The Hand of Ethelberta
6.The Shore By Wyndway
The east gleamed upon Ethelberta's squirrel-coloured hair
as she said to her companion, 'I have come, Picotee; but
not, as you imagine, from a night's sleep. We have actually
been dancing till daylight at Wyndway.'
'Then you should not have troubled to come! I could have
borne the disappointment under such circumstances,' said
the pupil-teacher, who, wearing a dress not so familiar to
Christopher's eyes as had been the little white jacket, had
not been recognized by him from the hill. 'You look so tired,
Berta. I could not stay up all night for the world!'
'One gets used to these things,' said Ethelberta quietly. 'I
should have been in bed certainly, had I not particularly
wished to use this opportunity of meeting you before you go
home to-morrow. I could not have come to Sandbourne to-
day, because we are leaving to return again to Rookington.
This is all that I wish you to take to mother--only a few little
things which may be useful to her; but you will see what it
contains when you open it.' She handed to Picotee a small
parcel. 'This is for yourself,' she went on, giving a small
packet besides. 'It will pay your fare home and back, and
leave you something to spare.'
'Thank you,' said Picotee docilely.
'Now, Picotee,' continued the elder, 'let us talk for a few
minutes before I go back: we may not meet again for some
time.' She put her arm round the waist of Picotee, who did
the same by Ethelberta; and thus interlaced they walked
backwards and forwards upon the firm flat sand with the
motion of one body animated by one will.
'Well, what did you think of my poems?'
'I liked them; but naturally, I did not understand all the
experience you describe. It is so different from mine. Yet that
made them more interesting to me. I thought I should so