"I am a plain person whose ancestors came from a village called Camden Street," he replied. "Camden Street is there, on a shelf of the hills, and through the arch of its elms you can look off over the forests of the lowlands until they end in the blue reaches of the ocean,--if you could see far enough."
"If you could see far enough," said Victoria, unconsciously repeating his words. "But that doesn't explain you," she exclaimed: "You are like nobody I ever met, and you have a supernatural faculty of appearing suddenly, from nowhere, and whisking me away like the lady in the fable, out of myself and the world I live in. If I become so inordinately grateful as to talk nonsense, you mustn't blame me. Try not to think of the number of times I've seen you, or when it was we first met."
"I believe," said Austen, gravely, "it was when a mammoth beast had his cave on Holdfast, and the valleys were covered with cocoanut-palms."
"And you appeared suddenly then, too, and rescued me. You have always been uniformly kind," she said, "but--a little intangible."
"A myth," he suggested, "with neither height, breadth, nor thickness."
"You have height and breadth," she answered, measuring him swiftly with her eye; "I am not sure about the thickness. Perhaps. What I mean to say is, that you seem to be a person in the world, but not of it. Your exits and entrances are too mysterious, and then you carry me out of it,- -although I invite myself, which is not at all proper."
"I came down here to see you," he said, and took a firmer grip on the reins. "I exist to that extent."
"That's unworthy of you," she cried. "I don't believe you--would have known I was here unless you had caught eight of me."