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THE WINDOW 143always felt about any engagement; the girl is muchtoo good for that young man. Slowly it came intoher head, why is it then that one wants people tomarry? What was the value, the meaning of things?(Every word they said now would be true.) Do saysomething, she thought, wishing only to hear hisvoice. For the shadow, the thing folding them in wasbeginning, she felt, to close round her again. Say any-thing, she begged, looking at him, as if for help.

He was silent, swinging the compass on his watch-chain to and fro, and thinking of Scott’s novels andBalzac’s novels. But through the crepuscular wallsof their intimacy, for they were drawing together,involuntarily, coming side by side, quite close, shecould feel his mind like a raised hand shadowing hermind; and he was beginning now that her thoughtstook a turn he disliked—towards this ‘pessimism’ ashe called it—to fidget, though he said nothing, rais-ing his hand to his forehead, twisting a lock of hair,letting it fall again.

'You won’t finish that stocking to-night,’ he said,pointing to her stocking. That was what she wanted

—the asperity in his voice reproving her. If he saysit’s wrong to be pessimistic probably it is wrong, shethought; the marriage will turn out all right.

'No,’ she said, flattening the stocking out upon herknee, ‘I shan’t finish it.’

And what then? For she felt that he was stilllooking at her, but that his look had changed. Hewanted something—wanted the thing she alwaysfound it so difficult to give him; wanted her to tellhim that she loved him. And that, no, she couldnot do. He found talking so much easier than she