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465
THE STICK OF THE ROCKET

torn to rags, and things drop out I've kept in it. It's true he wasn't a husband much for me at the last. But he was my child, George, he was my child and all my children, my silly child, and life has knocked him about for me, and I've never had a say in the matter; never a say; it's puffed him up and smashed him—like an old bag—under my eyes. I was clever enough to see it, and not clever enough to prevent it, and all I could do was to jeer. I've had to make what I could of it. Like most people. Like most of us. . . . But it wasn't fair, George. It wasn't fair. Life and Death—great serious things—why couldn't they leave him alone, and his lies and ways? If we could see the lightness of it——.

"Why couldn't they leave him alone?" she repeated in a whisper as we went towards the inn.