A Resurrection

A Ressurection

By

H. B. Marriott Watson

I

THE book slid gently from Gregory's fingers, and closed with a
rustle upon the table. He was not conscious of the move-
ment, for in a moment he was rapt among high and tender
memories. The verses sang in the current of his blood, and
pulsed to the beating of his arteries. They resounded from distant
years with the full ryhthm of an immediate echo. These instant
reverberations in a heart long silent startled him with their unex-
pectedness. It was so long since he had provoked that pale
wraith and image of his old passion. And now of a sudden his
fibres were quick with a soft and melancholy yearning. With
that passage in the poem, long since forgotten, the resurrection of
this untimely ghost was charged with delicate and private mean-
ing. His eyes fell again upon the closed volume, and he repeated
the verses in a soothing whisper to himself.

He could see Dorothea's lips move to the phrases, her hand flutter
unawares about her heart, according to a habit which had always
affected him. He saw her bend and lean to touch him with her
pretty air of assurance ; soft fingers rested upon his arm. He
sighed, and dropping slowly in his chair smiled very quietly at his
own fancies.

He

304 A Resurrection

He was conscious of a certain penitence for the long omission
of this memorial respect. The appeal of those lines allured him ;
he smarted and stung to reflect upon that oblivion in which so long
she had been buried. Dorothea's eyes solicited him with their
soft radiance ; they seemed to intercede with him for an interval of
silent communion. That ghostly visitant in his mind tremulously
pleaded her cause. Was it so much, she seemed to urge, to snatch
a little space, a fragmentary hour, from out a life dedicated to
another, a meagre alms to that poor soul he once had loved ?
It seemed odd to him that the voice he once had heard ring so
clearly in those rooms had been so persistently mute. The echoes
of those familiar tones had died out with the years. What
brought them sounding from the silent corners at so irretrievable
a time as this evening ? He had foregone his leaky. He sighed
and directed his glance upon the wall of his study where hung a
slight water-colour sketch. It formed but a dash of colour, with
no discernible proportions of a woman, and still less the faithful
lineaments of the model. Yet Dorothea had stood and posed for
that dainty sketch, and she it was in a manner that still inhabited
the coarse cloth and looked forth upon him from blurred eyes.
Gregory slowly unlocked a drawer in his bureau, and withdrew a
photograph carefully enwrapped between covers. He held it before
him, scrutinising it with attention, and the light of the reading-
lamp streamed thickly upon the face.

There was just such a look in those poor eyes as had fulfilled
them many a time in life. She watched him with that grave
patience that had so sweetly mingled with her pretty playfulness.
The head to Gregory wore an aureole, with its flow of bright
hair. As he regarded the picture from under the arch of his hand,
the facts and tenants of that room lost their importunate reality.
At a stroke the winter was gone, and across the budding

English

By H.B. Marriott Watson 305

English meadows he walked with Dorothea in the spring. It
was not so very long ago, but the ten years had spanned a tragedy
for him. Was it possible, he wondered, that love should pass
quite away, should change and commute like the fashions of a
generation ? His eyes suffused. Ah no, he thought, not such
a passionate whole love as theirs. He had not forgotten, only not
remembered these six months. Somewhere under the sweet earth
Dorothea's gracious heart throbbed to his pulses, her pleading eyes
were lit with thoughts of him. The photograph dropped from
his fingers, as the book had done, and the curtains swung in a
mist before him. His memories provoked a warm and happy
past ; a sense, as it were, of physical pleasure filled him in the
recollection of those fine days, now gathered into forgotten Time.
The sadness of his reveries filled him with a positive delight. He
sighed again, and his glance fell newly upon the picture. Re-
informed by his sensitive imagination the bright flesh sparkled with
life, and reproached him with its immeasurable eyes. It seemed
that those five years which had sounded in his ears so desolately
long, which had worn so wearily, inadequately marked his supreme
sorrow. The grass was ancient over Dorothea in those five miser-
able years. The world might well attribute to him a remarkable
fidelity. At nights he had sat and thought upon her, those long
and terrible nights when her departure was fresh among his griefs,
those sad nights, too, upon which it became something of a solace
to recall and remember and to weep. The devotion of his mourn-
ing spoke to his great love, and yet now that his old happiness
and glory were vivid before him, he knew that not five years, not
ten, that a lifetime should be the limit of his irreconciliation.
The tears welled in his eyes ; a short little sob shook him ; his
shaded eyes devoured the portrait ; and then a knock fell on the
door, and a light voice broke upon him.

