Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/70

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tiful and wonderful.... I do not excuse myself. Still less do I condemn myself. I put the facts before you. So it was.”

“There were no children by your marriage?”

“Your line of thought, doctor, is too philoprogenitive. We have had three. My daughter was married two years ago. She is in America. One little boy died when he was three. The other is in India, taking up the Mardipore power scheme again now that he is out of the army.... No, it is simply that I was hopelessly disappointed with everything that a good woman and a decent marriage had to give me. Pure disappointment and vexation. The anti-climax to an immense expectation built up throughout an imaginative boyhood and youth and early manhood. I was shocked and ashamed at my own disappointment. I thought it mean and base. Nevertheless this orderly household into which I had placed my life, these almost methodical connubialities....”

He broke off in mid-sentence.

Dr. Martineau shook his head disapprovingly.

“No,” he said, “it wasn’t fair to your wife.”

“It was shockingly unfair. I have always realized that. I’ve done what I could to make things up to her.... Heaven knows what counter disappointments she has concealed.... But it is no good arguing about rights and wrongs now. This is not an apology for my life. I am telling you what happened.