Martin Eden HTML version

Chapter 19
Ruth and her family were home again, and Martin, returned to Oakland, saw
much of her. Having gained her degree, she was doing no more studying; and
he, having worked all vitality out of his mind and body, was doing no writing. This
gave them time for each other that they had never had before, and their intimacy
ripened fast.
At first, Martin had done nothing but rest. He had slept a great deal, and spent
long hours musing and thinking and doing nothing. He was like one recovering
from some terrible bout if hardship. The first signs of reawakening came when he
discovered more than languid interest in the daily paper. Then he began to read
again - light novels, and poetry; and after several days more he was head over
heels in his long-neglected Fiske. His splendid body and health made new
vitality, and he possessed all the resiliency and rebound of youth.
Ruth showed her disappointment plainly when he announced that he was going
to sea for another voyage as soon as he was well rested.
"Why do you want to do that?" she asked.
"Money," was the answer. "I'll have to lay in a supply for my next attack on the
editors. Money is the sinews of war, in my case - money and patience."
"But if all you wanted was money, why didn't you stay in the laundry?"
"Because the laundry was making a beast of me. Too much work of that sort
drives to drink."
She stared at him with horror in her eyes.
"Do you mean - ?" she quavered.
It would have been easy for him to get out of it; but his natural impulse was for
frankness, and he remembered his old resolve to be frank, no matter what
"Yes," he answered. "Just that. Several times."
She shivered and drew away from him.
"No man that I have ever known did that - ever did that."