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The Zeppelin's Passenger

Chapter 8
"Tell me, Mr. Lessingham," Philippa insisted, "exactly what are you thinking of? You
looked so dark and mysterious from the ridge below that I've climbed up on purpose to
ask you."
Lessingham held out his hand to steady her. They were standing on a sharp spur of the
cliffs, the north wind blowing in their faces, thrashing into little flecks of white foam the
sea below, on which the twilight was already resting. For a moment or two neither of
them could speak.
"I was thinking of my country," he confessed. "I was looking through the shadows there,
right across the North Sea."
"To Germany?"
He shook his head.
"Further away - to Sweden."
"I forgot," she murmured. "You looked as though you were posing for a statue of some
one in exile," she observed. "Come, let us go a little lower down - unless you want to stay
here and be blown to pieces."
"I was on my way back to the hotel," he answered quickly, as he followed her lead, "but
to tell you the truth I was feeling a little lonely."
"That," she declared," is your own fault. I asked you to come to Mainsail Haul whenever
you felt inclined."
"As I have felt inclined ever since the evening I arrived," he remarked with a smile, "you
might, perhaps, by this time have had a little too much of me."
"On the contrary," she told him, "I quite expected you yesterday afternoon, to tell me how
you like the place and what you have been doing. So you were thinking about - over
there?" she added, moving her head seawards.
"Over there absorbs a great deal of one's thoughts," he confessed, "and the rest of them
have been playing me queer tricks."
"Well, I should like to hear about the first half," she insisted.
"Do you know," he replied, "there are times when even now this war seems to me like an
unreal thing, like something I have been reading about, some wild imagining of Shelley
or one of the unrestrainable poets. I can't believe that millions of the flower of Germany's
manhood and yours have perished helplessly, hopelessly, cruelly. And France - poor
decimated France!"
"Well, Germany started the war, you know," she reminded him.
 
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