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Vera


glittering sea, and the few white clouds hanging in the sky, all blazed and glared in an extremity of silent,
motionless heat and light.
Into this emptiness Lucy stared, motionless herself, as if she had been carved in stone. There was not a
sail on the sea, nor a line of distant smoke from any steamer, neither was there once the flash of a bird's
wing brushing across the sky. Movement seemed smitten rigid. Sound seemed to have gone to sleep.
Lucy stood staring at the sea, her face as empty of expression as the bright blank world before her. Her
father had been dead three hours, and she felt nothing.
It was just a week since they had arrived i n Cornwall, she and he, full of hope, full of pleasure in the
pretty little furnished house they had taken for August and September, full of confidence in the good
the pure air was going to do him. But there had always been confidence; there had never been a
moment during the long years of his fragility when confidence had even been questioned. He was
delicate, and she had taken care of him. She had taken care of him and he had been delicate ever since
she could remember. And ever since she could remember he had been everything in life to her. She had
had no thought since she grew up for anybody but her father. There was no room for any other thought,
so completely did he fill her heart. They had done everything together, shared everything together,
dodged the winters together, settled in charming places, seen the same beautiful things, read the same
books, talked, laughed, had friends,--heaps of friends; wherever they were her father seemed at once to
have friends, adding them to the mass he had already. She had not been away from him a day for years;
she had had no wish to go away. Where and with whom could she be so happy as with him? All the
years were years of sunshine. There had been no winters; nothing but summer, summer, and sweet
scents and soft skies, and patient understanding with her slowness--for he had the nimblest mind--and
love. He was the most amusing companion to her, the most generous friend, the most illuminating
guide, the most adoring father; and now he was dead, and she felt nothing.
Her father. Dead. For ever.
She said the words over to herself. They meant nothing.
She was going to be alone. Without him. Always.
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