Excerpt: ... than I can." After tea, they began the inspection of the new camera, and Robert Allitsen showed her all the newest improvements. He did not seem to think much of her intelligence, for he explained everything as though he were talking to a child, until Bernardine rather lost patience. "You need not enter into such elaborate ...Read MoreExcerpt: ... than I can." After tea, they began the inspection of the new camera, and Robert Allitsen showed her all the newest improvements. He did not seem to think much of her intelligence, for he explained everything as though he were talking to a child, until Bernardine rather lost patience. "You need not enter into such elaborate explanations," she suggested. "I have a small amount of intelligence, though you do not seem to detect it." He looked at her as one might look at an impatient child. "Kindly not to interrupt me," he replied mildly. "How very impatient you are! And how restless! What must you have been like before you fell ill?" But he took the hint all the same, and shortened his explanations, and as Bernardine was genuinely interested, he was well satisfied. From time to time he looked at his old camera and at his companion, and from the expression of unease on his face, it was evident that some contest was going on in his mind. Twice he stood near his old camera, and turned round to Bernardine intending to make some remark. Then he chanced his mind, and walked abruptly to the other end of the room as though to seek advice from his chemical bottles. Bernardine meanwhile had risen from her chair, and was looking out of the window. "You have a lovely view," she said. "It must be nice to look at that when you are tired of dissecting cheese-mites. All the same, I think the white scenery gives one a great sense of sadness and loneliness." "Why do you speak always of loneliness?" he asked. "I have been thinking a good deal about it," she said. "When I was strong and vigorous, the idea of loneliness never entered my mind. Now I see how lonely most people are. If I believed in God as a Personal God, I should be inclined to think that loneliness were part of his scheme: so that the soul of man might turn to him and him alone." The Disagreeable Man was standing by his camera again: his decision was made. "Don't think about those questions," he said...Read Less
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