"I love you," I whispered suddenly with my heart beating wildly, drew her to me, drew all her beauty to me and kissed her cool and unresisting lips.
"Love me?" she said, struggling away from me, "Don't!" and then, as the train ran into a station, "You must tell no one. . . . I don't know. . . . You shouldn't have done that. . . ."
Then two other people got in with us and terminated my wooing for a time.
When we found ourselves alone together, walking towards Battersea, she had decided to be offended. I parted from her unforgiven and terribly distressed.
When we met again, she told me I must never do "that" again.
I had dreamt that to kiss her lips was ultimate satisfaction. But it was indeed only the beginning of desires. I told her my one ambition was to marry her.
"But," she said, "you're not in a position—— What's the good of talking like that?"
I stared at her. "I mean to," I said.
"You can't," she answered. "It will be years——"
"But I love you," I insisted.
I stood not a yard from the sweet lips I had kissed; I stood within arm's length of the inanimate beauty I desired to quicken, and I saw opening between us a gulf of years, toil, waiting, disappointments and an immense uncertainty.
"I love you," I said. "Don't you love me?"
She looked me in the face with grave irresponsive eyes.
"I don't know," she said. "I like you, of course. . . . One has to be sensible. . . ."
I can remember now my sense of frustration by her unresilient reply. I should have perceived then that