A Cigarette-Maker's Romance

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III The Count rose to his feet as he finished the last sentence. It seemed as though he were oppressed by the inaction to which he was constrained during the last hours of waiting before the great moment, and he moved nervously, like a man anxious to throw off a burden. Vjera rose also, with a slow and weary movement. "It is late," she said. "I must go home. Goodnight." " No. I will go with you. I will see you to your door." "Thank you," she answered, watching his face closely. Then the two walked side by side under the lime trees in the deepening evening shadows, to the low archway by which the road leads out of the H of gar ten on the side of the city. For some minutes neither spoke, but Vjera could hear her companion's quickly drawn, irregular breath. His heart was beating fast and his thoughts were chasing each other through a labyrinth of dreams, inconsequent, unreasonable, but brilliant in the extreme. His head high, his shoulders thrown back, his eyes flashing, his lips tightly closed, the Count marched out with his companion into the broad square. He felt that this had been the last dayof his slavery and that the morrow's sun was to rise upon a brighter and a happier period of his life, in which there should be no more poverty, no more manual labour, no more pinching and grinding and tormenting of himself in the hopeless effort at outward and visible respectability. Poor Vjera saw in his face what was passing in his mind, but her own expression of sadness did not change. On the contrary, since his last outbreak of triumphant satisfaction she had been more than usually depressed. For a long time the Count did not again notice her low spirits, being absorbed in the contemplation of his own splendid future. At last he seemed to recollect her presence...
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