Cut Quill

Those Eyes

Alone on the deep mahogany paneling hangs a small, plain frame of polished oak. Enclosed within those straight walls is a maiden with eyes which hold more than innocence. Eyes which seem to know you from beyond the simple confines of paint and canvas.

Within your soul, you know that there is more than naivéte — those eyes know so much because they have seen the world, and remained unsullied. No lie could be told to this girl, or she would know it before it were half uttered. One moment’s glance stretches on, and becomes a full appreciation and insatiable desire. Suddently you know you can never be happy without her.

A knothole in the side of the frame draws attention to the perfection it is called upon to contain and protect. The strain of its duty shows upon its careworn grain. For true perfection — and not mere unspoiledness — needs no protection from imperfection; rather, the imperfect must be protected from the ravagings of perfection.

Somewhere far, a key rattled in a snow-frozen lock. Finally, the door was pulled and pushed open. Presently a tweed-decked man with a black-green beret carried his empty goblet into the hall, traces of red still clinging in its bottom. He examined the portrait, as though seeing it for the first time: the unblemished face, the smooth canvas — those eyes!

A sound of breaking glass. Two tears appear in this vision of happy loveliness, with no trace of flesh beneath. A small chip the clour of the bloom on a young girl’s cheek falls to the sea wich is an interwoven world shown within the carpet.

“Those eyes! Those eyes!” the old man shrieks, reduced to a simpering indignity on whom the esquire’s tweed was no more graceful than a beggar’s rags.