Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence
|Copyright expired in Australia|
|For Windows 7 users Ctrl and + key to enlarge writing size. Ctrl - to reduce writing size.|
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
On Sunday Clifford wanted to go into the wood. It was a lovely morning,
It was cruel for Clifford, while the world bloomed, to have to be
She waited for him at the top of the drive, at the edge of the screen
'Sir Clifford on his roaming steed!'
'Snorting, at least!' she' laughed.
He stopped and looked round at the facade of the long, low old brown
'Wragby doesn't wink an eyelid!' he said. 'But then why should it! I
'I suppose it does. And the souls in Plato riding up to heaven in a
'Or a Rolls~ Royce: Plato was an aristocrat!'
'Quite! No more black horse to thrash and maltreat. Plato never thought
'Only an engine and gas!' said Clifford. 'I hope I can have some repairs
'Oh, good!' said Connie. 'If only there aren't more strikes!'
'What would be the use of their striking again! Merely ruin the
'Perhaps they don't mind ruining the industry,' said Connie.
'Ah, don't talk like a woman! The industry fills their bellies, even if
'But didn't you say the other day that you were a
'And did you understand what I meant?' he retorted. 'All I meant is,
Connie walked on in silence a few paces. Then she' said, obstinately:
'It sounds like saying an egg may go as addled as it likes, so long as
'I don't think people are eggs,' he said. 'Not even angels' eggs, my
He was in rather high feather this bright morning. The larks were
'No,' he said. 'There will be no more strikes, if the thing is
'Because strikes will be made as good as impossible.'
'But will the men let you?' she' asked.
'We shan't ask them. We shall do it while they aren't looking: for
'For your own good too,' she' said.
'Naturally! For the good of everybody. But for their good even more
They looked up the shallow valley at the mine, and beyond it, at the
'But will the men let you dictate terms?' she' said.
'My dear, they will have to: if one does it gently.'
'But mightn't there be a mutual understanding?'
'Absolutely: when they realize that the industry comes before the
'But must you own the industry?' she' said.
'I don't. But to the extent I do own it, yes, most decidedly. The
'But the disparity?'
'That is fate. Why is the star Jupiter bigger than the star Neptune?
'But when this envy and jealousy and discontent has once started~ ' she'
'Do your best to stop it. Somebody's GOT to be boss of the show.'
'But who is boss of the show?' she' asked.
'The men who own and run the industries.'
There was a long silence.
'It seems to me they're a bad boss,' she' said.
'Then you suggest what they should do.'
'They don't take their boss~ ship seriously enough,' she' said.
'They take it far more seriously than you take your ladyship,' he said.
'That's thrust upon me. I don't really want it,' she' blurted out. He
'Who's shirking their responsibility now!' he said. 'Who is trying to
'But I don't want any boss~ ship,' she' protested.
'Ah! But that is funk. You've got it: fated to it. And you should live
Connie listened, and flush ed very red.
'I'd like to give something,' she' said. 'But I'm not allowed.
'And what must I do?' he asked, green. 'Ask them to come and pillage
'Why is Tevershall so ugly, so hideous? Why are their lives so
'They built their own Tevershall, that's part of their display of
'But you make them work for you. They live the life of your coal~ mine.'
'Not at all. Every beetle finds its own food. Not one man is forced to
'Their lives are industrialized and hopeless, and so are ours,' she'
'I don't think they are. That's just a romantic figure of speech, a
Which was true. For her dark~ blue eyes were flashing, her colour was
'No wonder the men hate you,' she' said.
'They don't!' he replied. 'And don't fall into errors: in your sense of
When Clifford became really roused in his feelings about the common
Seeing her pale and silent, Clifford started the chair again, and no
'And what we need to take up now,' he said, 'is whips, not swords. The
'But can you rule them?' she' asked.
'I? Oh yes! Neither my mind nor my will is crippled, and I don't rule
'But he wouldn't be your own son, of your own ruling class; or perhaps
'I don't care who his father may be, so long as he is a healthy man not
'Then the common people aren't a race, and the aristocrats aren't
'No, my child! All that is romantic illusion. Aristocracy is a
'Then there is no common humanity between us all!'
'Just as you like. We all need to fill our bellies. But when it comes
Connie looked at him with dazed eyes.
'Won't you come on?' she' said.
And he started his chair. He had said his say. Now he lapsed into his
In front of them ran the open cleft of the riding, between the hazel
All the flowers were there, the first bluebells in blue pools, like
'You are quite right about its being beautiful,' said Clifford. 'It is
Connie thought it sounded as if even the spring bloomed by act of
Clifford stopped the chair at the top of the rise and looked down. The
'It's a very fine colour in itself,' said Clifford, 'but useless for
'Quite!' said Connie, completely uninterested.
'Shall I venture as far as the spring?' said Clifford.
'Will the chair get up again?' she' said.
'We'll try; nothing venture, nothing win!'
And the chair began to advance slowly, joltingly down the beautiful
They passed the narrow track to the hut. Thank heaven it was not wide
'Is Sir Clifford going to the cottage?' he asked, looking into her
'No, only to the well.'
'Ah! Good! Then I can keep out of sight. But I shall see you tonight. I
He looked again direct into her eyes.
'Yes,' she' faltered.
They heard the Papp! Papp! of Clifford's horn, tooting for Connie. She
She found Clifford slowly mounting to the spring, which was halfway up
'She did that all right,' he said, referring to the chair.
Connie looked at the great grey leaves of burdock that grew out ghostly
'It seems to see with the end of its nose,' said Connie.
'Better than with its eyes!' he said. 'Will you drink?'
She took an enamel mug from a twig on a tree, and stooped to fill it
'So icy!' she' said gasping.
'Good, isn't it! Did you wish?'
'Yes, I wished. But I won't tell.'
She was aware of the rapping of a woodpecker, then of the wind, soft
'Clouds!' she' said.
'White lambs only,' he replied.
A shadow crossed the little clearing. The mole had swum out on to the
'Unpleasant little beast, we ought to kill him,' said Clifford.
'Look! he's like a parson in a pulpit,' she' said.
She gathered some sprigs of woodruff and brought them to him.
'New~ mown hay!' he said. 'Doesn't it smell like the romantic ladies of
She was looking at the white clouds.
'I wonder if it will rain,' she' said.
'Rain! Why! Do you want it to?'
They started on the return journey, Clifford jolting cautiously
'Now, old girl!' said Clifford, putting the chair to it.
It was a steep and jolty climb. The chair pugged slowly, in a
'We'd better sound the horn and see if the keeper will come,' said
'We'll let her breathe,' said Clifford. 'Do you mind putting a scotch
Connie found a stone, and they waited. After a while Clifford started
'Let me push!' said Connie, coming up behind.
'No! Don't push!' he said angrily. 'What's the good of the damned
There was another pause, then another start; but more ineffectual than
'You MUST let me push,' said she'. 'Or sound the horn for the keeper.'
She waited; and he had another try, doing more harm than good.
'Sound the horn then, if you won't let me push,' she' said.
'Hell! Be quiet a moment!'
She was quiet a moment: he made shattering efforts with the little
'You'll only break the thing down altogether, Clifford,' she'
'If I could only get out and look at the damned thing!' he said,
They waited, among the mashed flowers under a sky softly curdling with
The keeper appeared directly, striding inquiringly round the corner. He
'Do you know anything about motors?' asked Clifford sharply.
'I am afraid I don't. Has she' gone wrong?'
'Apparently!' snapped Clifford.
The man crouched solicitously by the wheel, and peered at the little
'I'm afraid I know nothing at all about these mechanical things, Sir
'Just look carefully and see if you can see anything broken,' snapped
The man laid his gun against a tree, took off his coat, and threw it
'Doesn't seem anything broken,' he said. And he stood up, pushing back
'Have you looked at the rods underneath?' asked Clifford. 'See if they
The man lay flat on his stomach on the floor, his neck pressed back,
'Seems all right as far as I can see,' came his muffled voice.
'I don't suppose you can do anything,' said Clifford.
'Seems as if I can't!' And he scrambled up and sat on his heels,
Clifford started his engine, then put her in gear. She would not move.
'Run her a bit hard, like,' suggested the keeper.
Clifford resented the interference: but he made his engine buzz like a
'Sounds as if she''d come clear,' said Mellors.
But Clifford had already jerked her into gear. She gave a sick lurch
'If I give her a push, she''ll do it,' said the keeper, going behind.
'Keep off!' snapped Clifford. 'She'll do it by herself.'
'But Clifford!' put in Connie from the bank, 'you know it's too much
Clifford was pale with anger. He jabbed at his levers. The chair gave a
'She's done!' said the keeper. 'Not power enough.'
'She's been up here before,' said Clifford coldly.
'She won't do it this time,' said the keeper.
Clifford did not reply. He began doing things with his engine, running
'You'll rip her inside out,' murmured the keeper.
The chair charged in a sick lurch sideways at the ditch.
'Clifford!' cried Connie, rushing forward.
But the keeper had got the chair by the rail. Clifford, however,
'You see, she''s doing it!' said Clifford, victorious, glancing over his
'Are you pushing her?'
'She won't do it without.'
'Leave her alone. I asked you not.
'She won't do it.'
'LET HER TRY!' snarled Clifford, with all his emphasis.
The keeper stood back: then turned to fetch his coat and gun. The chair
Constance sat on the bank and looked at the wretched and trampled
The keeper strode up with his coat and gun, Flossie cautiously at his
He got to his feet and said patiently:
'Try her again, then.'
He spoke in a quiet voice, almost as if to a child.
Clifford tried her, and Mellors stepped quickly behind and began to
Clifford glanced round, yellow with anger.
'Will you get off there!'
The keeper dropped his hold at once, and Clifford added: 'How shall I
The man put his gun down and began to pull on his coat. He'd done.
The chair began slowly to run backwards.
'Clifford, your brake!' cried Connie.
She, Mellors, and Clifford moved at once, Connie and the keeper
'It's obvious I'm at everybody's mercy!' said Clifford. He was yellow
No one answered. Mellors was slinging his gun over his shoulder, his
'I expect she''ll have to be pushed,' said Clifford at last, with an
No answer. Mellors' abstracted face looked as if he had heard nothing.
'Do you mind pushing her home, Mellors!' he said in a cool superior
'Nothing at all, Sir Clifford! Do you want me to push that chair?'
'If you please.'
The man stepped up to it: but this time it was without effect. The
'Don't do it!' cried Connie to him.
'If you'll pull the wheel that way, so!' he said to her, showing her
'No! You mustn't lift it! You'll strain yourself,' she' said, flush ed
But he looked into her eyes and nodded. And she' had to go and take hold
'For God's sake!' cried Clifford in terror.
But it was all right, and the brake was off. The keeper put a stone
Connie looked at him, and almost cried with anger. There was a pause
'Have you hurt yourself?' she' asked, going to him.
'No. No!' He turned away almost angrily.
There was dead silence. The back of Clifford's fair head did not move.
At last he sighed, and blew his nose on his red handkerchief.
'That pneumonia took a lot out of me,' he said.
No one answered. Connie calculated the amount of strength it must have
He rose, and again picked up his coat, slinging it through the handle
'Are you ready, then, Sir Clifford?'
'When you are!'
He stooped and took out the scotch, then put his weight against the
'I'm going to push too!' she' said.
And she' began to shove with a woman's turbulent energy of anger. The
'Is that necessary?' he said.
'Very! Do you want to kill the man! If you'd let the motor work while
But she' did not finish. She was already panting. She slackened off a
'Ay! slower!' said the man at her side, with a faint smile of his eyes.
'Are you sure you've not hurt yourself?' she' said fiercely.
