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The Pastor�s Wife

by (Library of Alexandria)

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On that April afternoon all the wallflowers of the world seemed to her released body to have been piled up at the top of Regent Street so that she should walk in fragrance. She was in this exalted mood, the little mouse-coloured young lady slipping along southwards from Harley Street, because she had just had a tooth out. After weeks of miserable indifference she was quivering with responsiveness again, feeling the relish of life, the tang of it, the jollity of all this bustle and hurrying past of busy people. And the beauty of it, the beauty of it, she thought, fighting a tendency to loiter in the middle of the traffic to have a good look -- the beauty of the sky across the roofs of the houses, the delicacy of the mistiness that hung down there over the curve of the street, the loveliness of the lights beginning to shine in the shop windows. Surely the colour of London was an exquisite thing. It was like a pearl that late afternoon, something very gentle and pale, with faint blue shadows. And as for its smell, she doubted, indeed, whether heaven itself could smell better, certainly not so interesting. And anyhow, she said to herself, lifting her head a moment in appreciation, it can't possibly smell more alive. She herself had certainly never been more alive. She felt electric. She would not have been surprised if sparks had come crackling out of the tips of her sober gloves. Not only was she suddenly and incredibly relieved from acute pain, but for the first time in her life of twenty-two years she was alone. This by itself, without the business of the tooth, was enough to make a dutiful, willing, and hardworked daughter tingle. She would have tingled if by some glorious chance a whole free day had come to her merely inside the grey walls of the garden at home; but to be free and idle in London, to have them all so far away, her family down there in the west, to have them so necessarily silent, so oddly vague already and pallid in the distance! Yet she had only left them that morning; it was only nine hours since her father, handsome as an archangel, silvery of head and gaitered of leg, had waved her off from the doorstep with offended resignation. And do not return, Ingeborg, he had called into the fly where she sat holding her face and trying not to rock, till you are completely set right. Even a week. Even ten days. Have them all seen to

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Additional Info

  • Publication Date: July 29, 2009
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 239 Pages
  • File Size: 1,122 KB

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