The Professor’s House, by Willa Cather

The Professor

Chapter 1

All the most important things in his life, St. Peter sometimes reflected, had been determined by chance. His education in France had been an accident. His married life had been happy largely through a circumstance with which neither he nor his wife had anything to do. They had been young people with good qualities, and very much in love, but they could not have been happy if Lillian had not inherited a small income from her father — only about sixteen hundred a year, but it had made all the difference in the world. A few memorable interregnums between servants had let him know that Lillian couldn’t pinch and be shabby and do housework, as the wives of some of his colleagues did. Under such conditions she became another person, and a bitter one.

Tom Outland had been a stroke of chance he couldn’t possibly have imagined; his strange coming, his strange story, his devotion, his early death and posthumous fame — it was all fantastic. Fantastic, too, that this tramp boy should amass a fortune for someone whose name he had never heard, for “an extravagant and wheeling stranger.” The Professor often thought of that curiously bitter burst from the barytone in Brahms’ Requiem, attending the words, “He heapeth up riches and cannot tell who shall scatter them!” The vehemence of this passage had seemed to him uncalled for until he read it by the light of the history of his own family.

St. Peter thought he had fared well with fate. He wouldn’t choose to live his life over — he might not have such good luck again. He had had two romances: one of the heart, which had filled his life for many years, and a second of the mind — of the imagination. Just when the morning brightness of the world was wearing off for him, along came Outland and brought him a kind of second youth.

Through Outland’s studies, long after they had ceased to be pupil and master, he had been able to experience afresh things that had grown dull with use. The boy’s mind had the superabundance of heat which is always present where there is rich germination. To share his thoughts was to see old perspectives transformed by new effects of light.

If the last four volumes of “The Spanish Adventurers” were more simple and inevitable than those that went before, it was largely because of Outland. When St. Peter first began his work, he realized that his great drawback was the lack of early association, the fact that he had not spent his youth in the great dazzling South-west country which was the scene of his explorers’ adventures. By the time he had got as far as the third volume, into his house walked a boy who had grown up there, a boy with imagination, with the training and insight resulting from a very curious experience; who had in his pocket the secrets which old trails and stones and water-courses tell only to adolescence.

Two years after Tom’s graduation they took the copy of Fray Garces’ manuscript that the Professor had made from the original in Spain, and went down into the South-west together. By autumn they had been over every mile of his trail on horseback. Tom could take a sentence from Garces’ diary and find the exact spot at which the missionary crossed the Rio Colorado on a certain Sunday in 1775. Given one pueblo, he could always find the route by which the priest had reached the next.

It was on that trip that they went to Tom’s Blue Mesa, climbed the ladder of spliced pine-trees to the Cliff City, and up to the Eagle’s Nest. There they took Tom’s diary from the stone cupboard where he had sealed it up years ago, before he set out for Washington on his fruitless errand.

The next summer Tom went with the Professor to Old Mexico. They had planned a third summer together, in Paris, but it never came off. Outland was delayed by the formalities of securing his patent, and then came August, 1914. Father Duchene, the missionary priest who had been Tom’s teacher, stopped in Hamilton on his way back to Belgium, hurrying home to serve in any capacity he might. The rugged old man stayed in Hamilton only four days, but in that time Outland made up his mind, had a will drawn, packed, and said good-bye. He sailed with Father Duchene on the Rochambeau.

To this day St. Peter regretted that he had never got that vacation in Paris with Tom Outland. He had wanted to revisit certain spots with him: to go with him some autumn morning to the Luxembourg Gardens, when the yellow horse-chestnuts were bright and bitter after the rain; to stand with him before the monument to Delacroix and watch the sun gleam on the bronze figures — Time, bearing away the youth who was struggling to snatch his palm — or was it to lay a palm? Not that it mattered. It might have mattered to Tom, had not chance, in one great catastrophe, swept away all youth and all palms, and almost Time itself.

And suppose Tom had been more prudent, and had not gone away with his old teacher? St. Peter sometimes wondered what would have happened to him, once the trap of worldly success had been sprung on him. He couldn’t see Tom building “Outland,” or becoming a public-spirited citizen of Hamilton. What change would have come in his blue eye, in his fine long hand with the backspringing thumb, which had never handled things that were not the symbols of ideas? A hand like that, had he lived, must have been put to other uses. His fellow scientists, his wife, the town and State, would have required many duties of it. It would have had to write thousands of useless letters, frame thousands of false excuses. It would have had to “manage” a great deal of money, to be the instrument of a woman who would grow always more exacting. He had escaped all that. He had made something new in the world — and the rewards, the meaningless conventional gestures, he had left to others.

