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The Aeroplane: commencement
(1912)

Literary,   pp. 40-[60]


Page 45

T    H     E       A     E   R G       P    L    A    N    E 
with poor simple old father; back to the cave and the gardens with 
father! Oh, fatner, farther!" 
And I was frced to see and hear everything! Lucile, suffering, 
Luncile in tears. Who can describe fhe intense agony that was 
mine? 
With an effort she controlled herself, bnt instead of tears came 
sighs that rent the heart asunder. What could I say? How could 
I comfort her? 
Long we sat in silence until she fell into a quiet slumber and I 
left her and pondered. And bitter were my thoughts at the world 
which had so disgusted my Lucile. 
Days passed and still Lucile languished. Whiter grew her skin, 
slower her movements; 'buit the eyes became day by day clearer and 
more brilliant. And now there dwelt in them such an expression of 
persecution and martyrdom, which told me more than words could 
ever tell the suffering she was undergoing. The doctors were puz- 
zled. "A strange case" they said. 
One day I entered her apartmenLt. She seemed asleep. Minutes 
passed and then I heard a sigh as she awoke that thrilled me through 
and through. She turned toward me and smiled, but how spiritual 
was the smile! It frightened me, and once more the feeling of im- 
pending evil held me in ilts grasp. With a sudden impulse I ran to 
her. 
"Lucile," I cried, "Your illness is killing me. For my sake
as 
well as for your own, be brave, and I will help you face the world 
which you think you despise. It possesses wonders which will please 
you, enjoyments which you will learn to love." 
Her answer was another smile, but a pitying one this time as if 
in depreciation of my ignorance, it drove me nearly mad, and I en- 
joined her by all things holy to tell me if there existed anything in 
this world that would dispell the melancholia which enveloped her, 
and was making her a shadow of her former self. 
A long time she pondered as if in doubht. Then she said: "One 
thing." and the thought at that very instant brought back some of 
the color to her cheeks and a living light to her eyes. "Only one 
thing," she repeated, "and-oh, how hard itt is to tell you this,"
she 
broke off, "You, who have been so kind to me and  ." 
"Go on," I commanded eagerly, "Tell me." 
And she said longingly, entreatingly, "Take me back to the is- 
land, to the wild scenes of my father. That is what I must have. 
Take me back to remembrances of my childhood that I may die!" 
"Die!" I gasped and 'tottered. I grasped her by the shoulders 
and shook her, yes, shook her. I shouted, "Don't dare to repeat 
that awful word, do you hear?" I stopped appalled at my action, 
and soon I was begging forgiveness of her on my knees. "Listen, 
Lucile," I proceeded after a while, "I, too, am sick of this world
which 
has caused you such misery. I am tired of it and I must have you. 
I will take you where you wish, but not to die-to live as you used 
to live." 
Page Forty Five 


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