" May I come in, Frank ? Are you busy ? "

The

306 A Resurrection

The speaker awaited no invitation, as if sure of her answer, but
came forward briskly to the table, and placed a hand affectionately
upon Gregory's shoulder. With a hasty motion he slipped the
photograph between the covers of the blotting-sheet before him.

" Marion ! " he said softly, and touched her fingers gently,
looking towards the fire in abstraction.

The sudden contrast offered by this apparition took him aback,
and for a full moment he was appalled at his own infidelity. Those
ashes of the past burning brightly in his heart, he was newly
affronted with the present. But the ache faded slowly, leaving in
its place a sensation which he could not determine for pleasure or
pain. His thoughts ranged vaguely over the enlarged area of the
problem.

" You are thinking, dear ? " asked his wife, smoothing his hair
with a gentle hand.

There was something particularly caressing in her touch, which
fitted with Gregory's mood. He looked up at her and smiled.

" Yes, child," he assented with a sigh.

" Aren't they happy thoughts ? " she asked, bending quickly to
him with an imperious suggestion of affection.

He indulged the sentiment in his blood. He was used to flow
upon his emotions, and now the resumed loyalty to Dorothea in
nowise jarred upon a present kindliness for the beautiful woman at
his side. He patted her hand, and sought her face with a distant
smile. As he did so the tenderness of her regard struck him.
Her hair, the full form of her face, were as unlike Dorothea's as
they might well be, but there returned to him sharply the nameless
and indefinite resemblances which had first attracted him to Marion.
Was it merely that she inspected him with the same eyes of love,
or was it some deeper community of spirit between the dead and
the living that recalled this likeness ? For the first time he realised

quite

By H.B. Marriott Watson 307

quite clearly why he had married her. Turning with an abrupt
movement in his chair, he held her with his melancholy gaze.
The sudden act ruffled the papers on the desk, and the blotting-
pad slipped and fell to the floor. With her usual impulsiveness
Marion stooped and gathered the scattered papers, still clinging to
his hand. He had not understood the misadventure, and her next
words startled him.

" Who is this ? " she asked.

Gregory saw that she had the photograph in her hand. He
thrust out his disengaged arm, and put his fingers on it.

" It is a—a friend," he murmured faintly. Her clutch resisted
his ; she surveyed the portrait slowly.

" What friend ? " she asked curiously, and glanced at him.

Something she perceived in him made her drop his hand, and
scrutinise the photograph again.

" Who is it, Frank ? " she said, with a show of agitation.

He cleared his throat. Though to himself the situation
presented no anomalies, he felt that this was no occasion for
candour.

" Oh, a very old friend, who is dead," he said ; and then, break-
ing the silence that followed, " let me have it, Marion, I'll put it
away."

" No," she said, starting from him. " I know."

He seemed to catch something tragic in her tone, but he laughed
a little, as though undisturbed. " I don't think you do," he said
vaguely, " you never met her."

" So this is she," said Marion in a low voice, heedless of his
interruption. She contemplated the picture in silence, and then
with a bitter cry threw it from her. " If I had known," she
moaned, " if I had only realised ! "

Gregory stirred uneasily. " Come, Marion," he said soothingly.

She

308 A Resurrection

She shook off his hand, and lifted her face. " Did you love that
woman ? " she asked suddenly.

Her manner hardened him ; it was ungenerous that she should
so reproach him.

" You know I was married before," he said coldly.

