The Ebony Frame
"Oh! my dear, my dear, how shall I pass the hours till I hold you again?"
No thought, then, of my whole life's completion and consummation being a dream.
I staggered up to my room, fell across my bed, and slept heavily and dreamlessly. When I awoke it was high noon. Mildred and her mother were coming to lunch.
I remembered, at one o'clock, Mildred coming and her existence.
Now indeed the dream began.
With a penetrating sense of the futility of any action apart from her, I gave the necessary orders for the reception of my guests. When Mildred and her mother came I received them with cordiality; but my genial phrases all seemed to be someone else's. My voice sounded like an echo; my heart was not there.
Still, the situation was not intolerable, until the hour when afternoon tea was served in the drawing-room. Mildred and mother kept the conversational pot boiling with