Chapter 2

All those summer days, while the Professor was sending cheerful accounts of his activities to his family in France, he was really doing very little. He had begun, in a desultory way, to annotate the diary that Tom had kept on the mesa, in which he had noted down the details of each day’s work among the ruins, along with the weather and anything unusual in the routine of their life. There was a minute description of each tool they found, of every piece of cloth and pottery, frequently accompanied by a very suggestive pencil sketch of the object and a surmise as to its use and the kind of life in which it had played a part. To St. Peter this plain account was almost beautiful, because of the stupidities it avoided and the things it did not say. If words had cost money, Tom couldn’t have used them more sparingly. The adjectives were purely descriptive, relating to form and colour, and were used to present the objects under consideration, not the young explorer’s emotions. Yet through this austerity one felt the kindling imagination, the ardour and excitement of the boy, like the vibration in a voice when the speaker strives to conceal his emotion by using only conventional phrases.

When the first of August came round, the Professor realized that he had pleasantly trifled away nearly two months at a task which should have taken little more than a week. But he had been doing a good deal besides — something he had never before been able to do.

St. Peter had always laughed at people who talked about “day-dreams,” just as he laughed at people who naively confessed that they had “an imagination.” All his life his mind had behaved in a positive fashion. When he was not at work, or being actively amused, he went to sleep. He had no twilight stage. But now he enjoyed this half-awake loafing with his brain as if it were a new sense, arriving late, like wisdom teeth. He found he could lie on his sand-spit by the lake for hours and watch the seven motionless pines drink up the sun. In the evening, after dinner, he could sit idle and watch the stars, with the same immobility. he was cultivating a novel mental dissipation — and enjoying a new friendship. Tom Outland had not come back again through the garden door (as he had so often done in dreams!), but another boy had: the boy the Professor had long ago left behind him in Kansas, in the Solomon Valley — the original, unmodified Godfrey St. Peter.

This boy and he had meant, back in those faraway days, to live some sort of life together and to share good and bad fortune. They had not shared together, for the reason that they were unevenly matched. The young St. Peter who went to France to try his luck, had a more active mind than the twin he left behind in the Solomon Valley. After his adoption into the Thierault household, he remembered that other boy very rarely, in moments of home-sickness. After he met Lillian Ornsley, St. Peter forgot that boy had ever lived.

But now that the vivid consciousness of an earlier state had come back to him, the Professor felt that life with this Kansas boy, little as there had been of it, was the realest of his lives, and that all the years between had been accidental and ordered from the outside. His career, his wife, his family, were not his life at all, but a chain of events which had happened to him. All these things had nothing to do with the person he was in the beginning.

The man he was now, the personality his friends knew, had begun to grow strong during adolescence, during the years when he was always consciously or unconsciously conjugating the verb “to love” — in society and solitude, with people, with books, with the sky and open country, in the lonesomeness of crowded city streets. When he met Lillian, it reached its maturity. From that time to this, existence had been a catching at handholds. One thing led to another and one development brought on another, and the design of his life had been the work of this secondary social man, the lover. It had been shaped by all the penalties and responsibilities of being and having been a lover. Because there was Lillian, there must be marriage and a salary. Because there was marriage, there were children. Because there were children, and fervour in the blood and brain, books were born as well as daughters. His histories, he was convinced, had no more to do with his original ego than his daughters had; they were a result of the high pressure of young manhood.

The Kansas boy who had come back to St. Peter this summer was not a scholar. He was a primitive. He was only interested in earth and woods and water. Wherever sun sunned and rain rained and snow snowed, wherever life sprouted and decayed, places were alike to him. He was not nearly so cultivated as Tom’s old cliff-dwellers must have been — and yet he was terribly wise. He seemed to be at the root of the matter; Desire under all desires, Truth under all truths. He seemed to know, among other things, that he was solitary and must always be so; he had never married, never been a father. He was earth, and would return to earth. When white clouds blew over the lake like bellying sails, when the seven pine-trees turned red in the declining sum, he felt satisfaction and said to himself merely: “That is right.” Coming upon a curly root that thrust itself across his path, he said: “That is it.” When the maple-leaves along the street began to turn yellow and waxy, and were soft to the touch, — like the skin on old faces, — he said: “That is true; it is time.” All these recognitions gave him a kind of sad pleasure.

