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- Dr. Heidenhoff's Process - 18/18 -

book on electricity, and that talk on mental physiology which he had overheard in the car the afternoon before. These rude materials, as unpromising as the shapeless bits of glass which the kaleidoscope turns into schemes of symmetrical beauty, were the stuff his dream was made of.

It was a strange dream indeed, such an one as a man has once or twice in a lifetime. As he tried to recall it, already it was fading from his remembrance. That kiss Madeline had called him back to give him the night before; that had been strange enough to have been a part also of the dream. What sweetness, what sadness, were in the touch of her lips. Ah! when she was once his wife, he could contend at better advantage with her depression of spirits, He would hasten their marriage. If possible, it should take place that very week.

There was a knock at the door. The house-boy entered, gave him a note, and went out. It was in Madeline's hand, and dated the preceding evening. It read as follows:--

"You have but just gone away. I was afraid when I kissed you that you would guess what I was going to do, and make a scene about it, and oh, dear! I am so tired that I couldn't bear a scene. But you didn't think. You took the kiss for a promise of what I was to be to you, when it only meant what I might have been. Poor, dear boy! it was just a little stupid of you not to guess. Did you suppose I would really marry you? Did you really think I would let you pick up from the gutter a soiled rose to put in your bosom when all the fields are full of fresh daisies? Oh, I love you too well for that! Yes, dear, I love you. I've kept the secret pretty well, haven't I? You see, loving you has made me more careful of your honour than when in my first recklessness I said I would marry you in spite of all. But don't think, dear, because I love you that it is a sacrifice I make in not being your wife. I do truly love you, but I could not be happy with you, for my happiness would be shame to the end. It would be always with us as in the dismal weeks that now are over. The way I love you is not the way I loved him, but it is a better way. I thought perhaps you would like to know that you alone have any right to kiss my lips in dreams. I speak plainly of things we never spoke of, for you know people talk freely when night hides their faces from each other, and how much more if they know that no morning shall ever come to make them shamefaced again! A certain cold white hand will have wiped away the flush of shame for ever from my face when you look on it again, for I go this night to that elder and greater redeemer whose name is death. Don't blame me, dear, and say I was not called away. Is it only when death touches our bodies that we are called? Oh, I am called, I am called, indeed!



Dr. Heidenhoff's Process - 18/18

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