" Did you love her ? " she repeated.

Her demeanour put him in the wrong ; it was as if she was
inviting him to plead guilty that she might pronounce his sentence.
He rose impatiently.

" I think we have discussed this enough," he observed.

" You will not answer me," she broke forth passionately ; and
then " yes," she assented, " quite enough ; " and without a word
further walked from the room, closing the door behind her softly.

Gregory was vaguely troubled. A confluence of emotions
mingled in his mind. He resented the interruption upon his
thoughts. The opposition of the two women did not appear to
him incongruous. He had been willing enough to entertain them
in company, the one as that revisiting memory, the other as the
near associate of his life. He had a sense of irritation with Marion's
jealousy which had thus disturbed the current of his great regret.
He was not a man accustomed to confront vexatious problems, and
wondered petulantly why he might not follow his own feelings with-
out challenge. He walked to the fire and poked it in annoyance,
and then, returning to his table, once more took up the photograph.
The simplicity of that countenance was underanged ; its regard
dwelt upon him with changeless affection. He sighed. Dorothea,
at least, kept her full heart, placid with the old accustomed passion.
It pleased and soothed him to consider that here he might commune
with her still, discharged from the gross accidents of life. His
attachment to Marion did not conflict with his undying compassion
for the forsaken companion of his youth. And now, again, his blood

was

By H.B. Marriott Watson 309

was spinning with thoughts of that one who had been wrapt these
five years in the shroud of death. The flow of the old mood
resumed in him, and softly replacing the picture in his drawer,
he opened the long windows of his room and walked forth silently
upon the lawn.

The wind was blowing through the garden, and the rain flew in
gusts upon his face. He passed down the walks and entered the
dark shrubbery. Here was an interval of silence in the savage
night. The little arbour peered through the barren branches,
seeming to beg his pity, thus abject to the desolation of the winds.
He could see through the dull panes Dorothea's face pass and
repass. Her large eyes beckoned him. This spot was consecrated
with recollections, and the horrid winter aspect made him shiver.
It appeared to consist with the broken pieces of his life. He
recognised now how tragic was the dissolution of the beautiful
dream. Inside the house he had taken a warmer prospect ; but
here his heart turned cold insensibly. The shrieking in the
branches and the driven rain, the rude turmoil of these barbarous
elements, partook of a demonstration against him. Only here, and
apart from the public spaces of the garden, lay a little private altar
between him and the past. He wondered drearily how he could
have married again, wondered with no judgment upon himself, but
only with a caressing pity, with tears, with a pathetic sense of
isolation.

He had grown into a very tender mood, and once indoors again,
went direct to his wife s room. In the dim light he could
discern her stretched in abandonment upon the bed, and putting
out his hand he touched her.

" Come, dear," he said gently.

He was very full of kindness, and had the desire to hold her to
him, and to comfort her. The roaring rain and the wind accom-

The Yellow Book—Vol. VIII. S

panied

310 A Resurrection

panied his feelings. Marion moved convulsively and gave no
answer.

" Come, dear," he repeated affectionately.

She broke out weeping, and he gathered her in his arms, hushing
her as he would a child upon his knee. He was sure that his heart
was buried with Dorothea, and it was duty to console and soothe
this poor girl with fraternal solicitude. Suddenly she sprang from
him.

" No, no," she cried between her sobs ; " your arms have been
about her ; her head has rested on you. Oh, my God, Frank !
Why didn't you tell me ? Why didn't I realise ? You have given
me nothing—I have only the remnants. You are divided between
me and the dead."

" No, no, no," he urged softly ; " you are overwrought ; you
are foolish, Marion. This is being morbid." He would not deny
the re-arisen love. It had broken its grave, and come forth, and
its arms were about him.

She clung to him ; she whispered passionately in his ear : she
pleaded with him to dishonour and annul that old affection so
associated with memories. And slowly in the accession of her
neighbourhood, and under the warm spell of her arms, the forlorn
images which he had entertained in his fancy retreated. Her clasp
stirred him ; the grace of her slender body, abandoned to this
agony of weeping, shook him ; her face, superfluous with its tears,
invited his hesitant lips. He drew her closer, whispering to her
questions.

