You’re very old.”
“It hurts sometimes. But I can’t bring myself to tell you I’ve lost a sister…” She gave him a slight squeeze to get him to stop, and then went on: “And I had to make me think something of your future… but I’m very sorry.” It was such a pity that she hadn’t been more patient or more honest.
The two young men seemed to understand that he wouldn’t allow himself to be broken by such a cruel woman.
“Do you realize, my dear, that I shall die tomorrow?” he asked her, holding out his hand. She was still very young. “But I do not wish it to be tomorrow. I do not wish to go.”
“I can’t help feeling that. I’m very fond of it, but I know your life would break in half, without your sister.”
“I love her too.”
“And you do not believe I know your mind… I am in deep thought; but my dear, you’ll soon have been there. You may go when you are old enough to know the difference.”
She shook her head gravely, as if she were thinking of him in another life, and went away with a heavy sadness.
He felt ashamed. The world she had created for herself in his eyes, and the world in which he had given up his soul to, had hurt him so badly. But he had been so careful not to think it. Perhaps he could make some other beginning for himself.
He decided, however, to keep his promise to herself, and returned to his aunt’s house, not wanting to have another sister in the world.
Chapter 7. A Letter From His Aunt
In his first years, the only things which interested him were the children of his parents. In his second, he had nothing really of his own to do. He was ashamed to go down to the water-side to have a play. Nothing would fill him with pleasure. He didn’t know what to do. His friends were very far away, far, far away.
To get some pleasure from the sight of the lake or the hills or the woods, he took his friends and rode with them, or he made excursions across the country in pursuit of adventures which his imagination had invented, and of which he had no recollection.
One of his friends took him to the water-side
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