Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/65

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53
AT MAIDENHEAD

Dr. Martineau retained a simple fondness for a story.

“And did you meet her again?”

“Never. Of course I may have seen her as a dressed-up person and not recognized her. A day or so later I was stabbed to the heart by the discovery that the tent she came out of had been taken away.”

“She had gone?”

“For ever.”

Sir Richmond smiled brightly at the doctor’s disappointment.


§ 3

“I was never wholehearted and simple about sexual things,” Sir Richmond resumed presently. “Never. I do not think any man is. We are too much plastered-up things, too much the creatures of a tortuous and complicated evolution.”

Dr. Martineau, under his green umbrella, nodded his conceded agreement.

“This—what shall I call it?—this Dream of Women, grew up in my mind as I grew up—as something independent of and much more important than the reality of Women. It came only very slowly into relation with that. That girl on the Dymchurch beach was one of the first links, but she ceased very speedily to be real—she joined