Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/314

This page has been validated.
276
MY LIFE AND LOVES.

mere desire", I said, "just the wish to kiss and enjoy you, strikes the man first; but behind that lust is often a good deal of affection, and sometimes a deep and sacred tenderness comes to flower; whereas the girl begins with the liking and affection and learns to enjoy the kissing and caressing afterwards".

"I see", she rejoined quietly, "I think I understand: I'm glad to believe that".

Her unexpected depth and sincerity impressed me and I continued:

"We men may be so hungry that we will eat very poor fruit greedily because it's at hand; but that doesn't prove that we don't prefer good and sweet and nourishing food when we can get it". She let her eyes dwell on mine: "I see", she said, "I see!"

And then I went on tell her how lovely she was and how she had made a deathless impression on me and I ventured to hope she liked me a little and would yet be good to me and come to care for me, and I was infinitely pleased to find that this was the right sort of talk and I did my best in the new strain. Three or four times a week I took her out in a buggy and in a little while I had taught her how to kiss and won her to confess that she cared for me, loved me indeed and bit by bit she allowed me the little familiarities of love.

One day I took her out early for a picnic and said, "I'll play Turk and you must treat me" and I stretched myself out on a rug under a tree. She entered into the spirit of the game with zest, brought me food and at length, as she stood close beside me, I couldn't control myself; I put my hand up her dress on her firm legs and sex. Next moment I was kneeling beside her: "Love me, Rose", I begged, "I want you so: I'm hungry for you, dear!"

She looked at me gravely with wide-open eyes: