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'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad

Part 5 out of 5

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papa. Shut the sea out. It reproaches me with my folly.'" He
gasped and paused.

"So you see," he went on in a murmur. "Very ill, very ill indeed.
Pneumonia. Very sudden." He pointed his finger at the carpet,
while the thought of the poor girl, vanquished in her struggle with
three men's absurdities, and coming at last to doubt her own self,
held me in a very anguish of pity.

"You see yourself," he began again in a downcast manner. "She
could not have really . . . She mentioned you several times. Good
friend. Sensible man. So I wanted to tell you myself--let you
know the truth. A fellow like that! How could it be? She was
lonely. And perhaps for a while . . . Mere nothing. There could
never have been a question of love for my Freya--such a sensible

"Man!" I cried, rising upon him wrathfully, "don't you see that she
died of it?"

He got up too. "No! no!" he stammered, as if angry. "The doctors!
Pneumonia. Low state. The inflammation of the . . . They told me.

He did not finish the word. It ended in a sob. He flung his arms
out in a gesture of despair, giving up his ghastly pretence with a
low, heartrending cry:

"And I thought that she was so sensible!"

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