She asked for time, and he was glad to consent to the delay, so long asit did not keep him from seeing her. In matters of the emotions he wasstill as uninitiated as a child. He found himself a little dazed bythe seemingly accidental tenderness, by the promises of devotion, inwhich she proved so lavish. Morning by jocund morning he built up hisairy dreams, as carefully as she built up her nut-brown plaits. Hegrew heavily light-headed with his plans for the future. When shepleaded with him never to leave her, never to trust her too much, hepatted her thin cheek and asked when she was going to name the day.From that finality she still edged away, as though her happiness itselfwere only experimental, as though she expected the blue sky above themto deliver itself of a bolt.
But as a rule his face was expressionless. About the entire moss-greenfigure seemed something faded and futile, like a street-lamp leftburning after sunrise. At other times, as the patrolman on the beatsauntered by in his authoritative blue stippled with its metal buttons,the old peddler's watching eyes would wander wistfully after thenonchalant figure. At such times a meditative and melancholyintentness would fix itself on the faded old face, and the stooping oldshoulders would even unconsciously heave with a sigh. 2b1af7f3a8