He shook his head. She looked at his smallish, short, alive hand,
At the top of the hill they rested, and Connie was glad to let go. She
On the level the keeper could push the chair alone. Clifford made a
'I'd much rather go by train,' said Connie. 'I don't like long motor
'She will want to drive her own car, and take you with her,' he said.
'Probably!~ I must help up here. You've no idea how heavy this chair
She went to the back of the chair, and plodded side by side with the
'Why not let me wait, and fetch Field? He is strong enough for the
'It's so near,' she' panted.
But both she' and Mellors wiped the sweat from their faces when they
'Thanks so much, Mellors,' said Clifford, when they were at the house
'Thank you, Sir Clifford. I was going to my mother for dinner today,
'As you like.'
Mellors slung into his coat, looked at Connie, saluted, and was gone.
At lunch she' could not contain her feeling.
'Why are you so abominably inconsiderate, Clifford?' she' said to him.
'Of the keeper! If that is what you call ruling classes, I'm sorry for
'A man who's been ill, and isn't strong! My word, if I were the serving
'I quite believe it.'
'If he'd been sitting in a chair with paralysed legs, and behaved as
'My dear evangelist, this confusing of persons and personalities is in
'And your nasty, sterile want of common sympathy is in the worst taste
'And to what should it oblige me? To have a lot of unnecessary emotions
'As if he weren't a man as much as you are, my word!'
'My game~ keeper to boot, and I pay him two pounds a week and give him a
'Pay him! What do you think you pay for, with two pounds a week and a
'Bah! I would tell you to keep your two pounds a week and your house.'
'Probably he would like to: but can't afford the luxury!'
'You, and RULE!' she' said. 'You don't rule, don't flatter yourself. You
'You are very elegant in your speech, Lady Chatterley!'
'I assure you, you were very elegant altogether out there in the wood.
He reached and rang the bell for Mrs Bolton. But he was yellow at the
She went up to her room, furious, saying to herself: 'Him and buying
She made her plans for the night, and determined to get Clifford off
She went downstairs calmly, with her old demure bearing, at
'Have you ever read Proust?' he asked her.
'I've tried, but he bores me.'
'He's really very extraordinary.'
'Possibly! But he bores me: all that sophistication! He doesn't have
'Would you prefer self~ important animalities?'
'Perhaps! But one might possibly get something that wasn't
'Well, I like Proust's subtlety and his well~ bred anarchy.'
'It makes you very dead, really.'
'There speaks my evangelical little wife.'
They were at it again, at it again! But she' couldn't help fighting him.
She went upstairs as soon as possible, and went to bed quite early. But
Connie returned to her room, threw her pyjamas on the tossed bed, put
Betts had not locked up. He fastened up the house at ten o'clock, and
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
|Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence||
When she' got near the park~ gate, she' heard the click of the latch. He
'You are good and early,' he said out of the dark. 'Was everything all
He shut the gate quietly after her, and made a spot of light on the
'Are you sure you didn't hurt yourself this morning with that chair?'
'When you had that pneumonia, what did it do to you?'
'Oh nothing! it left my heart not so strong and the lungs not so
'And you ought not to make violent physical efforts?'
She plodded on in an angry silence.
'Did you hate Clifford?' she' said at last.
'Hate him, no! I've met too many like him to upset myself hating him. I
'What is his sort?'
'Nay, you know better than I do. The sort of youngish gentleman a bit
'Balls! A man's balls!'
She pondered this.
'But is it a question of that?' she' said, a little annoyed.
'You say a man's got no brain, when he's a fool: and no heart, when
She pondered this.
'And is Clifford tame?' she' asked.
'Tame, and nasty with it: like most such fellows, when you come up
'And do you think you're not tame?'
'Maybe not quite!'
At length she' saw in the distance a yellow light.
She stood still.
'There is a light!' she' said.
'I always leave a light in the house,' he said.
She went on again at his side, but not touching him, wondering why she'
He unlocked, and they went in, he bolting the door behind them. As if
She sat in the wooden arm~ chair by the fire. It was warm after the
'I'll take off my shoes, they are wet,' she' said.
She sat with her stockinged feet on the bright steel fender. He went to
'Shall you have cocoa or tea or coffee to drink?' he asked.
'I don't think I want anything,' she' said, looking at the table. 'But
'Nay, I don't care about it. I'll just feed the dog.'
He tramped with a quiet inevitability over the brick floor, putting
'Ay, this is thy supper, tha nedna look as if tha wouldna get it!' he
He set the bowl on the stairfoot mat, and sat himself on a chair by the
He slowly unbuckled his leggings. The dog edged a little nearer.
'What's amiss wi' thee then? Art upset because there's somebody else
He put his hand on her head, and the bitch leaned her head sideways
'There!' he said. 'There! Go an' eat thy supper! Go!'
He tilted his chair towards the pot on the mat, and the dog meekly
'Do you like dogs?' Connie asked him.
'No, not really. They're too tame and clinging.'
He had taken off his leggings and was unlacing his heavy boots. Connie
'Is that you?' Connie asked him.
He twisted and looked at the enlargement above his head.
'Ay! Taken just afore we was married, when I was twenty~ one.' He looked
'Do you like it?' Connie asked him.
'Like it? No! I never liked the thing. But she' fixed it all up to have
He returned to pulling off his boots.
'If you don't like it, why do you keep it hanging there? Perhaps your
He looked up at her with a sudden grin.
'She carted off iverything as was worth taking from th' 'ouse,' he
'Then why do you keep it? for sentimental reasons?'
'Nay, I niver look at it. I hardly knowed it wor theer. It's bin theer
'Why don't you burn it?' she' said.
He twisted round again and looked at the enlarged photograph. It was
'It wouldn't be a bad idea, would it?' he said.
He had pulled off his boots, and put on a pair of slippers. He stood up
'No use dusting it now,' he said, setting the thing against the wall.
He went to the scullery, and returned with hammer and pincers. Sitting
He soon had the nails out: then he pulled out the backboards, then the
'Shows me for what I was, a young curate, and her for what she' was, a
'Let me look!' said Connie.
He did look indeed very clean~ shaven and very clean altogether, one of
'One never should keep these things,' said Connie.
'That, one shouldn't! One should never have them made!'
He broke the cardboard photograph and mount over his knee, and when it
'It'll spoil the fire though,' he said.
The glass and the backboard he carefully took upstairs.
The frame he knocked asunder with a few blows of the hammer, making the
'We'll burn that tomorrow,' he said. 'There's too much plaster~ moulding
Having cleared away, he sat down.
'Did you love your wife?' she' asked him.
'Love?' he said. 'Did you love Sir Clifford?'
But she' was not going to be put off.
'But you cared for her?' she' insisted.
'Cared?' He grinned.
'Perhaps you care for her now,' she' said.
'Me!' His eyes widened. 'Ah no, I can't think of her,' he said quietly.
But he shook his head.
'Then why don't you get a divorce? She'll come back to you one day,'
He looked up at her sharply.
'She wouldn't come within a mile of me. She hates me a lot worse than I
'You'll see she''ll come back to you.'
'That she' never will. That's done! It would make me sick to see her.'
'You will see her. And you're not even legally separated, are you?'
'Ah well, then she''ll come back, and you'll have to take her in.'
He gazed at Connie fixedly. Then he gave the queer toss of his head.
'You might be right. I was a fool ever to come back here. But I felt
And she' saw his jaw set. Inwardly she' exulted.
'I think I will have a cup of tea now,' she' said.
He rose to make it. But his face was set.
As they sat at table she' asked him:
'Why did you marry her? She was commoner than yourself. Mrs Bolton told
He looked at her fixedly.
'I'll tell you,' he said. 'The first girl I had, I began with when I
'Then came Bertha Coutts. They'd lived next door to us when I was a
'I hated it. And she' hated me. My God, how she' hated me before that
He broke off, pale in the face.
'And what is the man at Stacks Gate like?' asked Connie.
'A big baby sort of fellow, very low~ mouthed. She bullies him, and they
'My word, if she' came back!'
'My God, yes! I should just go, disappear again.'
There was a silence. The pasteboard in the fire had turned to grey ash.
'So when you did get a woman who wanted you,' said Connie, 'you got a
'Ay! Seems so! Yet even then I'd rather have her than the never~ never
'What about the rest?' said Connie.
'The rest? There is no rest. Only to my experience the mass of women
'And do you mind?' asked Connie.
'I could kill them. When I'm with a woman who's really Lesbian, I
'And what do you do?'
'Just go away as fast as I can.'
'But do you think Lesbian women any worse than homosexual men?'
'I do! Because I've suffered more from them. In the abstract, I've no
He looked pale, and his brows were sombre.
'And were you sorry when I came along?' she' asked.
'I was sorry and I was glad.'
'And what are you now?'
'I'm sorry, from the outside: all the complications and the ugliness
'And now, are you glad of me?' she' asked.
'Yes! When I can forget the rest. When I can't forget the rest, I want
'Why under the table?'
'Why?' he laughed. 'Hide, I suppose. Baby!'
'You do seem to have had awful experiences of women,' she' said.
'You see, I couldn't fool myself. That's where most men manage. They
'But have you got it now?'
'Looks as if I might have.'
'Then why are you so pale and gloomy?'
'Bellyful of remembering: and perhaps afraid of myself.'
She sat in silence. It was growing late.
'And do you think it's important, a man and a woman?' she' asked him.
'For me it is. For me it's the core of my life: if I have a right
'And if you didn't get it?'
'Then I'd have to do without.'
Again she' pondered, before she' asked:
'And do you think you've always been right with women?'
'God, no! I let my wife get to what she' was: my fault a good deal. I
She looked at him.
'You don't mistrust with your body, when your blood comes up,' she'
'No, alas! That's how I've got into all the trouble. And that's why my
'Let your mind mistrust. What does it matter!'
The dog sighed with discomfort on the mat. The ash~ clogged fire sank.
'We ARE a couple of battered warriors,' said Connie.
'Are you battered too?' he laughed. 'And here we are returning to the
'Yes! I feel really frightened.'
He got up, and put her shoes to dry, and wiped his own and set them
When he came back, Connie said:
'I want to go out too, for a minute.'
She went alone into the darkness. There were stars overhead. She could
It was chilly. She shuddered, and returned to the house. He was sitting
'Ugh! Cold!' she' shuddered.
He put the sticks on the fire, and fetched more, till they had a good
'Never mind!' she' said, taking his hand as he sat silent and remote.
'Ay!' He sighed, with a twist of a smile.
She slipped over to him, and into his arms, as he sat there before the
'Forget then!' she' whispered. 'Forget!'
He held her close, in the running warmth of the fire. The flame itself
'And perhaps the women REALLY wanted to be there and love you properly,
'I know it. Do you think I don't know what a broken~ backed snake that's
She clung to him suddenly. She had not wanted to start all this again.
'But you're not now,' she' said. 'You're not that now: a broken~ backed
'I don't know what I am. There's black days ahead.'
'No!' she' protested, clinging to him. 'Why? Why?'
'There's black days coming for us all and for everybody,' he repeated
'No! You're not to say it!'
He was silent. But she' could feel the black void of despair inside him.
'And you talk so coldly about sex,' she' said. 'You talk as if you had
She was protesting nervously against him.
'Nay!' he said. 'I wanted to have my pleasure and satisfaction of a
'But you never believed in your women. You don't even believe really in
'I don't know what believing in a woman means.'
'That's it, you see!'
She still was curled on his lap. But his spirit was grey and absent, he
'But what DO you believe in?' she' insisted.
'I don't know.'
'Nothing, like all the men I've ever known,' she' said.
They were both silent. Then he roused himself and said:
'Yes, I do believe in something. I believe in being warm~ hearted. I
'But you don't fuck me cold~ heartedly,' she' protested.
