You can have a little talk and then if you do not like the look of her you take your leave and no harm is done.'That night I took the train to Geneva.No sooner had I arrived than I sent her a letter to say that I was the bearer of a gift from her cousin.''Certainly,' I answered.'In that case I am afraid I must withdraw my offer. 'If you can find a wife in a month you can go, but no wife no job.'I walked away from the ministry with death in my heart.
Soon, influenced perhaps by the night, the Italian tenor, accompanying himself on his guitar began to sing.
He had the real Italian voice, and he sang the Neapolitan songs.
' At this I entirely lost my temper.'You are completely idiotic,' I said. What inducement would there be for her to give up her accustomed life to accompany in exile a man of forty-nine who is by no means a beauty?
'If I did not want to marry, do you imagine that I should have spent three days reading love letters from women I have never set eyes on? 'When I made this remark to my friend he replied: 'One can never tell with women." There is something about marriage that wonderfully attracts them.
In such a small ship having once made the acquaintance of my fellow passengers, it would have been impossible, even had I wished it, not to pass with them every moment of the day that I was not in my cabin.
Talking of one thing and another we watched the day decline, we dined, and then we sat out again on deck under the stars.
I was strong and active and I was very anxious to find an occupation.
And presently I was sent for by the minister to the Colonies and offered the post of Governor in a certain colony.
'But sometimes love comes after marriage and not before, and then it is better.
It lasts longer.''You see, I had been in the navy, and when I retired I was forty-nine.
Within an hour I received her reply to the effect that she would be pleased to receive me at four o'clock in the afternoon.