When he was not dumbly, deeply recognizing, he was bringing up out of himself long-forgotten, unimportant memories of his early childhood, of his mother, his father, his grandfather. His grandfather, old Napoleon Godfrey, used to go about lost in profound, continuous meditation, sometimes chuckling to himself. Occasionally, at the family dinner-table, the old man would try to rouse himself, from motives of politeness, and would ask some kindly question — nearly always absurd and often the same one he had asked yesterday. The boys used to shout with laughter and wonder what profound matters could require such deep meditation, and make a man speak so foolishly about what was going on under his very eyes. St. Peter thought he was beginning to understand what the old man had been thinking about, though he himself was but fifty-two, and Napoleon had been well on in his eighties. There are only a few years, at the last, in which man can consider his estate, and he thought he might be quite as near the end of his road as his grandfather had been in those days.

The Professor knew, of course, that adolescence grafted a new creature into the original one, and that the complexion of a man’s life was largely determined by how well or ill his original self and his nature as modified by sex rubbed on together.

What he had not known was that, at a given time, that first nature could return to a man, unchanged by all the pursuits ad passions and experiences of his life; untouched even by the tastes and intellectual activities which have been strong enough to give him distinction among his fellows and to have made for him, as they say, a name in the world. Perhaps this reversion did not often occur, but he knew it had happened to him, and he suspected it had happened to his grandfather. He did not regret his life, but he was indifferent to it. It seemed to him like the life of another person.

Along with other states of mind which attended his realization of the boy Godfrey, came a conviction (he did not see it coming, it was there before he was aware of its approach) that he as nearing the end of his life. This conviction took its place so quietly, seemed so matter-of-fact, that he gave it little thought. But one day, when he realized that all the while he was preparing for the fall term he didn’t in the least believe he would be alive during the fall term, he thought he might better see a doctor.

Chapter 3

The family doctor knew all about St. Peter. It was summer, moreover, and he had plenty of time. He devoted several mornings to the Professor and made tests of the most searching kind. In the end he of course told St. Peter there was nothing the matter with him.

“What made you come to me, any discomfort or pain?”

“None. I simply feel tired all the time.”

Dr. Dudley shrugged. “So do I! Sleep well?”

“Almost too much.”

“Eat well?”

“In every sense of the word, well. I am my own chef.”

“Always a gourmet, and never anything wrong with your digestive tract! I wish you’d ask me to dine with you some night. Any of that sherry left?”

“A little. I use it plentifully.”

“I’ll bet you do! But why did you think there was something wrong with you? Low in your mind?”

“No, merely low in energy. Enjoy doing nothing. I came to you from a sense of duty.”

“How about travel?”

“I shrink from the thought of it. As I tell you, I enjoy doing nothing.”

“Then do it! There’s nothing the matter with you. Follow your inclination.”

St. Peter went home well satisfied. He did not mention to Dr. Dudley the real reason for his asking for a medical examination. One doesn’t mention such things. The feeling that he was near the conclusion of his life was an instinctive conviction, such as we have when we waken in the dark and know at once that it is near morning; or when we are walking across the country and suddenly know that we are near the sea.

Letters came every week from France. Lillian and Louie alternated, so that one or the other got off a letter to him on every fast boat . . . Louie told him that wherever they went, when they had an especially delightful day, they bought him a present. At Trouville, for instance, they had laid in dozens of the brilliant rubber casquettes he liked to wear when he went swimming. At Aix-les-Bains they found a gorgeous dressing-gown for him in a Chinese shop. St. Peter was happy in his mind about them all. He was glad they were there, and that he was here. Their generous letters, written when there were so many pleasant things to do, certainly deserved more than one reading. He used to carry them out to the lake to read them over again. After coming out of the water he would lie on the sand, holding them in his hand, but somehow never taking his eyes off the pine-trees, appliquéed against the blue water, and their ripe yellow cones, dripping with gum and clustering on the pointed tips like a mass of golden bees in swarming-time. Usually he carried his letters home unread.