'I don't want to fuck you at all. My heart's as cold as cold potatoes
'Oh!' she' said, kissing him mockingly. 'Let's have them SAUTES.'
He laughed, and sat erect.
'It's a fact!' he said. 'Anything for a bit of warm~ heartedness. But
'But that's what I'd say of you. Your own self~ importance is everything
'Ay! Very well then!' he said, moving as if he wanted to rise. 'Let's
She slid away from him, and he stood up.
'And do you think I want it?' she' said.
'I hope you don't,' he replied. 'But anyhow, you go to bed an' I'll
She looked at him. He was pale, his brows were sullen, he was as
'I can't go home till morning,' she' said.
'No! Go to bed. It's a quarter to one.'
'I certainly won't,' she' said.
He went across and picked up his boots.
'Then I'll go out!' he said.
He began to put on his boots. She stared at him.
'Wait!' she' faltered. 'Wait! What's come between us?'
He was bent over, lacing his boot, and did not reply. The moments
He looked up, because of the silence, and saw her wide~ eyed and lost.
Till his hands reached blindly down and felt for her, and felt under
'Ma lass!' he murmured. 'Ma little lass! Dunna let's fight! Dunna let's
She lifted her face and looked at him.
'Don't be upset,' she' said steadily. 'It's no good being upset. Do you
She looked with wide, steady eyes into his face. He stopped, and went
Then he lifted his head and looked into her eyes, with his odd, faintly
'But really?' she' said, her eyes filling with tears.
'Ay really! Heart an' belly an' cock.'
He still smiled faintly down at her, with the flicker of irony in his
She was silently weeping, and he lay with her and went into her there
Then he woke up and looked at the light. The curtains were drawn. He
'Are you awake?' she' said to him.
He was looking into her eyes. He smiled, and kissed her. And suddenly
'Fancy that I am here!' she' said.
She looked round the whitewashed little bedroom with its sloping
'Fancy that we are here!' she' said, looking down at him. He was lying
'I want to take this off!' she' said, gathering the thin batiste
'You must take off your pyjamas too,' she' said.
'Yes! Yes!' she' commanded.
And he took off his old cotton pyjama~ jacket, and pushed down the
Gold of sunshine touched the closed white curtain. She felt it wanted
'Oh, do let's draw the curtains! The birds are singing so! Do let the
He slipped out of bed with his back to her, naked and white and thin,
There was an inward, not an outward strength in the delicate fine body.
'But you are beautiful!' she' said. 'So pure and fine! Come!' She held
He was ashamed to turn to her, because of his aroused nakedness.
He caught his shirt off the floor, and held it to him, coming to her.
'No!' she' said still holding out her beautiful slim arms from her
He dropped the shirt and stood still looking towards her. The sun
'How strange!' she' said slowly. 'How strange he stands there! So big!
The man looked down the front of his slender white body, and laughed.
'So proud!' she' murmured, uneasy. 'And so lordly! Now I know why men
The man looked down in silence at the tense phallos, that did not
'Oh, don't tease him,' said Connie, crawling on her knees on the bed
'Lie down!' he said. 'Lie down! Let me come!' He was in a hurry now.
And afterwards, when they had been quite still, the woman had to
'And now he's tiny, and soft like a little bud of life!' she' said,
'Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in kindred love,' he said.
'Of course!' she' said. 'Even when he's soft and little I feel my heart
'That's John Thomas's hair, not mine!' he said.
'John Thomas! John Thomas!' and she' quickly kissed the soft penis, that
'Ay!' said the man, stretching his body almost painfully. 'He's got his
'No wonder men have always been afraid of him!' she' said. 'He's rather
The quiver was going through the man's body, as the stream of
'There! Take him then! He's thine,' said the man.
And she' quivered, and her own mind melted out. Sharp soft waves of
He heard the distant hooters of Stacks Gate for seven o'clock. It was
She had not even heard the hooters. She lay perfectly still, her soul
'You must get up, mustn't you?' he muttered.
'What time?' came her colourless voice.
'Seven~ o'clock blowers a bit sin'.'
'I suppose I must.'
She was resenting as she' always did, the compulsion from outside.
He sat up and looked blankly out of the window.
'You do love me, don't you?' she' asked calmly.
He looked down at her.
'Tha knows what tha knows. What dost ax for!' he said, a little
'I want you to keep me, not to let me go,' she' said.
His eyes seemed full of a warm, soft darkness that could not think.
'Now in your heart. Then I want to come and live with you, always,
He sat naked on the bed, with his head dropped, unable to think.
'Don't you want it?' she' asked.
'Ay!' he said.
Then with the same eyes darkened with another flame of consciousness,
'Dunna ax me nowt now,' he said. 'Let me be. I like thee. I luv thee
And softly, he laid his hand over her mound of Venus, on the soft brown
After a while, he reached for his shirt and put it on, dressed himself
And still she' lay musing, musing. It was very hard to go: to go out of
The sun fell on her naked limbs through the gable window. Outside she'
She came downstairs, down the steep, narrow wooden stairs. Still she'
He was washed and fresh, and the fire was burning. 'Will you eat
'No! Only lend me a comb.'
She followed him into the scullery, and combed her hair before the
She stood in the little front garden, looking at the dewy flowers, the
'I would like to have all the rest of the world disappear,' she' said,
'It won't disappear,' he said.
They went almost in silence through the lovely dewy wood. But they were
It was bitter to her to go on to Wragby.
'I want soon to come and live with you altogether,' she' said as she'
He smiled, unanswering.
She got home quietly and unremarked, and went up to her room.
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
|Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence||
There was a letter from Hilda on the breakfast~ tray. 'Father is going
So! She was being pushed round on the chess~ board again.
Clifford hated her going, but it was only because he didn't feel SAFE
It was a madness, and it required a madman to succeed in it. Well, he
He talked to her of all his serious schemes, and she' listened in a kind
And every night now he played pontoon, that game of the Tommies, with
She told Connie one day: 'I lost twenty~ three shillings to Sir Clifford
'And did he take the money from you?' asked Connie aghast.
'Why of course, my Lady! Debt of honour!'
Connie expostulated roundly, and was angry with both of them. The
She told him at length she' was leaving on the seventeenth.
'Seventeenth!' he said. 'And when will you be back?'
'By the twentieth of July at the latest.'
'Yes! the twentieth of July.'
Strangely and blankly he looked at her, with the vagueness of a child,
'You won't let me down, now, will you?' he said.
'While you're away, I mean, you're sure to come back?'
'I'm as sure as I can be of anything, that I shall come back.'
'Yes! Well! Twentieth of July!'
He looked at her so strangely.
Yet he really wanted her to go. That was so curious. He wanted her to
She was quivering, watching her real opportunity for leaving him
She sat and talked to the keeper of her going abroad.
'And then when I come back,' she' said, 'I can tell Clifford I must
She was quite thrilled by her plan.
'You've never been to the Colonies, have you?' he asked her.
'No! Have you?'
'I've been in India, and South Africa, and Egypt.'
'Why shouldn't we go to South Africa?'
'We might!' he said slowly.
'Or don't you want to?' she' asked.
'I don't care. I don't much care what I do.'
'Doesn't it make you happy? Why not? We shan't be poor. I have about
'It's riches to me.'
'Oh, how lovely it will be!'
'But I ought to get divorced, and so ought you, unless we're going to
There was plenty to think about.
Another day she' asked him about himself. They were in the hut, and
'And weren't you happy, when you were a lieutenant and an officer and a
'Happy? All right. I liked my Colonel.'
'Did you love him?'
'Yes! I loved him.'
'And did he love you?'
'Yes! In a way, he loved me.'
'Tell me about him.'
'What is there to tell? He had risen from the ranks. He loved the army.
'And did you mind very much when he died?'
'I was as near death myself. But when I came to, I knew another part of
She sat and ruminated. The thunder crashed outside. It was like being
'You seem to have such a lot BEHIND you,' she' said.
'Do I? It seems to me I've died once or twice already. Yet here I am,
She was thinking hard, yet listening to the storm.
'And weren't you happy as an officer and a gentleman, when your Colonel
'No! They were a mingy lot.' He laughed suddenly. 'The Colonel used to
Connie laughed. The rain was rushing down.
'He hated them!'
'No,' said he. 'He didn't bother. He just disliked them. There's a
'The common people too, the working people?'
'All the lot. Their spunk is gone dead. Motor~ cars and cinemas and
He sat there in the hut, his face pulled to mocking irony. Yet even
'But won't it ever come to an end?' she' said.
'Ay, it will. It'll achieve its own salvation. When the last real man
'You mean kill one another?'
'I do, duckie! If we go on at our present rate then in a hundred years'
'How nice!' she' said.
'Quite nice! To contemplate the extermination of the human species and
Connie laughed, but not very happily.
'Then you ought to be pleased that they are all bolshevists,' she' said.
'So I am. I don't stop 'em. Because I couldn't if I would.'
'Then why are you so bitter?'
'I'm not! If my cock gives its last crow, I don't mind.'
'But if you have a child?' she' said.
He dropped his head.
'Why,' he said at last. 'It seems to me a wrong and bitter thing to do,
'No! Don't say it! Don't say it!' she' pleaded. 'I think I'm going to
'I'm pleased for you to be pleased,' he said. 'But for me it seems a
'Ah no!' she' said, shocked. 'Then you CAN'T ever really want me! YOU
Again he was silent, his face sullen. Outside there was only the
'It's not quite true!' she' whispered. 'It's not quite true! There's
She pulled open his clothing and uncovered his belly, and kissed his
'Tell me you want a child, in hope!' she' murmured, pressing her face
'Why!' he said at last: and she' felt the curious quiver of changing
She softly rubbed her cheek on his belly, and gathered his balls in her
'Let's live for summat else. Let's not live ter make money, neither for
'An' I'd tell 'em: Look! Look at Joe! He moves lovely! Look how he
'But I wouldn't preach to the men: only strip 'em an' say: Look at
There fell a complete silence. Connie was half listening, and threading
'You've got four kinds of hair,' she' said to him. 'On your chest it's
He looked down and saw the milky bits of forget~ me~ nots in the hair on
'Ay! That's where to put forget~ me~ nots, in the man~ hair, or the
She looked up at him.
'Oh, I do, terribly!' she' said.
'Because when I feel the human world is doomed, has doomed itself by
The thunder had ceased outside, but the rain which had abated, suddenly
She opened the door and looked at the straight heavy rain, like a steel
He laughed wryly, and threw off his clothes. It was too much. He jumped
She was nearly at the wide riding when he came up and flung his naked
He got up in an instant, wiping the rain from his eyes.
'Come in,' he said, and they started running back to the hut. He ran
When she' came with her flowers, panting to the hut, he had already
He took the old sheet and rubbed her down, she' standing like a child.
'We're drying ourselves together on the same towel, we shall quarrel!'
She looked up for a moment, her hair all odds and ends.
'No!' she' said, her eyes wide. 'It's not a towel, it's a sheet.' And
Still panting with their exertions, each wrapped in an army blanket,
She dropped her blanket and kneeled on the clay hearth, holding her
He stroked her tail with his hand, long and subtly taking in the curves
'Tha's got such a nice tail on thee,' he said, in the throaty caressive
All the while he spoke he exquisitely stroked the rounded tail, till it
'An' if tha shits an' if tha pisses, I'm glad. I don't want a woman as
Connie could not help a sudden snort of astonished laughter, but he
'Tha'rt real, tha art! Tha'art real, even a bit of a bitch. Here tha
He laid his hand close and firm over her secret places, in a kind of
'I like it,' he said. 'I like it! An' if I only lived ten minutes, an'
She turned round and climbed into his lap, clinging to him. 'Kiss me!'
