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The Immortal Moment The Story of Kitty Tailleur   By: (1863-1946)

The Immortal Moment The Story of Kitty Tailleur by May Sinclair

First Page:

THE IMMORTAL MOMENT

Books by

MAY SINCLAIR

The Helpmate The Divine Fire Two Sides of a Question Mr. and Mrs. Nevill Tyson Etc., etc.

[Illustration: "Kitty's face ... pleaded with the other face in the glass."]

THE IMMORTAL MOMENT

The Story of Kitty Tailleur

By

MAY SINCLAIR

ILLUSTRATED AND DECORATED BY

C. COLES PHILLIPS.

NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY PAGE & CO. 1908

COPYRIGHT, 1908 BY

MAY SINCLAIR

PUBLISHED, OCTOBER, 1908

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

PUBLISHERS' NOTE

THIS STORY APPEARS IN ENGLAND UNDER THE TITLE "KITTY TAILLEUR"

ILLUSTRATIONS

"Kitty's face ... pleaded with the other face in the glass" FRONTISPIECE

"She stood there, strangely still ... before the pitiless stare that went up to her appealing face" 10

"'You won't be tied to me a minute longer than you like'" 208

"'I want to make you loathe me ... never see me again'" 268

[Illustration: THE IMMORTAL MOMENT]

THE IMMORTAL MOMENT

CHAPTER I

They came into the hotel dining room like young persons making their first entry into life. They carried themselves with an air of subdued audacity, of innocent inquiry. When the great doors opened to them they stood still on the threshold, charmed, expectant. There was the magic of quest, of pure, unspoiled adventure in their very efforts to catch the head waiter's eye. It was as if they called from its fantastic dwelling place the attendant spirit of delight.

You could never have guessed how old they were. He, at thirty five, had preserved, by some miracle, his alert and slender adolescence. In his brown, clean shaven face, keen with pleasure, you saw the clear, serious eyes and the adorable smile of seventeen. She, at thirty, had kept the wide eyes and tender mouth of childhood. Her face had a child's immortal, spiritual appeal.

They were charming with each other. You might have taken them for bride and bridegroom, his absorption in her was so unimpaired. But their names in the visitors' book stood as Mr. Robert Lucy and Miss Jane Lucy. They were brother and sister. You gathered it from something absurdly alike in their faces, something profound and racial and enduring.

For they combined it all, the youth, the abandonment, the innocence, with an indomitable distinction.

They made their way with easy, unembarrassed movements, and seated themselves at a table by an open window. They bent their brows together over the menu. The head waiter (who had flown at last to their high summons) made them his peculiar care, and they turned to him with the helplessness of children. He told them what things they would like, what things (he seemed to say) would be good for them. And when he went away with their order they looked at each other and laughed, softly and instantaneously.

They had done the right thing. They both said it at the same moment, smiling triumphantly into each other's face. Southbourne was exquisite in young June, at the dawn of its season. And the Cliff Hotel promised what they wanted, a gay seclusion, a refined publicity.

If you were grossly rich, you went to the big Hôtel Métropole, opposite. If you were a person of fastidious tastes and an attenuated income, you felt the superior charm of the Cliff Hotel. The little house, the joy of its proprietor, was hidden in the privacy of its own beautiful grounds, having its back to the high road and its face to the open sea. They had taken stock of it that morning, with its clean walls, white as the Cliff it stood on; its bay windows, its long, green roofed veranda, looking south; its sharp, slated roofs and gables, all sheltered by the folding Downs.

They did not know which of them had first suggested Southbourne. Probably they had both thought of it at the same moment, as they were thinking now... Continue reading book >>




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