His family wrote constantly about their plans for next summer, when they were going to take him over with them. Next summer? The Professor wondered . . . Sometimes he thought he would like to drive up in front of Notre Dame, in Paris, again, and see it standing there like the Rock of Ages, with the frail generation breaking about its base. He hadn’t seen it since the war.

But if he went anywhere next summer, he thought it would be down into Outland’s country, to watch the sunrise break on sculptured peaks and impassable mountain passes — to look off at those long, rugged, untamed vistas dear to the American heart. Dear to all hearts, probably — at least, calling to all. Else why had his grandfather’s grandfather, who had tramped so many miles across Europe into Russia with the Grande Armée, come out to the Canadian wilderness to forget the chagrin of his Emperor’s defeat?

Chapter 4

The fall term of the university opened, and now the Professor went to his lectures instead of to the lake. He supposed he did his work, he heard no complaints from his assistants, and the students seemed interested. He found, however, that he wasn’t willing to take the trouble to learn the names of several hundred new students. It wasn’t worth while. He felt that his relations with them would be of short duration.

The McGregors got home from their vacation in Oregon, and Scott was much amused to find the Professor so doggedly anchored in the old house.

“It never struck me, Doctor, that you were a man who would be keeping up two establishments. They’ll be coming home pretty soon, and then you’ll have to decide where you are going to live.”

“I can’t leave my study, Scott. That’s flat.”

“Don’t then! Darn it, you’ve a right to two houses if you want ’em.”

This encounter took place on the street in front of the house. The Professor went wearily upstairs and lay down on the couch, his refuge from this ever-increasing fatigue. He really didn’t see what he was going to do about the matter of domicile. He couldn’t make himself believe that he was ever going to live in the new house again. He didn’t belong there. He remembered some lines of a translation from the Norse he used to read long ago in one of his mother’s few books, a little two-volume Ticknor and Fields edition of Longfellow, in blue and gold, that used to lie on the parlour table: For thee a house was built Ere thou was born; For thee a mould was made Ere thou of woman camest.

Lying on his old couch, he could almost believe himself in that house already. The sagging springs were like the sham upholstery that is put in coffins. Just the equivocal American way of dealing with serious facts, he reflected. Why pretend that it is possible to soften that last hard bed?

He could remember a time when the loneliness of death had terrified him, when the idea of it was insupportable. He used to feel that if his wife could but lie in the same coffin with him, his body would not be so insensible that the nearness of hers would not give it comfort. But now he thought of eternal solitude with gratefulness; as a release from every obligation, from every form of effort. It was the Truth.

One morning, just as St. Peter was leaving the house to go to his class-room, the postman handed him two letters, one addressed in Lillian’s hand and one in Louie’s. He put them into his pocket. The feel of them disturbed him. They were of a suspicious thinness — as if they didn’t contain amusing gossip, but announced sudden decisions. He set off down the street, sniffing the lake-cooled morning air and trying to overcome a feeling of nervous dread.

All the morning those two letters lay in his breast pocket. Though they were so light, their effect was to make him drop his shoulders and look woefully tired. The weather, too, had changed, come on suddenly hot and sultry at noon, as if getting ready for a storm. When his classes were over and he was back in his study again, St. Peter felt no interest in lunch. He took out the two letters and ripped them open with his forefinger to have it over. Yes, all plans were changed, and by the happiest of expectations. The family were hurrying home to prepare for the advent of a young Marsellus. They would sail on the sixteenth, on the Berengaria.

Lillian added a postscript to the effect that by this same mail she was getting off a letter to Augusta, who would come to him for the keys of the new house. She would be the best person to open the house and arrange to have the cleaning done. She would take it entirely off his shoulders and see that everything was properly put in order.

They were sailing on the sixteenth, and this was the seventeenth; they were already on the water. The Berengaria was a five-day boat. St. Peter caught up his hat and light overcoat and started down the stairs. Halfway down, he stopped short, went back to his study, and softly shut the door behind him. He sat down, forgetting to take off his overcoat, though the afternoon was so hot and his face was damp with perspiration. He sat motionless, breathing unevenly, one dark hand lying clenched on his writing-table. There must, he was repeating to himself, there must be some way in which a man who had always tried to live up to his responsibilities could, when the hour of desperation came, avoid meeting his own family.

