A Bicycle of Cathay (Chapter 9, page 1 of 10)


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Chapter 9

He was a very slow walker, that bear. If I had been alone I would have
been out of sight of the inn in less than five minutes. As it was, I
looked back after a considerable time to see if I really were out of
sight of the house, and I found I was not. She was still standing in
the doorway, and when I turned she waved her handkerchief. Now that I
had truly left and was gone, she seemed to be willing to let me know
better than before what a charming woman she was. I took off my hat
again and pressed forward.

For a couple of miles, perhaps, I walked thoughtfully, and I do not
believe I once thought of the bear shambling silently behind me. I had
been dreaming a day-dream--not building a castle in the air, for I had
seen before me a castle already built. I had simply been dreaming
myself into it, into its life, into its possessions, into the
possession of everything which belonged to it.

It had been a fascinating vision. It had suited my fancy better than
any vision of the future which I had ever had. I was not ambitious; I
loved the loveliness of life. I was a student, and I had a dream of
life which would not interfere with the society of my books. I loved
all rural pleasures, and I had dreamed of a life where these were
spread out ready for my enjoyment. I was a man formed to love, and
there had come to me dreams of this sort of thing.

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