She drew in her
breath sharply and clutched at her heart, and he saw that again he
had shocked and wounded her. Again he knelt by her side and took her
hand I mean no financial duties,
She waved him away.
Please, Madhav. Can't we talk about this another time? I am
sorry; I am not as young as I used to be. She smiled
apologetically. Please help me to the
couch, dear. I will lie down awhile. We can talk later.
He helped her up
and felt the lightness of her body, and as she leaned against him
for support, he saw that her hair had more gray in it than he had
noticed before. They walked toward the couch, stopping now and then
so she could get her breath. He had not realized till now how frail
she was, how old. He helped her to lie down and covered her with a
She smiled up at
him as he leaned over her. It seems such a
short time ago that I was putting you to bed. You are such a big man
now. And I am an old, helpless woman.
I get the doctor, Mother?
She shook her head.
I will be all right, Madhav. Just let me rest a little. Later we
He did not know if
the black sorrow he felt in his heart was sorrow for her or despair
for himself. But he knew he could never leave her, and that he had
been a brutal fool to think that he could.