He loved his family, he would make any sacrifice for them, but just now he couldn’t live with them. He must be alone. That was more necessary, even, than his marriage had been in his vehement youth. He could not live with his family again — not even with Lillian. Especially not with Lillian! Her nature was intense and positive; it was like a chiselled surface, a die, a stamp upon which he could not be beaten out any longer. If her character were reduced to an heraldic device, it would be a hand (a beautiful hand) holding flaming arrows — the shafts of her violent loves and hates, her clear-cut ambitions.

“In great misfortunes,” he told himself, “people want to be alone. They have a right to be. And the misfortunes that occur within one are the greatest. Surely the saddest thing in the world is falling out of love — if once one has ever fallen in.”

Falling out, for him, seemed to mean falling out of all domestic and social relations, out of his place in the human family, indeed.

St. Peter did not go out of the house that afternoon. He did not leave his study. He sat at his desk with bent head, reviewing his life, trying to see where he had made his mistake, to account for the fact that he now wanted to run away from everything he had intensely cared for.

Late in the afternoon the heaviness of the air in the room drove him to the window. He saw that a storm was coming on. Great orange and purple clouds were blowing up from the lake, and the pine-trees over about the Physics laboratory were blacker than cypresses and looked contracted, as if they were awaiting something. The rain broke, and it turned cold.

The rain-storm was over in half and hour, but a heavy blow had set in for the night. The wind would be a protection, he thought. Even Augusta would hardly come plodding up the stairs to-night. It seemed strange to be dreading Augusta, but just now he did dread her. He believed he was safe, for to-night. Though it was only five o’clock, the sky was black, and the room was dusky and chilly. He lit the stove and lay down on the couch. The fire made a flickering pattern of light on the wall. He lay watching it, vacantly; without meaning to, he fell asleep. For a long while he slept deeply and peacefully. Then the wind, increasing in violence, disturbed him. He began to be aware of noises — things banging and slamming about. He turned over on his back and slept deeper still.

When St. Peter at last awoke, the room was pitch-black and full of gas. He was cold and numb, felt sick and rather dazed. The long-anticipated coincidence had happened, he realized. The storm had blown the stove out and the window shut. The thing to do was to get up and open the window. But suppose he did not get up —? How far was a man required to exert himself against accident? How would such a case be decided under English law? He hadn’t lifted his hand against himself — was he required to lift it for himself?

Chapter 5

At midnight St. Peter was lying in his study, on his box-couch, covered up with blankets, a hot water bottle at his feet; he knew it was midnight, for the clock of Augusta’s church across the park was ringing the hour. Augusta herself was there in the room, sitting in her old sewing-chair by the kerosene lamp, wrapped up in a shawl. She was reading a little much-worn religious book that she always carried in her handbag. Presently he spoke to her.

“Just when did you come in, Augusta?”

She got up and came over to him.

“Are you feeling comfortable, Doctor St. Peter?”

“Oh, very thank you. When did you happen in?”

“Not any too soon, sir,” she said gravely, with a touch of reproof. “You never would take my cautions about that old stove, and it very nearly asphyxiated you. I was barely in time to pull you out.”

“You pulled me out, literally? Where to?”

“Into the hall. I came over in the storm to ask you for the keys of the new house — I didn’t get Mrs. St. Peter’s letter until I got home from work this evening, and I came right over. When I opened the front door I smelled gas, and I knew that stove had been up to its old tricks. I supposed you’d gone out and forgot to turn it off. When I got to the second floor I heard a fall overhead, and it flashed across me that you were up here and had been overcome. I ran up and opened the two windows at the head of the stairs and dragged you out into the wind. You were lying on the floor.” She lowered her voice. “It was perfectly frightful in here.”

“I seem to remember Dudley’s being here.”

“Yes, after I’d turned off the stove and opened everything up, I went next door and telephoned for Doctor Dudley. I thought I’d better not say what the trouble was, but I asked him to come at once, as you’d been taken ill. You soon came round, but you were flighty.” Augusta hurried over her recital. She was evidently embarrassed by the behaviour of the stove and the condition in which she had found him. It was an ugly accident, and she didn’t want the neighbours to know of it.

“You must have great presence of mind, Augusta, and a strong arm as well. You say you found me on the floor? I thought I was lying here on the couch. I remember waking up and smelling gas.”

“You were stupefied, but you must have got up and tried to get to the door before you were overcome. I was on the second floor when I heard you fall. I’d never heard anyone fall before, that I can remember, but I seemed to know just what it was.

