I could tie on the whipcord every night for a month or two, he put on weight and gained strength surprisingly.
The worst of it was that this improvement in health always led to a day or two spent with his betrothed, which undid all the good. I advised him to marry and then control himself rigorously; but he wanted to get well first and be his vigorous self again. I did all I knew to help him but for a long time I had no suspicion that an occasional wet-dream could have serious consequences. We used to make fun of them as schoolboys: how could I imagine—but as it is the finest, most highly strung natures that are most apt to suffer in this way, I will tell what happened step by step: suffice it to say here that he was in better health when staying with me at the Gregory's than he had been before and I continually hoped for a permanent improvement.
After our talk that first night in Gregory's, I went downstairs to the dining-room, hoping to find Kate alone: I was lucky: she had persuaded her mother, who was tired, to go to bed and was just finishing her tidying up.
"I want you so, Kate," I said, trying to kiss her: she drew her head aside: "That's why you've kept away all afternoon" I suppose; and she looked at me with sidelong glance. An inspiration came to me: "Kate", I exclaimed, "I had to be fitted for my new clothes!" "Forgive me", she cried at once, that excuse being valid: "I thought, I feared—oh I'm suspicious without reason, I know, am jealous without cause, there! I confess!" and the great hazel eyes turned on me full of love.
I played with her breasts, whispering "When am I to see you naked, Kate? I want to; when?" "You've seen most of me!" and she laughed joyously!