“You—hurt me!” said she, and then, as his fingers relaxed,—with a sudden passionate cry, she had broken free; but, even so, he had caught and swept her up in his arms, and held her close against his breast. And now, feeling the hopelessness of further struggle, she lay passive, while her eyes flamed up into his, and his eyes looked down into hers. Her long, thick hair had come loose, and now with a sudden, quick gesture, she drew it across her face, veiling it from him; wherefore, he stooped his head above those lustrous tresses.
“Anthea!” he murmured, and the masterful voice was strangely hesitating, and the masterful arms about her were wonderfully gentle, “Anthea—do you—love me?” Lower he bent, and lower, until his lips touched her hair, until beneath that fragrant veil, his mouth sought, and found, hers, and, in that breathless moment, he felt them quiver responsive to his caress. And then, he had set her down, she was free, and he was looking at her with a new-found radiance in his eyes.
“Anthea!” he said, wonderingly, “why then—you do—?” But, as he spoke, she hid her face in her hands.
“Anthea!” he repeated.
“Oh!” she whispered, “I—hate you!—despise you! Oh! you shall be paid back,—every penny,—every farthing, and—very soon! Next week—I marry Mr. Cassilis!”
And so, she turned, and fled away, and left him standing there amid the roses.
Which tells how Bellew left Dapplemere in the dawn
Far in the East a grey streak marked the advent of another day, and upon all things was a solemn hush, a great, and awful stillness that was like the stillness of Death. The Earth was a place of gloom, and mist, where spectral shadows writhed, and twisted, and flitted under a frowning heaven, and out of the gloom there came a breath, sharp, and damp, and exceeding chill.
Therefore, as Bellew gazed down from the frowning Heaven to the gloom of Earth, below, with its ever-moving, misty shapes, he shivered involuntarily.
In another hour it would be day, and with the day, the gates of Arcadia would open for his departure, and he must go forth to become once more a wanderer, going up and down, and to and fro in the world until his course was run.
And yet it was worth having lived for, this one golden month, and in all his wanderings needs must he carry with him the memory of her who had taught him how deep and high, how wide and infinitely far-reaching that thing called “Love” may really be.
And—Porges!—dear, quaint, Small Porges! where under heaven could he ever find again such utter faith, such pure unaffected loyalty and devotion as throbbed within that small, warm heart? How could he ever bid “Good-bye” to loving, eager, little Small Porges?
And then there was Miss Priscilla, and the strong, gentle Sergeant, and Peterday, and sturdy Adam, and Prudence, and the rosy-cheeked maids. How well they all suited this wonderful Arcadia! Yes, indeed he, and he only, had been out of place, and so—he must go—back to the every-day, matter-of-fact world, but how could he ever say “Good-bye” to faithful, loving Small Porges?