Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/226

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SECRET PLACES OF THE HEART

soliciting eyes of his? I don’t in the least love him, and this desire and service and all the rest of it he offers me—it’s not love. It’s not even such love as Caston gave me. It’s a game he plays with his imagination.”

She had released a flood of new ideas in Sir Richmond’s mind. “This is—illuminating,” he said. “You dislike Lake acutely. You always have disliked him.”

“I suppose I have. But it’s only now I admit it to myself.”

“Yes. And—— You might, for example, have married him in New York before the war.”

“It came very near to that.”

“And then probably you wouldn’t have discovered you disliked him. You wouldn’t have admitted it to yourself.”

“I suppose I shouldn’t. I suppose I should have tried to believe I loved him.”

“Women do this sort of thing. Odd! I never realized it before. And there are endless wives suppressing an acute dislike. My wife does. I see now quite clearly that she detests me. Reasonably enough. From her angle I’m entirely detestable. But she won’t admit it, won’t know of it. She never will. To the end of my life, always, she will keep that detestation unconfessed. She puts a face on the matter. We both do. And this affair of yours.... Have you thought how unjust it is to Lake?”