“I’m sorry to have given you a fright. I hope the gas hasn’t made your head ache.”

“All’s well that ends well, as they say. But I doubt if you ought to be talking, sir. Could you go to sleep again? I can stay till morning, if you prefer.”

“I’d be greatly obliged if you would stay the night with me, Augusta. It would be a comfort. I seem to feel rather lonely — for the first time in months.”

“That’s because your family are coming home. Very well, sir.”

“You do a good deal of this sort of thing — watching and sitting up with people, don’t you?”

“Well, when happen to be sewing in a house where there’s sickness, I am sometimes called upon.”

Augusta sat down by the table and again took up little religious book. St. Peter, with half-closed eyes, lay watching her — regarding in her humankind, as if after a definite absence from the world of men and women. If he had thought of Augusta sooner, he would have got up from the couch sooner. Her image would have at once suggested the proper action.

Augusta, he reflected, had always been a corrective, a remedial influence. When she sewed for them, she breakfasted at the house — that was part of the arrangement. She came early, often directly from church, and had her breakfast with the Professor, before the rest of the family were up. Very often she gave him some wise observation or discreet comment to begin the day with. She wasn’t at all afraid to say things that were heavily, drearily true, and though he used to wince under them, he hurried off with the feeling that they were good for him, that he didn’t have to hear such sayings half often enough. Augusta was like the taste of bitter herbs; she was the bloomless side of life that he had always run away from, — yet when he had to face it, he found that it wasn’t altogether repugnant. Sometimes she used to telephone Mrs. St. Peter that she would be a day late, because there had been a death in the family where she was sewing just then, and she was “needed.” When she met him at the table the next morning, she would look just a little more grave than usual. While she ate a generous breakfast, she would reply to his polite questions about the illness or funeral with befitting solemnity, and then go readily to another topic, not holding the dolorous note. He used to say that he didn’t mind hearing Augusta announce these deaths which seemed to happen so frequently along her way, because her manner of speaking about it made death seem less uncomfortable. She hadn’t any of the sentimentality that comes from a fear of dying. She talked about death as she spoke of a hard winter or a rainy March, or any of the sadnesses of nature.

It occurred to St. Peter, as he lay warm and relaxed but undesirous of sleep, that he would rather have Augusta with him just now than anyone he could think of. Seasoned and sound and on the solid earth she surely was, and, for all her matter-of-factness and hard-handedness, kind and loyal. He even felt a sense of obligation toward her, instinctive, escaping definition, but real. And when you admitted that a thing was real, that was enough — now.

He didn’t, on being quite honest with himself, feel any obligations toward his family. Lillian had had the best years of his life, nearly thirty, and joyful years they had been, nothing could ever change that. But they were gone. His daughters had outgrown any great need of him. In certain wayward moods Kitty would always come to him. But Rosamond, on that shopping expedition in Chicago had shown him how painful the paternal relation could be. There was still Augusta, however; a world full of Augustas, with whom one was outward bound.

All the afternoon he had sat there at the table where now Augusta was reading, thinking over his life, trying to see where had made his mistake. Perhaps the mistake was merely in an attitude of mind. He had never learned to live without delight. And he would have to learn to, just as, in a Prohibition country, he supposed he would have to learn to live without sherry. Theoretically he knew that life is possible, may be even pleasant, without joy, without passionate griefs. But it had never occurred to him that he might have to live like that.

Though he had been low-spirited all summer, he told the truth when he told Dr. Dudley that he had not been melancholy. He had no more thought of suicide than he had thought of embezzling. He had always regarded it as a grave social misdemeanour — except when it occurred in very evil times, as a form of protest. Yet when he was confronted by accidental extinction, he had felt no will to resist, but had let chance take its way, as it had done with him so often. He did not remember springing up from the couch, though he did remember a crisis, a moment of acute, agonized strangulation.

His temporary release from consciousness seemed to have been beneficial. He had let something go — and it was gone: something very precious, that he could not consciously have relinquished, probably. He doubted whether his family would ever realize that he was not the same man they had said good-bye to; they would be too happily preoccupied with their own affairs. If his apathy hurt them, they could not possibly be so much hurt as he had been already. At least, he felt the ground under his feet. He thought he knew where he was, and that he could face with fortitude the Berengaria and the future.

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