And she' knew the thought of their separation was latent in both their
She sat on his thighs, her head against his breast, and her
'Flowers stops out of doors all weathers,' he said. 'They have no
'Not even a hut!' she' murmured.
With quiet fingers he threaded a few forget~ me~ not flowers in the fine
'There!' he said. 'There's forget~ me~ nots in the right place!'
She looked down at the milky odd little flowers among the brown
'Doesn't it look pretty!' she' said.
'Pretty as life,' he replied.
And he stuck a pink campion~ bud among the hair.
'There! That's me where you won't forget me! That's Moses in the
'You don't mind, do you, that I'm going away?' she' asked wistfully,
But his face was inscrutable, under the heavy brows. He kept it quite
'You do as you wish,' he said.
And he spoke in good English.
'But I won't go if you don't wish it,' she' said, clinging to him.
There was silence. He leaned and put another piece of wood on the fire.
'Only I thought it would be a good way to begin a break with Clifford.
'To let them think a few lies,' he said.
'Yes, that among other things. Do you want them to think the truth?'
'I don't care what they think.'
'I do! I don't want them handling me with their unpleasant cold minds,
He was silent.
'But Sir Clifford expects you to come back to him?'
'Oh, I must come back,' she' said: and there was silence.
'And would you have a child in Wragby?' he asked.
She closed her arm round his neck.
'If you wouldn't take me away, I should have to,' she' said.
'Take you where to?'
'Anywhere! away! But right away from Wragby.'
'Why, when I come back.'
'But what's the good of coming back, doing the thing twice, if you're
'Oh, I must come back. I've promised! I've promised so faithfully.
'To your husband's game~ keeper?'
'I don't see that that matters,' she' said.
'No?' He mused a while. 'And when would you think of going away again,
'Oh, I don't know. I'd come back from Venice. And then we'd prepare
'Oh, I'd tell Clifford. I'd have to tell him.'
He remained silent. She put her arms round his neck.
'Don't make it difficult for me,' she' pleaded.
'Make what difficult?'
'For me to go to Venice and arrange things.'
A little smile, half a grin, flickered on his face.
'I don't make it difficult,' he said. 'I only want to find out just
She felt somehow as if he were giving her tit for tat.
'But you want me, don't you?' she' asked.
'Do you want me?'
'You know I do. That's evident.'
'Quite! And WHEN do you want me?'
'You know we can arrange it all when I come back. Now I'm out of breath
'Quite! Get calm and clear!'
She was a little offended.
'But you trust me, don't you?' she' said.
She heard the mockery in his tone.
'Tell me then,' she' said flatly; 'do you think it would be better if I
'I'm sure it's better if you do go to Venice,' he replied in the cool,
'You know it's next Thursday?' she' said.
She now began to muse. At last she' said:
'And we SHALL know better where we are when I come back, shan't we?'
The curious gulf of silence between them!
'I've been to the lawyer about my divorce,' he said, a little
She gave a slight shudder.
'Have you!' she' said. 'And what did he say?'
'He said I ought to have done it before; that may be a difficulty. But
'Will she' have to know?'
'Yes! she' is served with a notice: so is the man she' lives with, the
'Isn't it hateful, all the performances! I suppose I'd have to go
There was a silence.
'And of course,' he said, 'I have to live an exemplary life for the
'Am I temptation!' she' said, stroking his face. 'I'm so glad I'm
'Isn't that when your sister will be there?'
'Yes! But she' said we would start at tea~ time. So we could start at
'But then she''d have to know.'
'Oh, I shall tell her. I've more or less told her already. I must talk
He was thinking of her plan.
'So you'd start off from Wragby at tea~ time, as if you were going to
'By Nottingham and Grantham.'
'And then your sister would drop you somewhere and you'd walk or drive
'Does it? Well, then, Hilda could bring me back. She could sleep at
'And the people who see you?'
'I'll wear goggles and a veil.'
He pondered for some time.
'Well,' he said. 'You please yourself as usual.'
'But wouldn't it please you?'
'Oh yes! It'd please me all right,' he said a little grimly. 'I might
'Do you know what I thought?' she' said suddenly. 'It suddenly came to
'Ay! And you? Are you the Lady of the Red~ Hot Mortar?'
'Yes!' she' said. 'Yes! You're Sir Pestle and I'm Lady Mortar.'
'All right, then I'm knighted. John Thomas is Sir John, to your Lady
'Yes! John Thomas is knighted! I'm my~ lady~ maiden~ hair, and you must
She threaded two pink campions in the bush of red~ gold hair above his
'There!' she' said. 'Charming! Charming! Sir John!'
And she' pushed a bit of forget~ me~ not in the dark hair of his breast.
'And you won't forget me there, will you?' She kissed him on the
'Make a calendar of me!' he said. He laughed, and the flowers shook
'Wait a bit!' he said.
He rose, and opened the door of the hut. Flossie, lying in the porch,
'Ay, it's me!' he said.
The rain had ceased. There was a wet, heavy, perfumed stillness.
He went out and down the little path in the opposite direction from the
When she' could see it no more, her heart sank. She stood in the door of
But he was coming back, trotting strangely, and carrying flowers. She
He had brought columbines and campions, and new~ mown hay, and oak~ tufts
'That's you in all your glory!' he said. 'Lady Jane, at her wedding
And he stuck flowers in the hair of his own body, and wound a bit of
'This is John Thomas marryin' Lady Jane,' he said. 'An' we mun let
He spread out his hand with a gesture, and then he sneezed, sneezing
'Maybe what?' she' said, waiting for him to go on.
He looked at her a little bewildered.
'Eh?' he said.
'Maybe what? Go on with what you were going to say,' she' insisted.
'Ay, what WAS I going to say?'
He had forgotten. And it was one of the disappointments of her life,
A yellow ray of sun shone over the trees.
'Sun!' he said. 'And time you went. Time, my Lady, time! What's that as
He reached for his shirt.
'Say goodnight! to John Thomas,' he said, looking down at his penis.
And he put his flannel shirt over his head.
'A man's most dangerous moment,' he said, when his head had emerged,
'Look at Jane!' he said. 'In all her blossoms! Who'll put blossoms on
'Don't say those things!' she' said. 'You only say them to hurt me.'
He dropped his head. Then he said, in dialect:
'Ay, maybe I do, maybe I do! Well then, I'll say nowt, an' ha' done
She never knew how to answer him when he was in this condition of the
He would accompany her to the broad riding. His young pheasants were
When he and she' came out on to the riding, there was Mrs Bolton
'Oh, my Lady, we wondered if anything had happened!'
'No! Nothing has happened.'
Mrs Bolton looked into the man's face, that was smooth and new~ looking
'Evening, Mrs Bolton! Your Ladyship will be all right now, so I can
He saluted and turned away.
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
|Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence||
Connie arrived home to an ordeal of cross~ questioning. Clifford had
Mrs Bolton tried to soothe him.
'She'll be sheltering in the hut, till it's over. Don't worry, her
'I don't like her being in the wood in a storm like this! I don't like
'A little while before you came in.'
'I didn't see her in the park. God knows where she' is and what has
'Oh, nothing's happened to her. You'll see, she''ll be home directly
But her ladyship did not come home directly the rain stopped. In fact
'It's no good!' said Clifford in a frenzy. 'I'm going to send out Field
'Oh don't do that!' cried Mrs Bolton. 'They'll think there's a suicide
So, after some persuasion, Clifford allowed her to go.
And so Connie had come upon her in the drive, alone and palely
'You mustn't mind me coming to look for you, my Lady! But Sir Clifford
She spoke nervously. She could still see on Connie's face the
'Quite!' said Connie. And she' could say no more.
The two women plodded on through the wet world, in silence, while great
'How foolish of Clifford to make a fuss!' said Connie at length,
'Oh, you know what men are! They like working themselves up. But he'll
Connie was very angry that Mrs Bolton knew her secret: for certainly
Suddenly Constance stood still on the path.
'It's monstrous that I should have to be followed!' she' said, her eyes
'Oh! your Ladyship, don't say that! He'd certainly have sent the two
Connie flush ed darker with rage, at the suggestion. Yet, while her
'Oh well!' she' said. 'If it is so it is so. I don't mind!'
'Why, you're all right, my Lady! You've only been sheltering in the
They went on to the house. Connie marched in to Clifford's room,
'I must say, I don't think you need send the servants after me,' she'
'My God!' he exploded. 'Where have you been, woman, You've been gone
'And what if I don't choose to tell you?' She pulled her hat from her
He looked at her with his eyes bulging, and yellow coming into the
But really!' she' said, milder. 'Anyone would think I'd been I don't
She spoke now easily. After all, why work him up any more!
He looked at her suspiciously.
And look at your hair!' he said; 'look at yourself!'
'Yes!' she' replied calmly. 'I ran out in the rain with no clothes on.'
He stared at her speechless.
'You must be mad!' he said.
'Why? To like a shower bath from the rain?'
'And how did you dry yourself?'
'On an old towel and at the fire.'
He still stared at her in a dumbfounded way.
'And supposing anybody came,' he said.
'Who would come?'
'Who? Why, anybody! And Mellors. Does he come? He must come in the
'Yes, he came later, when it had cleared up, to feed the pheasants with
She spoke with amazing nonchalance. Mrs Bolton, who was listening in
'And suppose he'd come while you were running about in the rain with
'I suppose he'd have had the fright of his life, and cleared out as
Clifford still stared at her transfixed. What he thought in his
'At least,' he said, subsiding, 'you'll be lucky if you've got off
'Oh, I haven't got a cold,' she' replied. She was thinking to herself of
That evening, Clifford wanted to be nice to her. He was reading one of
'What do you think of this, by the way?' he said, reaching for his
Connie listened, expecting more. But Clifford was waiting. She looked
'And if it spiritually ascends,' she' said, 'what does it leave down
'Ah!' he said. 'Take the man for what he means. ASCENDING is the
'Spiritually blown out, so to speak!'
'No, but seriously, without joking: do you think there is anything in
She looked at him again.
'Physically wasting?' she' said. 'I see you getting fatter, and I'm sot
'Well, hear how he goes on: "It is thus slowly passing, with a
She listened with a glisten of amusement. All sorts of improper things
'What silly hocus~ pocus! As if his little conceited consciousness could
'Oh, but listen! Don't interrupt the great man's solemn words!~ "The
Connie sat listening contemptuously.
'He's spiritually blown out,' she' said. 'What a lot of stuff!
'I must say, it is a little vaguely conglomerate, a mixture of gases,
'Do you? Then let it ascend, so long as it leaves me safely and solidly
'Do you like your physique?' he asked.
'I love it!' And through her mind went the words: It's the nicest,
'But that is really rather extraordinary, because there's no denying
'Supreme pleasure?' she' said, looking up at him. 'Is that sort of
He looked at her in wonder.
'The life of the body,' he said, 'is just the life of the animals.'
'And that's better than the life of professional corpses. But it's not
'My dear, you speak as if you were ushering it all in! True, you are
'Why should I believe you, Clifford, when I feel that whatever God
'Oh, exactly! And what has caused this extraordinary change in you?
'Both! Do you think it is horrid of me to be so thrilled at going off?'
'Rather horrid to show it so plainly.'
'Then I'll hide it.'
'Oh, don't trouble! You almost communicate a thrill to me. I almost
'Well, why don't you come?'
'We've gone over all that. And as a matter of fact, I suppose your
'I'm not going to enter any new bondages.'
'Don't boast, while the gods are listening,' he said.
She pulled up short.
'No! I won't boast!' she' said.
