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I think I shall send a wire to Harvey to have the yacht got ready.
On a yacht one is safe.” “Safe from what, Dorian? You are in some
trouble. Why not tell me what it is? You know I would help you.”
“I can’t tell you, Harry,” he answered, sadly. “And I dare say it is
only a fancy of mine. This unfortunate accident has upset me. I
have a horrible presentiment that something of the kind may
happen to me.” “What nonsense!” “I hope it is, but I can’t help
feeling it. Ah! here is the Duchess, looking the Artemis in a tailor-
made gown. You see we have come back, Duchess.” “I have heard
all about it, Mr. Gray,” she answered. “Poor Geoffrey is terribly
upset. And it seems that you asked him not to shoot the hare. How
curious!” “Yes, it was very curious. I don’t know what made me
say it. Some whim, I suppose. It looked the loveliest of little live
things. But I am sorry they told you about the man. It is a hideous
subject.” “It is an annoying subject,” broke in Lord Henry. “It has
no psychological value at all. Now if Geoffrey had done the thing
on purpose, how interesting he would be! I should like to know
some one who had committed a real murder.”
“How horrid of you, Harry!” cried the Duchess. “Isn’t it, Mr. Gray?
Harry, Mr. Gray is ill again. He is going to faint.” Dorian drew
himself up with an effort, and smiled. “It is nothing, Duchess,” he
murmured; “my nerves are dreadfully out of order. That is all. I
am afraid I walked too far this morning. I didn’t hear what Harry
said. Was it very bad? You must tell me some other time. I think I
must go and lie down. You will excuse me, won’t you?” They had
reached the great flight of steps that led from the conservatory onto
the terrace. As the glass door closed behind Dorian, Lord Henry
turned and looked at the Duchess with his slumberous eyes. “Are
you very much in love with him?” he asked.
She did not answer for some time, but stood gazing at the
landscape. “I wish I knew,” she said at last.
He shook his head. “Knowledge would be fatal. It is the
uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.”
“One may lose one’s way.” “All ways end at the same point, my
dear Gladys.” “What is that?” “Disillusion.” “It was my debut in
life,” she sighed.
“It came to you crowned.” “I am tired of strawberry leaves.” “They
become you.” “Only in public.” “You would miss them,” said Lord
“I will not part with a petal.” “Monmouth has cars.” “Old age is
dull of hearing.” “Has he never been jealous?” “I wish he had
been.” He glanced about as if in search of something. “What are
you looking for?” she enquired.