Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/232

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for she can always find him when she wants him.’

“This view of the case brought me no relief, and so the next day I mounted my horse, took my groom, and learning that her cripple of a husband had bought another and a larger farm a few kilometres away, rode over to see her.

“I shall never forget what I found. Life presents some curious spectacles, and the ironies of fate work out the unexpected. In front of the low door of a Norman farm-house of the better class sat a gray-haired, shrivelled man with a blanket across his knees—his face of that dirty, ash-colored hue which denotes disease and constant pain. My coming made some stir, for he had seen me making my way through the orchard and had recognized my groom, and at his call the wife ran out to welcome me. My young beauty was now a thin, utterly disheartened, and worn-out woman who looked twice her age, and on whose face was stamped the hall-mark of suffering and sorrow. The brown-gold hair, the white teeth, and deep-blue eyes were there, but everything else was a wreck.

“When the horses were led away, and I had