But she' was thrilled, none the less, to be going off: to feel bonds
Clifford, who couldn't sleep, gambled all night with Mrs Bolton, till
And the day came round for Hilda to arrive. Connie had arranged with
Mrs Bolton helped Connie to pack.
'It will be so good for your Ladyship to have a change.'
'I think it will. You don't mind having Sir Clifford on your hands
'Oh no! I can manage him quite all right. I mean, I can do all he needs
'Oh much! You do wonders with him.'
'Do I though! But men are all alike: just babies, and you have to
'I'm afraid I haven't much experience.'
Connie paused in her occupation.
'Even your husband, did you have to manage him, and wheedle him like a
Mrs Bolton paused too.
'Well!' she' said. 'I had to do a good bit of coaxing, with him too. But
'He was never the lord and master thing?'
'No! At least there'd be a look in his eyes sometimes, and then I knew
'And what if you had held out against him?'
'Oh, I don't know, I never did. Even when he was in the wrong, if he
'And that's how you are with all your patients?' asked Connie.
'Oh, That's different. I don't care at all, in the same way. I know
These words frightened Connie.
'Do you think one can only care once?' she' asked.
'Or never. Most women never care, never begin to. They don't know what
'And do you think men easily take offence?'
'Yes! If you wound them on their pride. But aren't women the same? Only
Connie pondered this. She began again to have some misgiving about her
Still! the human existence is a good deal controlled by the machine of
Hilda arrived in good time on Thursday morning, in a nimble two~ seater
Yes, she' even made it easy for him to do that, though she' had no lover.
Connie was only allowed a suit~ case, also. But she' had sent on a trunk
So, like a demure arcadian field~ marshal, Hilda arranged the material
'But Hilda!' said Connie, a little frightened. 'I want to stay near
Hilda fixed her sister with grey, inscrutable eyes. She seemed so calm:
'Where, near here?' she' asked softly.
'Well, you know I love somebody, don't you?'
'I gathered there was something.'
'Well he lives near here, and I want to spend this last night with him. I
Connie became insistent.
Hilda bent her Minerva~ like head in silence. Then she' looked up.
'Do you want to tell me who he is?' she' said.
'He's our game~ keeper,' faltered Connie, and she' flush ed vividly, like
'Connie!' said Hilda, lifting her nose slightly with disgust: a motion
'I know: but he's lovely really. He really understands tenderness,'
Hilda, like a ruddy, rich~ coloured Athena, bowed her head and pondered.
It was true, Hilda did not like Clifford: his cool assurance that he
'You'll regret it,' she' said,
'I shan't,' cried Connie, flush ed red. 'He's quite the exception. I
Hilda still pondered.
'You'll get over him quite soon,' she' said, 'and live to be ashamed of
'I shan't! I hope I'm going to have a child of his.'
'CONNIE!' said Hilda, hard as a hammer~ stroke, and pale with anger.
'I shall if I possibly can. I should be fearfully proud if I had a
It was no use talking to her. Hilda pondered.
'And doesn't Clifford suspect?' she' said.
'Oh no! Why should he?'
'I've no doubt you've given him plenty of occasion for suspicion,' said
'Not at all.'
'And tonight's business seems quite gratuitous folly. Where does the
'In the cottage at the other end of the wood.'
'Is he a bachelor?'
'No! His wife left him.'
'I don't know. Older than me.'
Hilda became more angry at every reply, angry as her mother used to be,
'I would give up tonight's escapade if I were you,' she' advised calmly.
'I can't! I MUST stay with him tonight, or I can't go to Venice at all.
Hilda heard her father over again, and she' gave way, out of mere
But she' was furious. She stored it up against her sister, this balk in
Connie flung an emerald~ green shawl over her window~ sill.
On the strength of her anger, Hilda warmed toward Clifford.
After all, he had a mind. And if he had no sex, functionally, all the
And Clifford decided that Hilda, after all, was a decidedly intelligent
There was an early cup of tea in the hall, where doors were open to let
'Good~ bye, Connie girl! Come back to me safely.'
'Good~ bye, Clifford! Yes, I shan't be long.' Connie was almost tender.
'Good~ bye, Hilda! You will keep an eye on her, won't you?'
'I'll even keep two!' said Hilda. 'She shan't go very far astray.'
'It's a promise!'
'Good~ bye, Mrs Bolton! I know you'll look after Sir Clifford nobly.'
'I'll do what I can, your Ladyship.'
'And write to me if there is any news, and tell me about Sir Clifford,
'Very good, your Ladyship, I will. And have a good time, and come back
Everybody waved. The car went off Connie looked back and saw Clifford,
Mrs Chambers held the gate and wished her ladyship a happy holiday. The
'That's the lane to the cottage!' said Connie.
Hilda glanced at it impatiently.
'It's a frightful pity we can't go straight off!' she' said. We could
'I'm sorry for your sake,' said Connie, from behind her goggles.
They were soon at Mansfield, that once~ romantic, now utterly
'HE! HE! What name do you call him by? You only say HE,' said Hilda.
'I've never called him by any name: nor he me: which is curious, when
'And how would you like to be Mrs Oliver Mellors, instead of Lady
'I'd love it.'
There was nothing to be done with Connie. And anyhow, if the man had
'But you'll be through with him in awhile,' she' said, 'and then you'll
'But you are such a socialist! you're always on the side of the working
'I may be on their side in a political crisis, but being on their side
Hilda had lived among the real political intellectuals, so she' was
The nondescript evening in the hotel dragged out, and at last they had
'After all, Hilda,' she' said, 'love can be wonderful: when you feel you
'I suppose every mosquito feels the same,' said Hilda. 'Do you think it
The evening was wonderfully clear and long~ lingering, even in the small
Connie wore her goggles and disguising cap, and she' sat in silence.
They had their head~ lights on, by the time they passed Crosshill, and
'Here we are!' she' said softly.
But Hilda had switched off the lights, and was absorbed backing, making
'Nothing on the bridge?' she' asked shortly.
'You're all right,' said the man's voice.
She backed on to the bridge, reversed, let the car run forwards a few
'Did you wait long?' Connie asked.
'Not so very,' he replied.
They both waited for Hilda to get out. But Hilda shut the door of the
'This is my sister Hilda. Won't you come and speak to her? Hilda! This
The keeper lifted his hat, but went no nearer.
'Do walk down to the cottage with us, Hilda,' Connie pleaded. 'It's not
'What about the car?'
'People do leave them on the lanes. You have the key.'
Hilda was silent, deliberating. Then she' looked backwards down the
'Can I back round the bush?' she' said.
'Oh yes!' said the keeper.
She backed slowly round the curve, out of sight of the road, locked the
At length Connie saw the yellow light of the house, and her heart beat
He unlocked the door and preceded them into the warm but bare little
He was moderately tall, and thin, and she' thought him good~ looking. He
'Do sit down, Hilda,' said Connie.
'Do!' he said. 'Can I make you tea or anything, or will you drink a
'Beer!' said Connie.
'Beer for me, please!' said Hilda, with a mock sort of shyness. He
He took a blue jug and tramped to the scullery. When he came back with
Connie sat down by the door, and Hilda sat in his seat, with the back
'That is his chair,' said Connie softly.' And Hilda rose as if it had
'Sit yer still, sit yer still! Ta'e ony cheer as yo'n a mind to, none
And he brought Hilda a glass, and poured her beer first from the blue
'As for cigarettes,' he said, 'I've got none, but 'appen you've got
'What is there?' asked Connie, flush ing.
'Boiled ham, cheese, pickled wa'nuts, if yer like.~ Nowt much.'
'Yes,' said Connie. 'Won't you, Hilda?'
Hilda looked up at him.
'Why do you speak Yorkshire?' she' said softly.
'That! That's non Yorkshire, that's Derby.'
He looked back at her with that faint, distant grin.
'Derby, then! Why do you speak Derby? You spoke natural English at
'Did Ah though? An' canna Ah change if Ah'm a mind to 't? Nay, nay, let
'It sounds a little affected,' said Hilda.
'Ay, 'appen so! An' up i' Tevershall yo'd sound affected.' He looked
He tramped away to the pantry for the food.
The sisters sat in silence. He brought another plate, and knife and
'An' if it's the same to you, I s'll ta'e my coat off like I allers
And he took off his coat, and hung it on the peg, then sat down to
''Elp yerselves!' he said. ''Elp yerselves! Dunna wait f'r axin'!' He
'Still!' she' said, as she' took a little cheese. 'It would be more
He looked at her, feeling her devil of a will.
'Would it?' he said in the normal English. 'Would it? Would anything
'Oh yes!' said Hilda. 'Just good manners would be quite natural.'
'Second nature, so to speak!' he said: then he began to laugh. 'Nay,'
Hilda was frankly baffled and furiously annoyed. After all, he might
The three ate in silence. Hilda looked to see what his table~ manners
But neither would he get the better of her.
'And do you really think,' she' said, a little more humanly, 'it's worth
'Is what worth what risk?'
'This escapade with my sister.'
He flickered his irritating grin.
'Yo' maun ax 'er!' Then he looked at Connie.
'Tha comes o' thine own accord, lass, doesn't ter? It's non me as
Connie looked at Hilda.
'I wish you wouldn't cavil, Hilda.'
'Naturally I don't want to. But someone has to think about things.
There was a moment's pause.
'Eh, continuity!' he said. 'An' what by that? What continuity ave yer
'What right have you to speak like that to me?' said Hilda.
'Right! What right ha' yo' ter start harnessin' other folks i' your
'My dear man, do you think I am concerned with you?' said Hilda softly.
'Ay,' he said. 'Yo' are. For it's a force~ put. Yo' more or less my
'Still far from it, I assure you.
'Not a' that far, I assure YOU. I've got my own sort o' continuity,
He was looking at her with an odd, flickering smile, faintly sensual
'And men like you,' she' said, 'ought to be segregated: justifying their
'Ay, ma'am! It's a mercy there's a few men left like me. But you
Hilda had risen and gone to the door. He rose and took his coat from
'I can find my way quite well alone,' she' said.
'I doubt you can't,' he replied easily.
They tramped in ridiculous file down the lane again, in silence. An owl
The car stood untouched, a little dewy. Hilda got in and started the
'All I mean,' she' said from her entrenchment, 'is that I doubt if
'One man's meat is another man's poison,' he said, out of the darkness.
The lights flared out.
'Don't make me wait in the morning,'
'No, I won't. Goodnight!'
The car rose slowly on to the highroad, then slid swiftly away, leaving
Connie timidly took his arm, and they went down the lane. He did not
'Kiss me!' she' murmured.
'Nay, wait a bit! Let me simmer down,' he said.
That amused her. She still kept hold of his arm, and they went quickly
When they were in the cottage again, she' almost jumped with pleasure,
'But you were horrid to Hilda,' she' said to him.
'She should ha' been slapped in time.'
'But why? and she''s SO nice.'
He didn't answer, went round doing the evening chores, with a quiet,
Still he took no notice of her.
Till he sat down and began to unlace his boots. Then he looked up at
'Shan't you go up?' he said. 'There's a candle!'
He jerked his head swiftly to indicate the candle burning on the table.
It was a night of sensual passion, in which she' was a little startled
Burning out the shames, the deepest, oldest shames, in the most secret
She had often wondered what Abelard meant, when he said that in their
In the short summer night she' learnt so much. She would have thought a
And what a reckless devil the man was! really like a devil! One had to
And how, in fear, she' had hated it. But how she' had really wanted it!
What liars poets and everybody were! They made one think one wanted
Ah, God, how rare a thing a man is! They are all dogs that trot and
Till his rousing waked her completely. He was sitting up in bed,
'Is it time to wake up?' she' said.
'Half past six.'
