-pale, her eye_ilating into darkness. Was Teddy there? He had not been expected till th_ext week, though Ilse was coming that night. Could she have been mistaken?
  • Could she have fancied it? Some chance robin call—
  • It came again. She knew as she had known at first that it was Teddy's whistle.
  • There was no sound like it in the world. And it had been so long since she ha_eard it. He was there—waiting for her—calling for her. Should she go? Sh_aughed under her breath. Go? She had no choice. She must go. Pride could no_old her back—bitter remembrance of the night she had waited for his call an_t had not come could not halt her hurrying footsteps. Fear—shame—all wer_orgotten in the mad ecstasy of the moment. Without giving herself time t_eflect that she was a Murray—only snatching a moment to look in the glass an_ssure herself that her ivory crepe dress was very becoming—how lucky it wa_hat she had happened to put on that dress!—she flew down the stairs an_hrough the garden. He was standing under the dark glamour of the old fir_here the path ran through Lofty John's bush—bareheaded, smiling.
  • "Teddy."
  • "Emily."
  • Her hands were in his—her eyes were shining into his. Youth had come back—al_hat had once made magic made it again. Together once more after all thos_ong weary years of alienation and separation. There was no longer an_hyness—any stiffness—any sense or fear of change. They might have bee_hildren together again. But childhood had never known this wild, insurgen_weetness—this unconsidered surrender. Oh, she was his. By a word—a look—a_ntonation, he was still her master. What matter if, in some calmer mood, sh_ight not quite like it—to be helpless—dominated like this? What matter if to-
  • morrow she might wish she had not run so quickly, so eagerly, s_nhesitatingly to meet him? To-night nothing mattered except that Teddy ha_ome back.
  • Yet, outwardly, they did not meet as lovers—only as old, dear friends. Ther_as so much to talk of—so much to be silent over as they paced up and down th_arden walks, while the stars laughed through the dark a_hem—hinting—hinting—
  • Only one thing was not spoken of between them—the thing Emily had dreaded.
  • Teddy made no reference to the mystery of that vision in the London station.
  • It was as if it had never been. Yet Emily felt that it had drawn them togethe_gain after long misunderstanding. It was well not to speak of it—it was on_f those mystic things—one of the gods' secrets—that must not be spoken of.
  • Best forgotten now that its work was done. And yet—so unreasonable are w_ortals!—Emily felt a ridiculous disappointment that he didn't speak of it.
  • She didn't want him to speak of it. But if it had meant anything to him mus_e not have spoken of it?
  • "It's good to be here again," Teddy was saying. "Nothing seems changed here.
  • Time has stood still in this Garden of Eden. Look, Emily, how bright Vega o_he Lyre is. Our star. Have you forgotten it?"
  • Forgotten? How she had wished she  _could_  forget.
  • "They wrote me you were going to marry Dean," said Teddy abruptly.
  • "I meant to—but I couldn't," said Emily.
  • "Why not?" asked Teddy as if he had a perfect right to ask it.
  • "Because I didn't love him," answered Emily, conceding his right.
  • Laughter—golden, delicious laughter that made you suddenly want to laugh too.
  • Laughter was so  _safe_ —one could laugh without betraying anything. Ilse ha_ome—Ilse was running down the walk. Ilse in a yellow silk gown the colour o_er hair and a golden-brown hat the colour of her eyes, giving you th_ensation that a gorgeous golden rose was at large in the garden.
  • Emily almost welcomed her. The moment had grown too vital. Some things wer_errible if put into words. She drew away from Teddy almost primly—a Murray o_ew Moon once more.
  • "Darlings," said Ilse, throwing an arm around each of them. "Isn't i_ivine—all here together again? Oh, how much I love you! Let's forget we ar_ld and grown-up and wise and unhappy and be mad, crazy, happy kids again fo_ust one blissful summer."