Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/360

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


the flickering blaze. We all remained standing, paying unconscious homage to her memory. For some seconds no one spoke. Then, turning and facing the group, Herbert said, half aloud, as if communing with himself:

“A real woman—human and big, half a dozen such would revolutionize France. And she knows—that is the best part of it”—and his voice grew stronger—“she knows! You may think you’ve reached the bottom of things—thought them all out, convinced you are right, even steer your course by your deductions—and here comes along a woman who lifts a lid uncovering a well in your soul you never dreamed of, and your conclusions go sky-high. And she does it so cleverly, and she is so sane about it all. If she were where I could get at her now and then I’d do something worth while. I’ve made up my mind to one thing, anyhow—I’m going to pull to pieces the thing I set up before I came down here and start something new. I’ve got another idea in my head—something a little more human.”

“Isn’t ‘The Savage’ human, Herbert?” I asked, filling his glass as I spoke, to give him time for reply.

“No; it’s only African—one phase of a race.