Arthur Conan Doyle / Артур Конан Дойл
The Lost World / Затерянный мир
Адаптация текста, комментарии и словарь Д. В. Положенцевой
Иллюстрации И. Кульбицкой
© Д. В. Положенцева, адаптация текста, комментарии, словарь
There Are Heroisms All Round Us
Mr. Hungerton, her father, was the most tactless person on the earth, a good-natured man, but absolutely centered on himself. If anything could have driven me from Gladys, it would have been the thought of such a father-in-law. I am sure that he really believed that I came round to their house three days a week only for the pleasure of his company.
For an hour or more that evening I listened to his monotonous talk about money exchange and debts.
“Imagine,” he cried, “that all the debts in the world were to be paid at once… what would happen then?”
I answered that I should be a ruined man. He jumped from his chair, complained that it was impossible for him to discuss any reasonable subject with me, and ran out of the room to dress for a Masonic meeting.
At last I was alone with Gladys, and the moment of Fate had come! All that evening I had felt like the soldier who awaits the signal which will send him on a hope.
She sat against the red curtain. How beautiful she was! And yet how aloof! We had been friends, quite good friends; but never could I get beyond the same friendship which I might have had with one of my fellow-reporters upon the Gazette – a frank and kind friendship. My nature is all against a woman who is too frank with me. It is no compliment to a man. Where the real feeling begins, shyness and distrust are its companions. It is heritage from old days when love and violence went often hand in hand. The bent head, the sideward eye, the low voice… these, and not the straight gaze and frank reply, are the true signals of passion. Even in my short life I had learned it.
Gladys was full of womanly qualities. Some thought her to be cold and hard; but it was so untrue! That bronzed skin, that raven hair, the large eyes, the full lips… all the signs of passion were there. But I was sadly conscious