Chapter 8
Same day, 11 o'clock P.M.--Oh, but I am tired! If it were not that I had made my diary a
duty I should not open it tonight. We had a lovely walk. Lucy, after a while, was in gay
spirits, owing, I think, to some dear cows who came nosing towards us in a field close to
the lighthouse, and frightened the wits out of us. I believe we forgot everything, except
of course, personal fear, and it seemed to wipe the slate clean and give us a fresh start.
We had a capital `severe tea' at Robin Hood's Bay in a sweet little old-fashioned inn,
with a bow window right over the seaweed-covered rocks of the strand. I believe we
should have shocked the `New Woman' with our appetites. Men are more tolerant, bless
them! Then we walked home with some, or rather many, stoppages to rest, and with our
hearts full of a constant dread of wild bulls.
Lucy was really tired, and we intended to creep off to bed as soon as we could. The
young curate came in, however, and Mrs. Westenra asked him to stay for supper. Lucy
and I had both a fight for it with the dusty miller. I know it was a hard fight on my part,
and I am quite heroic. I think that some day the bishops must get together and see
about breeding up a new class of curates, who don't take supper, no matter how hard
they may be pressed to, and who will know when girls are tired.
Lucy is asleep and breathing softly. She has more color in her cheeks than usual, and
looks, oh so sweet. If Mr. Holmwood fell in love with her seeing her only in the drawing
room, I wonder what he would say if he saw her now. Some of the `New Women' writers
will some day start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other
asleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the `New Woman' won't
condescend in future to accept. She will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she
will make of it too! There's some consolation in that. I am so happy tonight, because
dear Lucy seems better. I really believe she has turned the corner, and that we are over
her troubles with dreaming. I should be quite happy if I only knew if Jonathan. . .God
bless and keep him.
11 August.--Diary again. No sleep now, so I may as well write. I am too agitated to
sleep. We have had such an adventure, such an agonizing experience. I fell asleep as
soon as I had closed my diary. . . Suddenly I became broad awake, and sat up, with a
horrible sense of fear upon me, and of some feeling of emptiness around me. The room
was dark, so I could not see Lucy's bed. I stole across and felt for her. The bed was
empty. I lit a match and found that she was not in the room. The door was shut, but not
locked, as I had left it. I feared to wake her mother, who has been more than usually ill
lately, so threw on some clothes and got ready to look for her. As I was leaving the
room it struck me that the clothes she wore might give me some clue to her dreaming
intention. Dressing-gown would mean house, dress outside. Dressing-gown and dress
were both in their places. "Thank God," I said to myself, "she cannot be far, as she is
only in her nightdress."