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12. Chapter XII (continued)
The party having ended in the very abrupt way in which parties do end, Helen and Rachel stood by the door with their cloaks on, looking for a carriage.
"I suppose you realise that there are no carriages left?" said St. John, who had been out to look. "You must sleep here."
"Oh, no," said Helen; "we shall walk."
"May we come too?" Hewet asked. "We can't go to bed. Imagine lying among bolsters and looking at one's washstand on a morning like this-- Is that where you live?" They had begun to walk down the avenue, and he turned and pointed at the white and green villa on the hillside, which seemed to have its eyes shut.
"That's not a light burning, is it?" Helen asked anxiously.
"It's the sun," said St. John. The upper windows had each a spot of gold on them.
"I was afraid it was my husband, still reading Greek," she said. "All this time he's been editing Pindar."
They passed through the town and turned up the steep road, which was perfectly clear, though still unbordered by shadows. Partly because they were tired, and partly because the early light subdued them, they scarcely spoke, but breathed in the delicious fresh air, which seemed to belong to a different state of life from the air at midday. When they came to the high yellow wall, where the lane turned off from the road, Helen was for dismissing the two young men.
"You've come far enough," she said. "Go back to bed."
But they seemed unwilling to move.
"Let's sit down a moment," said Hewet. He spread his coat on the ground. "Let's sit down and consider." They sat down and looked out over the bay; it was very still, the sea was rippling faintly, and lines of green and blue were beginning to stripe it. There were no sailing boats as yet, but a steamer was anchored in the bay, looking very ghostly in the mist; it gave one unearthly cry, and then all was silent.
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