'And what is the point of your existence?'</p>

'I tell you, it's invisible</strong>. I don't believe in the world, not in money, nor in advancement, nor in the future of our civilization</strong>. If there's got to be a future for humanity, there'll have to be a very big change from what now is.'</p>

'And what will the real future have to be like?'</p>

'God knows! I can feel something inside me, all mixed up with a lot of rage. But what it really amounts to, I don't know</strong>.'</p>

'Shall I tell you?' she said, looking into his face. 'Shall I tell you what you have that other men don't have, and that will make the future? Shall I tell you?'</p>

'Tell me then,' he replied.</p>

'It's the courage of your own tenderness, that's what it is:</strong> like when you put your hand on my tail and say I've got a</p>

pretty tail.'</p>

The grin came flickering on his face.</p>

'That!</strong>' he said.</p>


Then he sat thinking.</p>

'Ay!' he said. 'You're right. It's that really. It's that all the way through. I knew it with the men. I had to be in touch with them, physically, and not go back on it. I had to be bodily aware of them and a bit tender to them, even if I put 'em through hell. It's a question of awareness, as Buddha said. But even he fought shy of the bodily awareness, and that natural physical tenderness, which is the best, even between men;</strong> in a proper manly way. Makes 'em really manly, not so monkeyish. Ay! It's tenderness, really; it's cunt-awareness. Sex is really only touch, the closest of all touch.</strong> And it's touch we're afraid of. We're only half-conscious, and half alive</strong>. We've got to come alive and aware. Especially the English have got to get into touch with one another, a bit delicate and a bit tender. It's our crying need.'</p>

She looked at him.</p>

'Then why are you afraid of me?' she said.</p>

He looked at her a long time before he answered.</p>

'It's the money, really, and the position. It's the world in you.'</p>

'But isn't there tenderness in me?' she said wistfully.</p>

He looked down at her, with darkened, abstract eyes.</p>

'Ay! It comes an' goes, like in me</strong>.'</p>

'But can't you trust it between you and me?' she asked, gazing anxiously at him.</p>

She saw his face all softening down, losing its armour.</p>

Maybe!' he said.</p>

They were both silent.</p>

'I want you to hold me in your arms,' she said. 'I want you to tell me you are glad we are having a child.'</p>

She looked so lovely and warm and wistful, his bowels stirred towards her.</p>