Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/81

This page needs to be proofread.
69
AT MAIDENHEAD

turer from the midlands is in much the same case as he is, that does not dismiss the case. It makes it a more important one, much more important: it makes it a type case with the exceptional quality of being self-expressive.... Almost too self-expressive.

“Sir Richmond does, after all, make out a sort of case for himself....

“A valid case?”

The doctor sat deep in his chair, frowning judicially with the fingers of one hand apposed to the fingers of the other. “He makes me bristle because all his life and ideas challenge my way of living.... But if I eliminate the personal element?”

He pulled a sheet of note-paper towards him and began to jot down notes with a silver-cased pencil. Soon he discontinued writing and sat tapping his pencil-case on the table.

“The amazing selfishness of his attitude! I do not think that once—not once—has he judged any woman except as a contributor to his energy and peace of mind.... Except in the case of his wife....

“For her his habit of respect was formed before his ideas developed....

“That I think explains her....

“What was his phrase about the unfortunate young woman with the carbuncle?... ‘Totally Useless and unnecessary illness,’ was it?...