Women in Love

washing the feet of Christ, or else he is making obscene drawings of Jesus—action and reaction—and between the two, nothing. He is really insane. He wants a pure lily, another girl, with a baby face, on the one hand, and on the other, he must have the Pussum, just to defile himself with her.”

“That’s what I can’t make out,” said Gerald. “Does he love her, the Pussum, or doesn’t he?”

“He neither does nor doesn’t. She is the harlot, the actual harlot of adultery to him. And he’s got a craving to throw himself into the filth of her. Then he gets up and calls on the name of the lily of purity, the baby-faced girl, and so enjoys himself all round. It’s the old story—action and reaction, and nothing between.”

“I don’t know,” said Gerald, after a pause, “that he does insult the Pussum so very much. She strikes me as being rather foul.”

“But I thought you liked her,” exclaimed Birkin. “I

← Page-235 p.236 Page-237 →