12. Chapter XII.
She said slowly: "No; it wouldn't be fair."
The fire had crumbled down to greyness, and one of
the lamps made a gurgling appeal for attention. Madame
Olenska rose, wound it up and returned to the
fire, but without resuming her seat.
Her remaining on her feet seemed to signify that
there was nothing more for either of them to say, and
Archer stood up also.
"Very well; I will do what you wish," she said
abruptly. The blood rushed to his forehead; and, taken
aback by the suddenness of her surrender, he caught
her two hands awkwardly in his.
"I--I do want to help you," he said.
"You do help me. Good night, my cousin."
He bent and laid his lips on her hands, which were
cold and lifeless. She drew them away, and he turned
to the door, found his coat and hat under the faint
gas-light of the hall, and plunged out into the winter
night bursting with the belated eloquence of the inarticulate.