Open main menu

Page:Roy Norton--The unknown Mr Kent.djvu/212

This page needs to be proofread.

THE UNKNOWN MR. KENT

unto the dream of Parsifal. A land through which she might not pass save through nobility of spirit alone. She was crushed by a sense of littleness, of unworthiness. The American had arisen to his feet and she felt his glowing eyes. She arose, confused by the swift tracery of her thought, and stood before him with bent head and hands clasped before her. She spoke, still under the spell of the dream invoked by his clear insight, but could only stammer, "I am trying am trying, Mr. Kent, to see. And I understand, now, and I don 't blame you why you despise me ! "

Had she looked up, then, she would have ob- served the swift look of pain that swept across his face, and his struggle to hold himself in leash. Just for an instant, and then, curbed by his relent- less will, it was gone, and he was merely the quiet, inflexible, and kindly man regarding her with serious eyes.

"I did not say that," he rebuked her. "You asked what you could do to help. I tried to help you. You must find the way. I can't. I don't understand women. And because of this, I have most always avoided them. I do know men. I've had to. I Ve made my way by knowing them. And after all, I may be mistaken in my ideas. Some- times I think they are foolish ; but it seems to me worth thinking over, Princess Eloise, and I've

learned that by thinking hard enough, one can al-

[208]