Then her courage failed her. She was afraid of George, afraid of the look on his face that reminded
“Well, as every one knows, Mr. Davenheim did not return. Early on Sunday morning the police were communicated with, but could make neither head nor tail of the matter. Mr. Davenheim seemed literally to have vanished into thin air. He had not been to the post office; nor had he been seen passing through the village. At the station they were positive he had not departed by any train. His own motor had not left the garage. If he had hired a car to meet him in some lonely spot, it seems almost certain that by this time, in view of the large reward offered for information, the driver of it would have come forward to tell what he knew. True, there was a small race-meeting at Entfield, five miles away, and if he had walked to that station he might have passed unnoticed in the crowd. But since then his photograph and a full description of him have been circulated in every newspaper, and nobody has been able to give any news of him. We have, of course, received many letters from all over England, but each clue, so far, has ended in disappointment.
“He sho’ did, Bud. I wouldn’t lie about the old man, now that he’s dead. It ain’t right to lie about dead people—even to make ’em say nice an’ proper things they never thought of whilst alive. If we’d stop lyin’ about the ungodly dead an’ tell the truth about ’em, maybe the livin’ ’u’d stop tryin’ to foller after ’em in that respect. As it is, every one of ’em knows that no matter how wicked he lives there’ll be a lot o’ nice lies told over him after he’s gone, an’ a monument erected, maybe, to tell how good he was. An’ there’s another lot of half pious folks in the wurl it ’u’d help—kind o’ sissy pious folks—that jus’ do manage to miss all the fun in this world an’ jus’ are mean enough to ketch hell in the nex’. Get religion, but don’t get the sissy kind. So I am for tellin’ it about old man Galloway jus’ as he was.
“I didn’t know you were a mimic. That is capital. Do Tasie now. I am sure you can; and then we shall have got a laugh out of them at least.”
I paused and glanced at him. But he was gazing at me with eyes of a mild malice and he was very silent.
if legal marriage was altogether abolished. There was a time, no doubt, when there were actual legal punishments for unchastity in women, but that time has gone, it might seem, for ever. Our State retains only, from an age that held mercantile methods in less honour, a certain habit of persecuting women who sell themselves by retail for money, but this is done in the name of public order and not on account of the act. Such a woman must exact cash payments, she cannot recover debts, she is placed at a ridiculous disadvantage towards her landlord (which makes accommodating her peculiarly lucrative), and she is exposed to various inconveniences of street regulation and status that must ultimately corrupt any police force in the world—for all that she seems to continue in the land with a certain air of prosperity. Beyond that our control between man and woman is nil. Our society to-day has in fact no complete system of sexual morals at all. It has the remains of a system.
Copyright © 2020