She had to be at the lane~ end at eight. Always, always, always this
'I might make the breakfast and bring it up here; should I?' he said.
Flossie whimpered gently below. He got up and threw off his pyjamas,
'Draw the curtain, will you?'
The sun was shining already on the tender green leaves of morning, and
He was going, fleeing from her dangerous, crouching nakedness.
'Have I lost my nightie altogether?' she' said.
He pushed his hand down in the bed, and pulled out the bit of flimsy
'I knowed I felt silk at my ankles,' he said.
But the night~ dress was slit almost in two.
'Never mind!' she' said. 'It belongs here, really. I'll leave it.'
'Ay, leave it, I can put it between my legs at night, for company.
She slipped on the torn thing, and sat dreamily looking out of the
Downstairs she' heard him making the fire, pumping water, going out at
'How good it is!' she' said. 'How nice to have breakfast together.'
He ate in silence, his mind on the time that was quickly passing. That
'Oh, how I wish I could stay here with you, and Wragby were a million
'And you promise we will live together and have a life together, you
'Ay! When we can.'
'Yes! And we WILL! we WILL, won't we?' she' leaned over, making the tea
'Ay!' he said, tidying up the tea.
'We can't possibly NOT live together now, can we?' she' said
He looked up at her with his flickering grin.
'No!' he said. 'Only you've got to start in twenty~ five minutes.'
'Have I?' she' cried. Suddenly he held up a warning finger, and rose to
Flossie had given a short bark, then three loud sharp yaps of warning.
Silent, he put his plate on the tray and went downstairs. Constance
'Morning, Mr Mellors! Registered letter!'
'Oh ay! Got a pencil?'
There was a pause.
'Canada!' said the stranger's voice.
'Ay! That's a mate o' mine out there in British Columbia. Dunno what
''Appen sent y'a fortune, like.'
'More like wants summat.'
'Well! Lovely day again!'
After a time he came upstairs again, looking a little angry.
'Postman,' he said.
'Very early!' she' replied.
'Rural round; he's mostly here by seven, when he does come.
'Did your mate send you a fortune?'
'No! Only some photographs and papers about a place out there in
'Would you go there?'
'I thought perhaps we might.'
'Oh yes! I believe it's lovely!'
But he was put out by the postman's coming.
'Them damn bikes, they're on you afore you know where you are. I hope
'After all, what could he twig!'
'You must get up now, and get ready. I'm just goin' ter look round
She saw him go reconnoitring into the lane, with dog and gun. She went
He locked up, and they set off, but through the wood, not down the
'Don't you think one lives for times like last night?' she' said to him.
'Ay! But there's the rest o'times to think on,' he replied, rather
They plodded on down the overgrown path, he in front, in silence.
'And we WILL live together and make a life together, won't we?' she'
'Ay!' he replied, striding on without looking round. 'When t' time
She followed him dumbly, with sinking heart. Oh, now she' was WAE to go!
At last he stopped.
'I'll just strike across here,' he said, pointing to the right.
But she' flung her arms round his neck, and clung to him.
'But you'll keep the tenderness for me, won't you?' she' whispered. 'I
He kissed her and held her close for a moment. Then he sighed, and
'I must go an' look if th' car's there.'
He strode over the low brambles and bracken, leaving a trail through
'Car's not there yet,' he said. 'But there's the baker's cart on t'
He seemed anxious and troubled.
They heard a car softly hoot as it came nearer. It slowed up on the
She plunged with utter mournfulness in his track through the fern, and
'Here! Go through there!' he said, pointing to a gap. 'I shan't come
She looked at him in despair. But he kissed her and made her go. She
'Why you're there!' said Hilda. 'Where's HE?'
'He's not coming.'
Connie's face was running with tears as she' got into the car with her
'Put it on!' she' said. And Connie pulled on the disguise, then the long
'Thank goodness you'll be away from him for some time!' said Hilda,
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
|Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence||
'You see, Hilda,' said Connie after lunch, when they were nearing
'For mercy's sake don't brag about your experiences!' said Hilda. 'I've
Connie pondered this. Complete intimacy! She supposed that meant
'I think you're too conscious of yourself all the time, with
'I hope at least I haven't a slave nature,' said Hilda.
'But perhaps you have! Perhaps you are a slave to your own idea of
Hilda drove in silence for some time after this piece of unheard of
'At least I'm not a slave to somebody else's idea of me: and the
'You see, it's not so,' said Connie calmly.
She had always let herself be dominated by her elder sister. Now,
She was glad to be with her father, whose favourite she' had always
He was still handsome and robust, though just a little afraid of the
Connie sat next to him at the opera. He was moderately stout, and had
Connie woke up to the existence of legs. They became more important to
But the women were not daunted. The awful mill~ posts of most females!
But she' was not happy in London. The people seemed so spectral and
In Paris at any rate she' felt a bit of sensuality still. But what a
Connie found herself shrinking and afraid of the world. Sometimes she'
She was glad to drive on. It was suddenly hot weather, so Hilda was
And the trip was really quite nice. Only Connie kept saying to herself:
No, she' found nothing vital in France or Switzerland or the Tyrol or
As for people! people were all alike, with very little difference. They
No! said Connie to herself I'd rather be at Wragby, where I can go
She wanted to go back to Wragby, even to Clifford, even to poor
But in her inner consciousness she' was keeping touch with the other
They left the car in Mestre, in a garage, and took the regular steamer
At the station quay they changed to a gondola, giving the man the
'Yes! The Villa Esmeralda! Yes! I know it! I have been the gondolier
He seemed a rather childish, impetuous fellow. He rowed with a certain
But at last he came to one of the open canals with pavement on either
'Are the signorine staying long at the Villa Esmeralda?' he asked,
'Some twenty days: we are both married ladies,' said Hilda, in her
'Ah! Twenty days!' said the man. There was a pause. After which he
Connie and Hilda considered. In Venice, it is always preferable to have
'What is there at the Villa? what boats?'
'There is a motor~ launch, also a gondola. But~ ' The BUT meant: they
'How much do you charge?'
It was about thirty shillings a day, or ten pounds a week.
'Is that the regular price?' asked Hilda.
'Less, Signora, less. The regular price~ '
The sisters considered.
'Well,' said Hilda, 'come tomorrow morning, and we will arrange it.
His name was Giovanni, and he wanted to know at what time he should
'Ah!' he said, lighting up. 'Milady! Milady, isn't it?'
'Milady Costanza!' said Connie.
He nodded, repeating: 'Milady Costanza!' and putting the card carefully
The Villa Esmeralda was quite a long way out, on the edge of the lagoon
Their host was a heavy, rather coarse Scotchman who had made a good
The house was pretty full. Besides Sir Malcolm and his two daughters,
Connie and Hilda ruled out the prince at once. The Guthries were more
Sir Malcolm was painting. Yes, he still would do a Venetian
The house~ party, as a house~ party, was distinctly boring. But this did
Connie and Hilda went around in their sunny frocks. There were dozens
It was pleasant in a way. It was ALMOST enjoyment. But anyhow, with all
Hilda half liked being drugged. She liked looking at all the women,
Hilda liked jazz, because she' could plaster her stomach against the
The happiest times were when she' got Hilda to go with her away across
Then Giovanni got another gondolier to help him, because it was a long
So Giovanni was already devoted to his ladies, as he had been devoted
He thought this trip to some lonely bank across the lagoon probably
The mate he brought was called Daniele. He was not a regular gondolier,
Daniele was beautiful, tall and well~ shapen, with a light round head of
He was a real man, a little angry when Giovanni drank too much wine and
Ah, how sad that man first prostitutes woman, then woman prostitutes
Connie looked at Venice far off, low and rose~ coloured upon the water.
Yet Daniele was still a man capable of a man's free allegiance. He did
Connie would come home from the blazing light of the lagoon in a kind
She lived in the stupor of the light of the lagoon, the lapping
She had been at Venice a fortnight, and she' was to stay another ten
From which a letter of Clifford roused her.
We too have had our mild local excitement. It appears the truant wife
I repeat this from hearsay, as Mellors has not come to me personally. I
I like your picture of Sir Malcolm striding into the sea with white
This news affected Connie in her state of semi~ stupefied well~ being with
But how hateful! Now everything was messed up. How foul those low
She did not mention the fact of her pregnancy, even to Hilda. She wrote
Duncan Forbes, an artist friend of theirs, had arrived at the Villa
She had a letter from Mrs Bolton:
You will be pleased, I am sure, my Lady, when you see Sir Clifford.
About Mr Mellors, I don't know how much Sir Clifford told you. It seems
But when he came back after dark, he found the house broken into, so he
Mr Mellors stayed on with his mother, and went to the wood through the
This was a nasty blow to Connie. Here she' was, sure as life, coming in
She had a revulsion against the whole affair, and almost envied the
As for the scent~ bottle, that was her own folly. She had not been able
She could not help confiding a little in Duncan Forbes. She didn't say
'Oh,' said Forbes, 'you'll see, they'll never rest till they've pulled
Connie had a revulsion in the opposite direction now. What had he done,
No no, it should not be. She saw the image of him, naked white with
She did a rash thing. She sent a letter to Ivy Bolton, enclosing a note
I am very much distressed to hear of all the trouble your wife is
A few days later came a letter from Clifford. He was evidently upset.
I am delighted to hear you are prepared to leave Venice on the
I am assiduously, admirably looked after by Mrs Bolton. She is a queer
The scandal of the keeper continues and gets bigger like a snowball.
She is preoccupied with the Mellors scandal, and if I will let her
It seems to me absolutely true, that our world, which appears to us the
But sometimes the soul does come up, shoots like a kittiwake into the
When I hear Mrs Bolton talk, I feel myself plunging down, down, to the
I am afraid we are going to lose our game~ keeper. The scandal of the
I hear this Bertha Coutts besieges Mellors in his mother's house,
The woman has blown off an amazing quantity of poison~ gas. She has
However, everybody listens: as I do myself. A dozen years ago, common
The trouble is, however, the execrable Bertha Coutts has not confined
I have had to interview Mellors about the business, as it was
I asked him if he thought he would be able to attend to his duty in the
He said it with some bitterness, and no doubt it contains the real germ
These things, said indiscriminately to all and sundry, of course do not
I asked him if it was true that he entertained ladies down at the
I asked him if it would be easy for him to find another job. He said: 'If
Well, there is the end of it for the time being. The woman has gone
Meanwhile, my dear Connie, if you would enjoy to stay in Venice or in
So you see, we are deep~ sea monsters, and when the lobster walks on
The irritation, and the lack of any sympathy in any direction, of
The cat is out of the bag, along with various other pussies. You have
Sir Clifford asked to see me, so I went to him. He talked around things
I shall go to London, and my old landlady, Mrs Inger, 17 Coburg Square,
Be sure your sins will find you out, especially if you're married and
There was not a word about herself, or to her. Connie resented this. He
So her name was coupled with his in Tevershall! It was a mess. But that
She was angry, with the complicated and confused anger that made her
So Duncan left her alone: really quite pleased to be able to. All the
'Have you ever thought,' he said to her one day, 'how very little
'Ask him,' said Connie.
Duncan did so. Daniele said he was married, and had two children, both
'Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
|Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence||
She had to make up her mind what to do. She would leave Venice on the
Inside herself she' was curiously and complicatedly angry, and all her
Sir Malcolm decided to travel with Connie, and Duncan could come on
Sir Malcolm was always uneasy going back to his wife. It was habit
'A little dull for you, going back to Wragby,' said her father,
'I'm not sure I shall go back to Wragby,' she' said, with startling
'You mean you'll stay on in Paris a while?'
'No! I mean never go back to Wragby.'
