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because you know this is not the parting we've talked of, but only a very temporary affair indeed. Let us say a fortnight. Directly he is better I'll come flying back to you. You do understand?"

She patted his hand, still standing close beside him in the dusky room.

He put his arms round her. "Speak to me, Lina! Teil me that you understand?"

"I do, I do," she whispered, "only things like this are so frightening. It takes a little time to get used to them. When you told me, it was like a thunderbolt. We were so happy, laughing all the time about nothing at all. We've had such a perfect day. And then this letter . . . but I know you must return. Shall you go early in the morning?"

"My darling, I must go to-night. By to-morrow I must leave Paris."

"Oh, not to-night! Not now! Surely, surely, you needn't do that?"

"I would feel guilty," he said, "if I postponed going until to-morrow. And—and—wel!, it would make it even more difficult for me if I stayed. God knows, it's bad enough now."

"Very well. I'll ring for Marie."

"Lina! Come here a moment! Teil me you are not angry."

"Angry! With you, my dear? I could no more be angry with you than I could be unfaithful to you. Only, if you've got to go, we must get Marie to pack your clothes, and we must order Jean and the horses."

She pulled the bell.

"Lina, once again, will you marry me when I come back to you?"

"You know that's impossible! In any case, don't let's talk about it now, when we have so little time."