lesson. “No, I do not know him. I know—I do not know him.”
“But—but … Not know me! It is I—Denton. Denton! To whom you used to talk. Don’t you remember the flying stages? The little seat in the open air? The verses—”
“No,” cried Elizabeth,—”no. I do not know him. I do not know him. There is something… . But I don’t know. All I know is that I do not know him.” Her face was a face of infinite distress.
The sharp eyes of the chaperone flitted to and fro from the girl to the man. “You see?” she said, with the faint shadow of a smile. “She does not know you.”
“I do not know you,” said Elizabeth. “Of that I am sure.”
“But, dear—the songs—the little verses—”
“She does not know you,” said the chaperone. “You must not… . You have made a mistake. You must not go on talking to us after that. You must not annoy us on the public ways.”
“But—” said Denton, and for a moment his miserably haggard face appealed against fate.
“You must not persist, young man,” protested the chaperone.
“Elizabeth!” he cried.
Her face was the face of one who is tormented. “I do not know you,” she cried, hand to brow. “Oh, I do not know you!”
For an instant Denton sat stunned. Then he stood up and groaned aloud.
He made a strange gesture of appeal towards the remote glass roof of the public way, then turned and went plunging recklessly from one moving platform to another, and vanished amidst the swarms of people going to and fro thereon. The chaperone’s eyes followed him, and then she looked at the curious faces about her.
“Dear,” asked Elizabeth, clasping her hand, and too deeply moved to heed observation, “who was that man? Who was that man?”
The chaperone raised her eyebrows. She spoke in a clear, audible voice. “Some half-witted creature. I have never set eyes on him before.”
“Never, dear. Do not trouble your mind about a thing like this.”
* * *
And soon after this the celebrated hypnotist who dressed in green and yellow had another client. The young man paced his consulting-room, pale and disordered. “I want to forget,” he cried. “I must forget.”
The hypnotist watched him with quiet eyes, studied his face and clothes and bearing. “To forget anything—pleasure or pain—is to be, by so much—less. However, you know your own concern. My fee is high.”
“If only I can forget—”