He was bothered by his own little problems, and sincerely hoped he was
'How's that, all at once?' he asked.
'I'm going to have a child.'
It was the first time she' had uttered the words to any living soul, and
'How do you know?' said her father.
'How SHOULD I know?'
'But not Clifford's child, of course?'
'No! Another man's.'
She rather enjoyed tormenting him.
'Do I know the man?' asked Sir Malcolm.
'No! You've never seen him.'
There was a long pause.
'And what are your plans?'
'I don't know. That's the point.'
'No patching it up with Clifford?'
'I suppose Clifford would take it,' said Connie. 'He told me, after
'Only sensible thing he could say, under the circumstances. Then I
'In what way?' said Connie, looking into her father's eyes. They were
'You can present Clifford with an heir to all the Chatterleys, and put
Sir Malcolm's face smiled with a half~ sensual smile.
'But I don't think I want to,' she' said.
'Why not? Feeling entangled with the other man? Well! If you want the
And Sir Malcolm sat back and smiled again. Connie did not answer.
'I hope you had a real man at last,' he said to her after a while,
'I did. That's the trouble. There aren't many of them about,' she' said.
'No, by God!' he mused. 'There aren't! Well, my dear, to look at you,
'Oh no! He leaves me my own mistress entirely.'
'Quite! Quite! A genuine man would.'
Sir Malcolm was pleased. Connie was his favourite daughter, he had
He drove with her to Hartland's hotel, and saw her installed: then went
She found a letter from Mellors.
I won't come round to your hotel, but I'll wait for you outside the
There he stood, tall and slender, and so different, in a formal suit of
'Ah, there you are! How well you look!'
'Yes! But not you.'
She looked in his face anxiously. It was thin, and the cheekbones
'Was it horrid for you?' she' asked as she' sat opposite him at table. He
'People are always horrid,' he said.
'And did you mind very much?'
'I minded, as I always shall mind. And I knew I was a fool to mind.'
'Did you feel like a dog with a tin can tied to its tail? Clifford said
He looked at her. It was cruel of her at that moment: for his pride had
'I suppose I did,' he said.
She never knew the fierce bitterness with which he resented insult.
There was a long pause.
'And did you miss me?' she' asked.
'I was glad you were out of it.'
Again there was a pause.
'But did people BELIEVE about you and me?' she' asked.
'No! I don't think so for a moment.'
'I should say not. He put it off without thinking about it. But
'I'm going to have a child.'
The expression died utterly out of his face, out of his whole body. He
'Say you're glad!' she' pleaded, groping for his hand. And she' saw a
'It's the future,' he said.
'But aren't you glad?' she' persisted.
'I have such a terrible mistrust of the future.'
'But you needn't be troubled by any responsibility. Clifford would have
She saw him go pale, and recoil under this. He did not answer.
'Shall I go back to Clifford and put a little baronet into Wragby?' she'
He looked at her, pale and very remote. The ugly little grin flickered
'You wouldn't have to tell him who the father was?'
'Oh!' she' said; 'he'd take it even then, if I wanted him to.'
He thought for a time.
'Ay!' he said at last, to himself. 'I suppose he would.'
There was silence. A big gulf was between them.
'But you don't want me to go back to Clifford, do you?' she' asked him.
'What do you want yourself?' he replied.
'I want to live with you,' she' said simply.
In spite of himself, little flames ran over his belly as he heard her
'If it's worth it to you,' he said. 'I've got nothing.'
'You've got more than most men. Come, you know it,' she' said.
'In one way, I know it.' He was silent for a time, thinking. Then he
'But why offer anything? It's not a bargain. It's just that we love one
'Nay, nay! It's more than that. Living is moving and moving on. My life
'Why not?' she' said.
'Why, because I can't. And you would soon hate it.'
'As if you couldn't trust me,' she' said.
The grin flickered on his face.
'The money is yours, the position is yours, the decisions will lie with
'What else are you?'
'You may well ask. It no doubt is invisible. Yet I'm something to
'And will your existence have less point, if you live with me?'
He paused a long time before replying:
She too stayed to think about it.
'And what is the point of your existence?'
'I tell you, it's invisible. I don't believe in the world, not in
'And what will the real future have to be like?'
'God knows! I can feel something inside me, all mixed up with a lot of
'Shall I tell you?' she' said, looking into his face. 'Shall I tell you
'Tell me then,' he replied.
'It's the courage of your own tenderness, that's what it is: like when
The grin came flickering on his face.
'That!' he said.
Then he sat thinking.
'Ay!' he said. 'You're right. It's that really. It's that all the way
She looked at him.
'Then why are you afraid of me?' she' said.
He looked at her a long time before he answered.
'It's the money, really, and the position. It's the world in you.'
'But isn't there tenderness in me?' she' said wistfully.
He looked down at her, with darkened, abstract eyes.
'Ay! It comes an' goes, like in me.'
'But can't you trust it between you and me?' she' asked, gazing
She saw his face all softening down, losing its armour. 'Maybe!' he
'I want you to hold me in your arms,' she' said. 'I want you to tell me
She looked so lovely and warm and wistful, his bowels stirred towards
'I suppose we can go to my room,' he said. 'Though it's scandalous
But she' saw the forgetfulness of the world coming over him again, his
They walked by the remoter streets to Coburg Square, where he had a
She took off her things, and made him do the same. She was lovely in
'I ought to leave you alone,' he said.
'No!' she' said. 'Love me! Love me, and say you'll keep me. Say you'll
She crept close against him, clinging fast to his thin, strong naked
'Then I'll keep thee,' he said. 'If tha wants it, then I'll keep thee.'
He held her round and fast.
'And say you're glad about the child,' she' repeated.
'Kiss it! Kiss my womb and say you're glad it's there.'
But that was more difficult for him.
'I've a dread of puttin' children i' th' world,' he said. 'I've such a
'But you've put it into me. Be tender to it, and that will be its
He quivered, because it was true. 'Be tender to it, and that will be
'Oh, you love me! You love me!' she' said, in a little cry like one of
And he realized as he went into her that this was the thing he had to
She was quite determined now that there should be no parting between
'Did you hate Bertha Coutts?' she' asked him.
'Don't talk to me about her.'
'Yes! You must let me. Because once you liked her. And once you were as
'I don't know. She sort of kept her will ready against me, always,
'But she''s not free of you even now. Does she' still love you?'
'No, no! If she''s not free of me, it's because she''s got that mad rage,
'But she' must have loved you.'
'No! Well, in specks she' did. She was drawn to me. And I think even
'But perhaps she' felt you didn't really love her, and she' wanted to
'My God, it was bloody making.'
'But you didn't really love her, did you? You did her that wrong.'
'How could I? I began to. I began to love her. But somehow, she' always
'And shouldn't men be shot at last, if they get possessed by their own
'Ay!~ the same! But I must get free of her, or she''ll be at me again. I
Connie pondered this.
'Then we can't be together?' she' said.
'Not for six months or so. But I think my divorce will go through in
'But the baby will probably be born at the end of February,' she' said.
He was silent.
'I could wish the Cliffords and Berthas all dead,' he said.
'It's not being very tender to them,' she' said.
'Tender to them? Yea, even then the tenderest thing you could do for
'But you wouldn't do it,' she' said.
'I would though! and with less qualms than I shoot a weasel. It anyhow
'Then perhaps it is just as well you daren't.'
Connie had now plenty to think of. It was evident he wanted absolutely
One could not. The far ends of the world are not five minutes from
Patience! Patience! The world is a vast and ghastly intricacy of
Connie confided in her father.
'You see, Father, he was Clifford's game~ keeper: but he was an officer
Sir Malcolm, however, had no sympathy with the unsatisfactory mysticism
'Where did your game~ keeper spring from?' asked Sir Malcolm irritably.
'He was a collier's son in Tevershall. But he's absolutely
The knighted artist became more angry.
'Looks to me like a gold~ digger,' he said. 'And you're a pretty easy
'No, Father, it's not like that. You'd know if you saw him. He's a man.
'Apparently he had a good instinct, for once.'
What Sir Malcolm could not bear was the scandal of his daughter's
'I care nothing about the fellow. He's evidently been able to get round
'I know,' said Connie. 'Talk is beastly: especially if you live in
'Another man's! What other man's?'
'Perhaps Duncan Forbes. He has been our friend all his life.'
'And he's a fairly well~ known artist. And he's fond of me.'
'Well I'm damned! Poor Duncan! And what's he going to get out of it?'
'I don't know. But he might rather like it, even.'
'He might, might he? Well, he's a funny man if he does. Why, you've
'No! But he doesn't really want it. He only loves me to be near him,
'My God, what a generation!'
'He would like me most of all to be a model for him to paint from. Only
'God help him! But he looks down~ trodden enough for anything.'
'Still, you wouldn't mind so much the talk about him?'
'My God, Connie, all the bloody contriving!'
'I know! It's sickening! But what can I do?'
'Contriving, conniving; conniving, contriving! Makes a man think he's
'Come, Father, if you haven't done a good deal of contriving and
'But it was different, I assure you.'
'It's ALWAYS different.'
Hilda arrived, also furious when she' heard of the new developments. And
'Why should we not just disappear, separately, to British Columbia, and
But that was no good. The scandal would come out just the same. And if
'But will you see him, Father?'
Poor Sir Malcolm! he was by no means keen on it. And poor Mellors, he
Sir Malcolm drank a fair amount of whisky, Mellors also drank. And they
This lasted during the meal. Only when coffee was served, and the
'Well, young man, and what about my daughter?'
The grin flickered on Mellors' face.
'Well, Sir, and what about her?'
'You've got a baby in her all right.'
'I have that honour!' grinned Mellors.
'Honour, by God!' Sir Malcolm gave a little squirting laugh, and became
'I'll bet it was! Ha~ ha! My daughter, chip of the old block, what! I
Speaking seriously, they didn't get very far. Mellors, though a little
'So you're a game~ keeper! Oh, you're quite right! That sort of game is
The knight lifted his eyebrows.
'As much as that! Well, you've another good twenty years, by the look
Seriously, they didn't do anything about it, except establish the old
'And look here, my boy, if ever I can do anything for you, you can rely
'I'm glad you think so. They usually tell me, in a sideways fashion,
'Oh, they would! My dear fellow, what could you be but a monkey, to all
They parted most genially, and Mellors laughed inwardly all the time
The following day he had lunch with Connie and Hilda, at some discreet
'It's a very great pity it's such an ugly situation all round,' said
'I had a lot o' fun out of it,' said he.
'I think you might have avoided putting children into the world until
'The Lord blew a bit too soon on the spark,' said he.
'I think the Lord had nothing to do with it. Of course, Connie has
'But then you don't have to bear more than a small corner of it, do
'If you'd been in her own class.'
'Or if I'd been in a cage at the Zoo.'
There was silence.
'I think,' said Hilda, 'it will be best if she' names quite another man
'But I thought I'd put my foot right in.'
'I mean in the divorce proceedings.'
He gazed at her in wonder. Connie had not dared mention the Duncan
'I don't follow,' he said.
'We have a friend who would probably agree to be named as
'You mean a man?'
'But she''s got no other?'
He looked in wonder at Connie.
'No, no!' she' said hastily. 'Only that old friendship, quite simple, no
'Then why should the fellow take the blame? If he's had nothing out of
'Some men are chivalrous and don't only count what they get out of a
'One for me, eh? But who's the johnny?'
'A friend whom we've known since we were children in Scotland, an
'Duncan Forbes!' he said at once, for Connie had talked to him.
'And how would you shift the blame on to him?'
'They could stay together in some hotel, or she' could even stay in his
'Seems to me like a lot of fuss for nothing,' he said.
'What else do you suggest?' said Hilda. 'If your name appears, you will
'All that!' he said grimly.
