"But what if I should return to you?" she asked.
"I should" (he looked at her whimsically), "be greatly perturbed."
"I am your wife. You know you have never got a divorce."
"I see," he meditated. "I have been careless. It will be one of the first things I attend to."
She came over to his side, resting her hand on his arm. "You don't want me, John?" Her voice was soft and caressing, her hand rested like a lure. "If I told you I had made a mistake? If I told you that I was very unhappy? - and I am. And I did make a mistake."
Fear began to grow on Messner. He felt himself wilting under the lightly laid hand. The situation was slipping away from him, all his beautiful calmness was going. She looked at him with melting eyes, and he, too, seemed all dew and melting. He felt himself on the edge of an abyss, powerless to withstand the force that was drawing him over.
"I am coming back to you, John. I am coming back to-day . . . now."
As in a nightmare, he strove under the hand. While she talked, he seemed to hear, rippling softly, the song of the Lorelei. It was as though, somewhere, a piano were playing and the actual notes were impinging on his ear-drums.