" Yes, yes, you know I love you, dear," he murmured ; " and
you are first, darling, you are first."

Before this renunciation that freshly-awakened ghost withdrew
reluctant. She was denied her dignity ; her attendance was dis-
charged. Beneath the earth, where Dorothea's gracious heart

had

By H.B. Marriott Watson 311

had so long beat to his, she must again seek the cold refuge of
oblivion.

Marion put her hands about his neck, and the eyes that looked
upon her were alight and shining.

II

As the sun struck through his window Gregory set down his
pen and looked forth. It was odd, he reflected, that these thoughts
pursued him at this particular stage in his life. The remem-
brance of his first wife had not fallen upon him since his re-
marriage, until this trivial accident had provoked it. And now
she returned persistently. He was quite aware that the verses
upon which he was engaged were inspired with the sentiments of
that revival. He felt in his secret thoughts that it was impossible
to forget. He was still loyal to his dead wife, and it was only in
the actual mellay of daily life that the living interfered with her
sovereignty. He hung now between the past and the present,
with no embarrassment and with no mental confusion, but merely
with alternate and comfortable changes of sentiment. Though
Marion's nature was infinitely more emotional in reality, his own
was wont to be more readily occluded by the drifts and shadows
of spectral passions. She, upon her part, was for the time recon-
ciled with her fears. He had confessed that she was first in his
heart, and in the glory of that truth she was losing her pain
at the knowledge that he had ever thought he cared for some
one else.

" It was before he met me," she repeated to assure herself, " and
he has never loved any one but me." . . . " Men make mistakes,"
she told herself, " and he took pity upon her. . . . With that

childish

312 A Resurrection

childish face, of course—;" and of a sudden the image of the
woman that had forestalled her stabbed her like a knife. But in
the glow of her returning confidence she put the temptation from
her heart. And thus Gregory sat in his room composing his
tender lyric to the dead, and his wife following her domestic
charges about the house smiled at her foolish distrust.

But in truth these various moods were too delicate to endure,
and the passionate nature of the woman was as perilous as the
sentimental weakness of the man.

" Sing something, Marion," said Gregory in the evening.

She started, roused sharply from a temporary doubt that was
darkening her thoughts.

" What shall I sing ? " she asked unemotionally.

She wondered dismally if such a request had ever been presented
before in that room, and the recurrence of that thought quickened
her with sudden pain. She glanced at her husband, where he lay
sunk within the comfortable arms of his chair, his own gaze
vacant and wistful upon the fire.

" What is it you want ? " she demanded in a sharper note.

He started. " Let us have—you play Chopin, don't you,
Marion ? Play that waltz. You must know it. I think it's 69."

Marion's hands fell rudely upon the keyboard. Like himself she
was designed by her own emotions, with little interference of her
reason ; but what in him proceeded in weak sentimentality issued
of her in loud passion. Her blood was resolutely gathering heat,
and she was slowly graduating into a frenzy of anger. But
Gregory sat by unconscious, floating upon the music along past
reaches of his life. He stirred upon the conclusion, and lifted his
chin with a sigh. At that, the woman broke forth on him.

" Why do you sigh ? " she cried fiercely, turning swiftly upon
her seat and confronting him. " What do you mean by treating

me

By H.B. Marriott Watson 313

me like that ? How dare you ? You coward ! You're thinking
—you're thinking—I know what you're thinking of. You cannot
deny it. I defy you to deny it."

To his early start of surprise succeeded in Gregory's face a cold
disapproval.

" I do not understand you," he said in a chilling voice. " You
are singularly hysterical. I cannot pretend to follow you."

She laughed harshly, and struck the notes in a discord.

" Don't you ? I have less difficulty in following you," she
replied, with suppressed scorn. She played a bar or two. " I will
not be used to recover your memories of the dead."

