"I want you to give me up that box," she said, "and to come away with me where I can be with you and take care of you until you are well."
Mrs. Phillips made yet another effort. "Have you thought about him?" she asked.
Joan answered with a faint smile. "Oh, yes," she said. "I didn't forget that argument in case it hadn't occurred to the Lord."
"Perhaps," she added, "the helpmate theory was intended to apply only to our bodies. There was nothing said about our souls. Perhaps God doesn't have to work in pairs. Perhaps we were meant to stand alone."
Mrs. Phillips's thin hands were playing nervously with the bed clothes. There still seemed something that she had to say. As if Joan hadn't thought of everything. Her eyes were fixed upon the narrow strip of light between the window curtains.
"You don't think you could, dear," she whispered, "if I didn't do anything wicked any more. But just let things take their course."
"You see, dear," she went on, her face still turned away, "I thought it all finished. It will be hard for me to go back to him, knowing as I do now that he doesn't want me. I shall always feel that I am in his way. And Hilda," she added after a pause, "she will hate me."
Joan looked at the white patient face and was silent. What would be the use of senseless contradiction. The woman knew. It would only seem an added stab of mockery. She knelt beside the bed, and took the thin hands in hers.