Lady Chatterley's Lover
Connie was a good deal alone now, fewer people came to Wragby. Clifford no
longer wanted them. He had turned against even the cronies. He was queer. He
preferred the radio, which he had installed at some expense, with a good deal of
success at last. He could sometimes get Madrid or Frankfurt, even there in the
And he would sit alone for hours listening to the loudspeaker bellowing forth. It
amazed and stunned Connie. But there he would sit, with a blank entranced
expression on his face, like a person losing his mind, and listen, or seem to
listen, to the unspeakable thing.
Was he really listening? Or was it a sort of soporific he took, whilst something
else worked on underneath in him? Connie did now know. She fled up to her
room, or out of doors to the wood. A kind of terror filled her sometimes, a terror of
the incipient insanity of the whole civilized species.
But now that Clifford was drifting off to this other weirdness of industrial activity,
becoming almost a creature, with a hard, efficient shell of an exterior and a pulpy
interior, one of the amazing crabs and lobsters of the modern, industrial and
financial world, invertebrates of the crustacean order, with shells of steel, like
machines, and inner bodies of soft pulp, Connie herself was really completely
She was not even free, for Clifford must have her there. He seemed to have a
nervous terror that she should leave him. The curious pulpy part of him, the
emotional and humanly-individual part, depended on her with terror, like a child,
almost like an idiot. She must be there, there at Wragby, a Lady Chatterley, his
wife. Otherwise he would be lost like an idiot on a moor.
This amazing dependence Connie realized with a sort of horror. She heard him
with his pit managers, with the members of his Board, with young scientists, and
she was amazed at his shrewd insight into things, his power, his uncanny
material power over what is called practical men. He had become a practical man
himself and an amazingly astute and powerful one, a master. Connie attributed it
to Mrs. Bolton's influence upon him, just at the crisis in his life.
But this astute and practical man was almost an idiot when left alone to his own
emotional life. He worshipped Connie. She was his wife, a higher being, and he
worshipped her with a queer, craven idolatry, like a savage, a worship based on
enormous fear, and even hate of the power of the idol, the dread idol. All he
wanted was for Connie to swear, to swear not to leave him, not to give him away.
"Clifford," she said to him--but this was after she had the key to the hut--"Would
you really like me to have a child one day?"
He looked at her with a furtive apprehension in his rather prominent pale eyes.
"I shouldn't mind, if it made no difference between us," he said.
"No difference to what?" she asked.
"To you and me; to our love for one another. If it's going to affect that, then I'm all
against it. Why, I might even one day have a child of my own!"
She looked at him in amazement.