A flush sprang in Gregory s cheeks. " What do you mean ? "
he asked angrily.

" You understand quite well," she replied with passionate
deliberation, smoothing her cuffs with studied calm. " It was an
excellent thought to make me fill the place of that—that woman.
Men must condescend to makeshifts and stopgaps. But now that
I know, it is another matter. I have no intention of supporting
the memory, or of filling the post of—what was her name, by the
way ? " she inquired with some exultation.

Gregory shuddered. He had been hurried into such rude and
abrupt emotions. As he considered her, Marion appeared to him
at this moment vulgar, clamant, almost as a shrieking shrew with
hands to her hips. And he had been roused from a meditation of
sorrowful sweetness to confront this. He had been moving freely
among the tender memories of Dorothea, and the music had
assisted his mood. This strident outbreak irritated him, and he
frowned.

" You—you drive me beyond endurance," he cried, in a lower
voice and with a gesture of despair.

Marion laughed. " Oh, I daresay," she said, being herself

indeed

314 A Resurrection

indeed under the stress of feelings that could find no issue in
language.

He rose, and the sound distracted her. She clutched him fiercely
by the arm.

" It was true ? " she asked, fixing him with her scornful eyes.

" What was true ? " he asked, shifting his glance uneasily.

" You were thinking of—why, what was her name ? I ought
to have informed myself of that long ago."

She laughed hysterically. He shook off her hand ; the woman
was blatant, and deserved no consideration.

" It was true that I was thinking of past episodes in my life
which were more pleasant than the present," he said slowly, and
with the intention to hurt her.

She rose with a cry from her stool, and, with blazing eyes,
confronted him a moment. Then, with a swift change, the
whole aspect of her face was struck to despair. She sprang to him.

"Oh, my God! don't say that, Frank, don't say that. Oh, you
will break my heart—you are killing me."

She broke into convulsive sobbing ; a great, dull pain throbbed
in her side. Mechanically he patted her.

" There, there," he said.

Don't you see you are killing me ? " she murmured. " Oh,
you don't know. You kill me. Oh, my God ! I don't want to
hear her name. Say, you lied, you lied. You did not think of
her, did you—did you, Frank ? "

The desolation of that clinging figure touched him.

" No, no," he said soothingly, " no, no, dear. You—you are
mistaken. But you aggravated me. You—"

" Yes, yes, forgive me," she pleaded. " I know it was only the
piece itself affected you. We have both been melancholy to-day.
Oh, Frank, Frank ! "

Her

By H.B. Marriott Watson 315

Her arms encircled him ; he was enclosed, as it were, within
the greedy emotion of her love. Her face, moist with tears,
entreated him. with a quick access of affection. He bent and
kissed her.

" I think we must not misunderstand each other, Marion," he
said. She lifted her face against his with a little shudder.

" O darling," she sighed, " I am mad, I am mad. Of course
I know. But you see, dear, it is this way. Now I know that
you care for me, and never cared for her. It's bad enough like that,
isn't it, dear Frank ? But we won't think of that. I am your
only love. Men make mistakes ; there are many fancies, but only
one thing is real. Isn t that it ? "

Yes, dear, yes," he murmured tenderly.

He was engaged in the proximity of her beauty. He felt that
he loved her. No shadow of the dead fell across that recon-
ciliation.

" We will never think of it again," he whispered.

" Never, never," she murmured tenderly. " We will destroy
all traces that might bring bitterness. Come," she cried, starting
from him impulsively, "let us do so now."

" What do you mean, dear ? " he asked softly.

" The—the photograph," she answered. " Let us burn all our
misunderstandings with it."

She caught his hand, and the warmth of her touch stirred him.
He followed her from the room into his study.

Marion opened the drawer and withdrew the picture. She held
it averted from her.

