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hand with need: besides it gave me a good excuse for not visiting her even weekly. "I must work!" I kept repeating though I was ashamed of the lie.

"Don't whip me, dear!" she pleaded; "my impotence to help you is painful enough; give me time to think. I know Mayhew is quite well off: give me a day or two, but come to me when you can. You see, I've no pride where you are concerned: I just beg like a dog for kind treatment for my love's sake. I wouldn't have believed that I could be so transformed. I was always so proud: my husband calls me 'proud and cold’, me cold! It's true I shiver when I hear your voice, but it's the shivering of fever. When you came in just now unexpectedly and kissed me, waves of heat swept over me: my womb moved inside me. I never felt that till I had loved you and now, of course, my sex burns—I wish I were cold: a cold woman could rule the world—

"But no! I wouldn't change. Just as I never wished to be a man, never; though other girls used to say they would like to change their sex; I, never! And since I've been married, less than ever. What's a man? His love is over before ours begins—"

"Really!" I broke in grinning.

"Not you, my beloved!" she cried, "oh, not you; but then you are more than man! Come, don't let us waste time in talk. Now I have you, take me to our Heaven. I'm ready, 'ripe-ready' is your word: I go to our bed as to an altar. If I'm only to have you even less than once a week, don't come again for ten days: I shall be well again then and you can surely come to me a few days running: I want to reach the heights and hug the illusion, cramming one hot week with bliss and then death for a fortnight. What rags we women are! Come, dear, I will be your sheath and you shall be the sword and drive right into me—