There was a long silence.
'We could go right away,' he said.
'There is no right away for Connie,' said Hilda. 'Clifford is too well
Again the silence of pure frustration.
'The world is what it is. If you want to live together without being
He was silent for a long time.
'How are you going about it for us?' he said.
'We will see if Duncan will consent to figure as co~ respondent: then we
'Sounds like a lunatic asylum.'
'Possibly! And the world would look on you as lunatics: or worse.
'What is worse?'
'Criminals, I suppose.'
'Hope I can plunge in the dagger a few more times yet,' he said,
'Well!' he said at last. 'I agree to anything. The world is a raving
He looked in humiliation, anger, weariness and misery at Connie.
'Ma lass!' he said. 'The world's goin' to put salt on thy tail.'
'Not if we don't let it,' she' said.
She minded this conniving against the world less than he did.
Duncan, when approached, also insisted on seeing the delinquent
They were looking at the pictures in the studio, and Duncan kept his
'It is like a pure bit of murder,' said Mellors at last; a speech
'And who is murdered?' asked Hilda, rather coldly and sneeringly.
'Me! It murders all the bowels of compassion in a man.'
A wave of pure hate came out of the artist. He heard the note of
Mellors stood rather tall and thin, worn~ looking, gazing with
'Perhaps stupidity is murdered; sentimental stupidity,' sneered the
'Do you think so? I think all these tubes and corrugated vibrations are
In another wave of hate the artist's face looked yellow. But with a
'I think we may go to the dining~ room,' he said. And they trailed off,
After coffee, Duncan said:
'I don't at all mind posing as the father of Connie's child. But only
'Ah!' said Mellors. 'You only do it on condition, then?'
'Quite! I only do it on that condition.' The artist tried to put the
'Better have me as a model at the same time,' said Mellors. 'Better do
'Thank you,' said the artist. 'I don't think Vulcan has a figure that
'Not even if it was tubified and titivated up?'
There was no answer. The artist was too haughty for further words.
It was a dismal party, in which the artist henceforth steadily ignored
'You didn't like him, but he's better than that, really. He's really
'He's a little black pup with a corrugated distemper,' said Mellors.
'No, he wasn't nice today.'
'And will you go and be a model to him?'
'Oh, I don't really mind any more. He won't touch me. And I don't mind
'But he'll only shit on you on canvas.'
'I don't care. He'll only be painting his own feelings for me, and I
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
|Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence||
Dear Clifford, I am afraid what you foresaw has happened. I am really
Clifford was not INWARDLY surprised to get this letter. Inwardly, he
And that is how we are. By strength of will we cut off our inner
Clifford was like a hysterical child. He gave Mrs Bolton a terrible
'Why, Sir Clifford, whatever's the matter?'
No answer! She was terrified lest he had had a stroke. She hurried and
'Is there a pain? Do try and tell me where it hurts you. Do tell me!'
'Oh dear, oh dear! Then I'll telephone to Sheffield for Dr Carrington,
She was moving to the door, when he said in a hollow tone:
She stopped and gazed at him. His face was yellow, blank, and like the
'Do you mean you'd rather I didn't fetch the doctor?'
'Yes! I don't want him,' came the sepulchral voice.
'Oh, but Sir Clifford, you're ill, and I daren't take the
A pause: then the hollow voice said:
'I'm not ill. My wife isn't coming back.' It was as if an image spoke.
'Not coming back? you mean her ladyship?' Mrs Bolton moved a little
The image in the bed did not change, but it pushed a letter over the
'Read it!' said the sepulchral voice.
'Why, if it's a letter from her ladyship, I'm sure her ladyship
'Read it!' repeated the voice.
'Why, if I must, I do it to obey you, Sir Clifford,' she' said. And she'
'Well, I AM surprised at her ladyship,' she' said. 'She promised so
The face in the bed seemed to deepen its expression of wild, but
She was a little impatient of Sir Clifford. Any man in his senses must
But hysteria is dangerous: and she' was a nurse, it was her duty to pull
The only thing was to release his self~ pity. Like the lady in Tennyson,
So Mrs Bolton began to weep first. She covered her face with her hand
Clifford thought of the way he had been betrayed by the woman Connie,
'Now, don't you fret, Sir Clifford!' she' said, in a luxury of emotion.
His body shivered suddenly in an indrawn breath of silent sobbing, and
And he put his arms round her and clung to her like a child, wetting
So at length she' kissed him, and rocked him on her bosom, and in her
After this, Clifford became like a child with Mrs Bolton. He would hold
And he lay with a queer, blank face like a child, with a bit of the
Mrs Bolton was both thrilled and ashamed, she' both loved and hated it.
The curious thing was that when this child~ man, which Clifford was now
And in this Mrs Bolton triumphed. 'How he's getting on!' she' would say
At the same time, in some corner of her weird female soul, how she'
His behaviour with regard to Connie was curious. He insisted on seeing
'But is it any use?' said Mrs Bolton. 'Can't you let her go, and be rid
'No! She said she' was coming back, and she''s got to come.'
Mrs Bolton opposed him no more. She knew what she' was dealing with.
I needn't tell you what effect your letter has had on me [he wrote to
I can only say one thing in answer: I must see you personally, here at
Connie showed this letter to Mellors.
'He wants to begin his revenge on you,' he said, handing the letter
Connie was silent. She was somewhat surprised to find that she' was
'What shall I do?' she' said.
'Nothing, if you don't want to do anything.'
She replied, trying to put Clifford off. He answered:
If you don't come back to Wragby now, I shall consider that you are
She was frightened. This was bullying of an insidious sort. She had no
After a time of worry and harassment, she' decided to go to Wragby.
I shall not welcome your sister, but I shall not deny her the door. I
They went to Wragby. Clifford was away when they arrived. Mrs Bolton
'Oh, your Ladyship, it isn't the happy home~ coming we hoped for, is
'Isn't it?' said Connie.
So this woman knew! How much did the rest of the servants know or
She entered the house, which now she' hated with every fibre in her
'I can't stay long here,' she' whispered to Hilda, terrified.
And she' suffered going into her own bedroom, re~ entering into
They did not meet Clifford till they went down to dinner. He was
'How much do the servants know?' asked Connie, when the woman was out
'Of your intentions? Nothing whatsoever.'
'Mrs Bolton knows.'
He changed colour.
'Mrs Bolton is not exactly one of the servants,' he said.
'Oh, I don't mind.'
There was tension till after coffee, when Hilda said she' would go up to
Clifford and Connie sat in silence when she' had gone. Neither would
'I suppose you don't at all mind having gone back on your word?' he
'I can't help it,' she' murmured.
'But if you can't, who can?'
'I suppose nobody.'
He looked at her with curious cold rage. He was used to her. She was as
'And for WHAT do you want to go back on everything?' he insisted.
'Love!' she' said. It was best to be hackneyed.
'Love of Duncan Forbes? But you didn't think that worth having, when
'One changes,' she' said.
'Possibly! Possibly you may have whims. But you still have to convince
'But why SHOULD you believe in it? You have only to divorce me, not to
'And why should I divorce you?'
'Because I don't want to live here any more. And you really don't want
'Pardon me! I don't change. For my part, since you are my wife, I
After a time of silence she' said:
'I can't help it. I've got to go. I expect I shall have a child.'
He too was silent for a time.
'And is it for the child's sake you must go?' he asked at length.
'And why? Is Duncan Forbes so keen on his spawn?'
'Surely keener than you would be,' she' said.
'But really? I want my wife, and I see no reason for letting her go. If
There was a pause.
'But don't you see,' said Connie. 'I MUST go away from you, and I must
'No, I don't see it! I don't give tuppence for your love, nor for the
'But you see, I do.'
'Do you? My dear Madam, you are too intelligent, I assure you, to
She felt he was right there. And she' felt she' could keep silent no
'Because it isn't Duncan that I DO love,' she' said, looking up at him.
'We only said it was Duncan, to spare your feelings.'
'To spare my feelings?'
'Yes! Because who I really love, and it'll make you hate me, is Mr
If he could have sprung out of his chair, he would have done so. His
Then he dropped back in the chair, gasping and looking up at the
At length he sat up.
'Do you mean to say you're telling me the truth?' he asked, looking
'Yes! You know I am.'
'And when did you begin with him?'
'In the spring.'
He was silent like some beast in a trap.
'And it WAS you, then, in the bedroom at the cottage?'
So he had really inwardly known all the time.
He still leaned forward in his chair, gazing at her like a cornered
'My God, you ought to be wiped off the face of the earth!'
'Why?' she' ejaculated faintly.
But he seemed not to hear.
'That scum! That bumptious lout! That miserable cad! And carrying on
He was beside himself with rage, as she' knew he would be.
'And you mean to say you want to have a child to a cad like that?'
'Yes! I'm going to.'
'You're going to! You mean you're sure! How long have you been sure?'
He was speechless, and the queer blank look of a child came over him
'You'd wonder,' he said at last, 'that such beings were ever allowed to
'What beings?' she' asked.
He looked at her weirdly, without an answer. It was obvious, he
'And do you mean to say you'd marry him?~ and bear his foul name?' he
'Yes, that's what I want.'
He was again as if dumbfounded.
'Yes!' he said at last. 'That proves that what I've always thought
Suddenly he had become almost wistfully moral, seeing himself the
'So don't you think you'd better divorce me and have done with it?' she'
'No! You can go where you like, but I shan't divorce you,' he said
He was silent, in the silence of imbecile obstinacy.
'Would you even let the child be legally yours, and your heir?' she'
'I care nothing about the child.'
'But if it's a boy it will be legally your son, and it will inherit
'I care nothing about that,' he said.
'But you MUST! I shall prevent the child from being legally yours, if I
'Do as you like about that.'
He was immovable.
'And won't you divorce me?' she' said. 'You can use Duncan as a pretext!
'I shall never divorce you,' he said, as if a nail had been driven in.
'But why? Because I want you to?'
'Because I follow my own inclination, and I'm not inclined to.'
It was useless. She went upstairs and told Hilda the upshot.
'Better get away tomorrow,' said Hilda, 'and let him come to his
So Connie spent half the night packing her really private and personal
But she' spoke to Mrs Bolton.
'I must say good~ bye to you, Mrs Bolton, you know why. But I can trust
'Oh, you can trust me, your Ladyship, though it's a sad blow for us
'The other gentleman! It's Mr Mellors, and I care for him. Sir Clifford
'I'm sure you would, my Lady. Oh, you can trust me. I'll be faithful to
'Thank you! And look! I want to give you this~ may I?' So Connie left
So they would have to wait till spring was in, till the baby was born,
The Grange Farm
I got on here with a bit of contriving, because I knew Richards, the
I've got lodging in a bit of an old cottage in Engine Row very decent.
I like farming all right. It's not inspiring, but then I don't ask to
The pits are working badly; this is a colliery district like
We've got this great industrial population, and they've got to be fed,
If you could only tell them that living and spending isn't the same
But the colliers aren't pagan, far from it. They're a sad lot, a
I'm sure you're sick of all this. But I don't want to harp on myself,
That's why I don't like to start thinking about you actually. It only
So I love chastity now, because it is the peace that comes of fucking.
Well, so many words, because I can't touch you. If I could sleep with
Never mind, never mind, we won't get worked up. We really trust in the
Never mind about Sir Clifford. If you don't hear anything from him,
Now I can't even leave off writing to you.
But a great deal of us is together, and we can but abide by it, and
This web page was designed and built by © Chris Burgess Melbourne Australia. 19th of May in the year of 2012-2018 156
|Femme Classic Art||Femme Classic Art|
|Lady Chatterly's Lover D H Lawrence|