" Take it, dear, take it," she cried tremulously. She thrust it
into Gregory's hand, and, still with his clasp in hers, he contem-
plated in silence the faded lineaments. A vague sense of pitiful-
ness crept over him. The claims, embodied in that face, arose

resurgent

316 A Resurrection

resurgent in his heart. Dorothea looked forth on him with the
familiar eyes ; but this unnatural conflict were best determined,
this memory were best re-laid in its habitual grave. He moved
towards the grate.

" Throw it in," urged Marion. He stood hesitant, the prey of
discordant motives. " Frank ! Frank ! " she called pitifully.

With a sudden movement of his fingers the card was jerked
into the fire, and lay for a second intact upon the bright coal. He
drew a long breath of pain ; a sigh came from Marion also.

" Was she beautiful ? " she asked, her hand covering her eyes.

He paid no heed to her question. Marion lifted her hand and
pushed the poker into the coals ; the flames leaped and lapped
about the discoloured pasteboard.

" There, dear ; see, we are burning our misunderstanding. You
are mine ; you have always been mine," she cried.

The stiff board slid forward and presented itself for a moment
to Gregory's gaze. A black streak lay like a cruel tongue across
the face.

" Poor girl ! poor girl ! " said Marion. She wrung her hands.
" She was nobody—what has it to do with you or me ? There
burns a young friend of yours, Frank—a friend only."

Suddenly, and with an exclamation of horror, Gregory stooped
low and snatched fiercely at the smouldering fragment.

" What are you doing ? Frank ! Frank ! " cried his wife in
distress.

" Leave me alone," he said sharply, shaking off her hand.

" Do not touch it ! Dare to touch it ! " cried Marion, gasping.

He turned with the blackened paper in his hand, and his face
was torn with emotion. She appeared to him like a brutal wanton,
a devil that had tempted him to a cruel act. Ah, the pain of that
sad, desolate heart beneath the grass !

" I will

By H.B. Marriott Watson 317

" I will never forgive you all my life," he broke forth angrily.
" You—you are a devil."

Why—why—" she stammered, her mind tossing in the drift
of her emotions.

" I loved her," he said furiously ; " I loved her, do you hear ?
And you—you who attracted me by a chance resemblance,
you—"

His passionate utterance went no further. Her face had fallen
ashen ; she moistened her lips, and then with a little meaningless
motion of her hand, she stroked her hair.

" Let me go," she murmured, and walked uncertainly to the
door.

The long windows of the dining-room stood open, and the
moonlight was in flood upon the garden. Marion walked forth
without intelligence of her action. Her dress trailed heavily upon
the wet grass, and was snatched and plucked by the briars as she
passed. Her brain was a heavy lump within her head ; her heart,
faint and tremulous, was shot at intervals with ominous pains. The
calamity had fallen at the very moment of her triumph. She
understood now that when she had merely dreaded she had not
really suffered. Now that she realised, her frail world broke about
her. His words had been a pitiless weapon against her, and she
had fled as by instinct to hide the dishonour of her wounds in
private, as some poor hunted creature steals away to die.

Marion stood near the gateway and looked out across the meadow.
It seemed to her now that she had come into this house upon a false
pretence; she had no rights in it. She compared dully her joyous
entrance barely six months before, in the full tide of summer, with
this ruthless and ignoble expulsion. Circumferenced with her
humiliation she contemplated the ruins of her life with staring,
tearless eyes. The dark vault of the night, scattered with stars and

spread

318 A Resurrection

spread with moonlight, shone blue and clear above her. The earth
under the white frost glittered and glowed with a cold radiance.
The moon struck the face of the world to silver ; the illu-
mination of her sorrow lay around her. Marion's eyes travelled
over the great meadow to the verge of the uplands, and to them
appeared in that far distance Gregory's slight and elegant figure,
with its quiet loitering gait ; she saw him raise his head ; the pale
face with its odd fleck of colour in either cheek, smiled upon her.
He opened his arms. . . . The meadow waved with wheat, but the
same moonlight visited that opulent field of gold as shone upon this
white and arid stretch before her. She could not discern between
these rival pictures, the cold purview, this pitiless outcast, and
the clanging gates that opened on her Paradise that warm summer
evening. She clung to the palings of the fence, her body taut, her
vision straining to resume that sweet inveterate fancy. A physical
pain dwelt persistently in her side.

