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Chapter XIV
Blix and Condy went on; on along the narrow road upon the edge of the salt marshes
and tules that lay between the station and the Golden Gate; on to the Golden Gate
itself, and around the old grime-incrusted fort to the ocean shore, with its reaches of
hard, white sand, where the bowlders lay tumbled and the surf grumbled incessantly.
The world seemed very far away from them here on the shores of the Pacific, on that
first afternoon of the New Year. They were supremely happy, and they sufficed to
themselves. Condy had forgotten all about the next day, when he must say good-by to
It did not seem possible, it was not within the bounds of possibility, that she was to go
away--that they two were to be separated. And for that matter, to-morrow was to-
morrow. It was twenty-four hours away. The present moment was sufficient.
The persistence with which they clung to the immediate moment, their happiness in
living only in the present, had brought about a rather curious condition of things
between them.
In their love for each other there was no thought of marriage; they were too much
occupied with the joy of being together at that particular instant to think of the future.
They loved each other, and that was enough. They did not look ahead further than the
following day, and then but furtively, and only in order that their morrow's parting might
intensify their happiness of to-day. That New Year's Day was to be the end of
everything. Blix was going; she and Condy would never see each other again. The
thought of marriage--with its certain responsibilities, its duties, its gravity, its vague,
troublous seriousness, its inevitable disappointments--was even a little distasteful to
them. Their romance had been hitherto without a flaw; they had been genuinely happy
in little things. It was as well that it should end that day, in all its pristine sweetness,
unsullied by a single bitter moment, undimmed by the cloud of a single disillusion or
disappointment. Whatever chanced to them in later years, they could at least cherish
this one memory of a pure, unselfish affection, young and unstained and almost without
thought of sex, come and gone on the very threshold of their lives. This was the end,
they both understood. They were glad that it was to be so. They did not even speak
again of writing to each other.
They found once more the little semicircle of blackberry bushes and the fallen log, half-
way up the hill above the shore, and sat there a while, looking down upon the long
green rollers, marching incessantly toward the beach, and there breaking in a prolonged
explosion of solid green water and flying spume. And their glance followed their
succeeding ranks further and further out to sea, till the multitude blended into the mass--
the vast, green, shifting mass that drew the eye on and on, to the abrupt, fine line of the