Eternity Ring | Chapter 13 of 52 - Part: 1 of 4

Author: Patricia Wentworth | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1005 Views | Add a Review

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CICELY WAS PLAYING a toccata and fugue by Bach. The great crashing waves of music swept in upon her and swept her mind quite clean. All the things which had troubled and vexed her were like small dust, which this great tide of beauty carried away. When the last notes died she came back to her surroundings—but slowly, like someone waking from a sleep which has been so deep that it has drowned memory and pain. There is a time in such a waking when consciousness has returned but has not yet regained its power to wound. It lies smooth and bright, as the sea lies over a wreck. She was relaxed and quiet. Except for the organ light the church around her was dark. The air throbbed with that tremendous music, passed out of audible sound but present still.

She took her hands from the key-board and turned her head. She didn’t know why she turned it. She thought afterwards that she must have heard him move, not consciously but with that finer sense which lies at the edge of consciousness. He was standing in the shadow where the curtain which screened the organist had been drawn aside. The odd thing was that it seemed quite natural for him to be there. She could rage about it afterwards, but at the time it seemed the most natural thing in the world—the dark church—the music still echoing in her—and Grant. And all the pain gone.

But it only lasted a moment. They looked at one another, and he said,

‘Saint Cecilia—’

And that was another thing to trouble over in the watches of the night, because just how did he say it? Lightly? Mockingly? Yes—yes, of course it would be that way. But then why did it shake her heart? She turned a hot face into her pillow and gave herself the answer—‘Because I’m such a damned fool about him still.’ At the time she just sat there looking at him, her eyes wide and the light all round her. Then he said,

‘That was very fine. You’ve come along a lot.’

‘Have I?’

It didn’t really matter what she said. All that mattered was not to break this moment of release. It wouldn’t last, but she could have said like Faust, ‘Verweile doch, du bist so schön.’ With everything in her, that was what she was saying now. But not aloud. Words were too difficult. They said too much or too little. There had been too many of them already. The things she had said to Grant in love, the things she had said to him in bitter resentment, were not to be remembered now, or the moment of peace would be gone. But if she didn’t say something, he would think—She came perilously near to letting everything go without caring what he might think.

It might have been some instinctive recoil from this, it might have been something simpler and more elementary, which made her say,

‘Someone has been writing me anonymous letters.’

It was so entirely unpremeditated that the sound of the words shocked her. She had never meant to tell anyone about the letters. She had certainly never meant to tell Grant. The words had just come out of her mouth. It was rather frightening.

The effect upon Grant Hathaway was to make him duck under the rod which held the curtain and come into the light. He looked incredulous and a little angry.

‘Anonymous letters?’

She nodded.

‘About us?’

‘About you.’

She oughtn’t to have spoken about the letters. The pain was coming back. But it would have come back anyway. She must go through with it now.

He put out a hand.

‘Let me see them!’

She picked up her bag from the organ stool and opened it. The letters were in an envelope stuck down. She slit it.

‘I thought I’d burn them, and then I thought I wouldn’t. I thought if it went on I might have to try and find out who was sending them, so I put them in this envelope and stuck it down, then I thought I’d know if anyone—well, tampered with them.’

‘Did they come through the post?’

‘No. That’s what’s so horrid. They weren’t even in an envelope—just screwed up and pushed in at the hall letter-box with my name on the outside.’ She took out a crumpled piece of paper and handed it to him. ‘Look—like that.’

‘Printed, I see.’ He turned it over. ‘And the same inside.’

His face hardened as he read:

Do you want a divorce? You could get one if you knew as much as I do. He married you for your money. You know that, don’t you? Why not get free?

A well-wisher.


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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