The phantasmagoria dissolved into the inhospitable winds of
night. She clapped her hands to her face and cried aloud. The
agony of that irreclaimable remembrance mocked her. She left
the gates and walked wearily through the copse. The bare, dis-
paraged trees crowded upon her like curious, pitiful strangers,
receiving her to a community of desolation.

" But they will awake," she cried. " The spring will bring
them life."

She sank upon her knees in the vacant summer-house. She
realised now that what she had intended was impossible. She
could not leave him ; she dared not forego the sight of that false
face. Poor, passionate heart !

"I am a coward," she thought, weeping. His eyes had
encountered other eyes in affection ; other lips had touched his
lips with thrills of happiness. And she inherited but the shadow

of

By H.B. Marriott Watson 319

of a loyal love ; it was with the rags of that strong passion that
she was invested. It was hard that she should be the victim of
that great fidelity. . . . Suddenly a great pain stung fiercely at
her heart.

His outbreak left Gregory with a slight feeling of remorse,
instinctive with a gentle nature. That stricken face made him
uneasy, and he turned at once to comfort himself for his
cruelty.

" It was diabolical to make me do that," he argued, and in an
instant the appeal of that burned and charred fragment diverted
his pity to the dead. But most of all it was himself that he com-
miserated. He had compassion upon himself when he remembered
how Dorothea would have winced under this shame. He had
denied her, and must carry a heavy load of guilt upon his
sacrilegious soul. He offered himself to the enjoyment of sorrow.
The grave had not held its tenant ; the disembodied ghost stole
silently along the familiar corridors with a new face of reproach.
Her features were marked with agony ; he had invoked her from
oblivion to discrown and disown her. The ruins of that picture
made his heart ache. Her radiant flesh was scarred and whealed
with his handiwork ; it was as though he had struck her in her
patience and her resignation. She had asked but a private corner
of his heart, and he had refused her with contumely. He wept
upon that dead despoiled face. The memories of that young love
were bright and persistent. They dissuaded him from his constancy
to the present. Now he thought upon it, every act and issue of
his late life revolted him in his infidelity to Dorothea. Her voice
sounded low and musical in the room ; her hands turned the
pages of her favourite volume. She sat against the fire and
watched him with a sigh, unobtrusive, silent, a voiceless, motion-
less reproach. Gregory rose and thrust aside the curtains. Across

the

320 A Resurrection

the lawn she seemed to move in her cerements, as she had moved
five years ago, but now with a saddened step and downcast eyes.
She paused by her rose-bush ; she lingered in reluctance on her
way. Opening the window he followed, in the conscious pursuit
of his melancholy fancy.

There, below the hollies, she might now be preceding him, as
she had walked a thousand times in life. He entered the copse, and
could imagine that she stopped and beckoned to him. His eyes
fell upon the arbour. Surely it was thither that she would have him
go, to commune there together as they had done so many summer
evenings long ago. As he approached the summer-house a flash
of wonder turned his heart to stone and then set it beating hard.
From the high regions of his soaring fancy he fell suddenly to fact.
He sprang forward with a cry of bewilderment ; for Dorothea's
face, white and immobile, peered through the dim and grimy
panes at him. He pushed aside the ivy, trembling, and stood
staring through the entrance. . . . Was it Dorothea's ? . . .

Upon that new grave he might now rear a second temple to the
dead, and from her quiet place among the shadows she too might
now steal forth to revisit his melancholy dreams.





MLA citation: Watson, H. B. Marriott. "A Resurrection." The Yellow Book 8 (January 1896): 303-20. The Yellow Nineties Online. Ed. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ryerson University, 2012. Web. [Date of access]. http://1890s.ca/HTML.aspx?s=YBV8_marriottwatson_resurrection.html