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me like a magic cloud. Unfamiliar with the complex Oriental

2023-12-03 15:19:18 source:School of insects and fishauthor: internet click:336Second-rate

"They were living at Cairo at the period; her husband held an important official position there, and by virtue of this, and of her own beauty and tact, her house soon became the centre of the Anglo- Saxon society ever drifting in and out of the city. The women disliked her, and copied her. The men spoke slightingly of her to their wives, lightly of her to each other, and made idiots of themselves when they were alone with her. She laughed at them to their faces, and mimicked them behind their backs. Their friends said it was clever.

me like a magic cloud. Unfamiliar with the complex Oriental

"One year there arrived a young English engineer, who had come out to superintend some canal works. He brought with him satisfactory letters of recommendation, and was at once received by the European residents as a welcome addition to their social circle. He was not particularly good-looking, he was not remarkably charming, but he possessed the one thing that few women can resist in a man, and that is strength. The woman looked at the man, and the man looked back at the woman; and the drama began.

me like a magic cloud. Unfamiliar with the complex Oriental

"Scandal flies swiftly through small communities. Before a month, their relationship was the chief topic of conversation throughout the quarter. In less than two, it reached the ears of the woman's husband.

me like a magic cloud. Unfamiliar with the complex Oriental

"He was either an exceptionally mean or an exceptionally noble character, according to how one views the matter. He worshipped his wife--as men with big hearts and weak brains often do worship such women--with dog-like devotion. His only dread was lest the scandal should reach proportions that would compel him to take notice of it, and thus bring shame and suffering upon the woman to whom he would have given his life. That a man who saw her should love her seemed natural to him; that she should have grown tired of himself, a thing not to be wondered at. He was grateful to her for having once loved him, for a little while.

"As for 'the other man,' he proved somewhat of an enigma to the gossips. He attempted no secrecy; if anything, he rather paraded his subjugation--or his conquest, it was difficult to decide which term to apply. He rode and drove with her; visited her in public and in private (in such privacy as can be hoped for in a house filled with chattering servants, and watched by spying eyes); loaded her with expensive presents, which she wore openly, and papered his smoking-den with her photographs. Yet he never allowed himself to appear in the least degree ridiculous; never allowed her to come between him and his work. A letter from her, he would lay aside unopened until he had finished what he evidently regarded as more important business. When boudoir and engine-shed became rivals, it was the boudoir that had to wait.

"The woman chafed under his self-control, which stung her like a lash, but clung to him the more abjectly.

"'Tell me you love me!' she would cry fiercely, stretching her white arms towards him.

"'I have told you so,' he would reply calmly, without moving.

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