Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/153

This page needs to be proofread.
141
THE ENCOUNTER AT STONEHENGE

are visiting the old homes. I am glad I came back to it just when you were doing the same thing.”

“I’m lucky to have found a sympathetic fellow traveller,” she said; “with a car.”

“You’re the first American I’ve ever met whose interest in history didn’t seem——” He sought for an inoffensive word.

“Silly? Oh! I admit it. It’s true of a lot of us. Most of us. We come over to Europe as if it hadn’t anything to do with us except to supply us with old pictures and curios generally. We come sight-seeing. It’s romantic. It’s picturesque. We stare at the natives—like visitors at a Zoo. We don’t realize that we belong.... I know our style.... But we aren’t all like that. Some of us are learning a bit better than that. We have one or two teachers over there to lighten our darkness. There’s Professor Breasted for instance. He comes sometimes to my father’s house. And there’s James Harvey Robinson and Professor Hutton Webster. They’ve been trying to restore our memory.”

“I’ve never heard of any of them,” said Sir Richmond.

“You hear so little of America over here. It’s quite a large country and all sorts of interesting things happen there nowadays. And we are waking up to history. Quite fast. We shan’t always be the most ignorant people in the world. We are