The Bars of Iron eBook

Ethel May Dell
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 447 pages of information about The Bars of Iron.

Piers’ hand was on her head, stroking, caressing, soothing.  By no words did he attempt to comfort her.  It was strange how little either of them felt the need of words.  They were together upon holy ground, and in closer communion each with each than they had ever been before.  Those tears of Avery’s had washed away the barrier.

Once, some time later, he whispered to her, “I never asked you to forgive me, Avery; but—­”

And that was the nearest he ever came to asking her forgiveness.  For she stopped the words with her lips on his, and he never thought of uttering them again.

EPILOGUE

Christmas Eve and children’s voices singing in the night!  Two figures by the open window listening—­a man and a woman, hand in hand in the dark!

“Don’t let them see us yet!” It was the woman’s voice, low but with a deep thrill in it as of full and complete content.  “I knew they were coming.  Gracie whispered it to me this morning.  But I wasn’t to tell anyone.  She was so afraid their father might forbid it.”

The man answered with a faint, derisive laugh that yet had in it an echo of the woman’s satisfaction.  He did not speak, for already through the winter darkness a single, boyish voice had taken up another verse: 

“He comes, the prisoners to release
In Satan’s bondage held;
The gates of brass before Him burst,
The iron fetters yield.”

The woman’s fingers clung fast to his.  “Love opens every door,” she whispered.

His answering grip was close and strong.  But he said nothing while the last triumphant lines were repeated.

“The gates of brass before Him burst,
The iron fetters yield.”

The next verse was sung by two voices in harmony, very soft and hushed.

“He comes the broken heart to bind,
The bleeding soul to cure,
And with the treasures of His grace
To bless the humble poor.”

Then came a pause, while through the quiet night there floated the sound of distant bells.

“Look!” said Piers suddenly.

And Avery, kneeling beside him, raised her eyes.

There, high above the trees, alone and splendid, there shone a great, quivering star.

His arm slid round her neck.  “The Star of Hope, Avery,” he whispered. 
“Yours—­and mine.”

She clung to him silently, with a closeness that was passionate.

And so the last verse, very clear and strong, came to them out of the night.

“Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
Thy welcome shall proclaim,
And Heaven’s eternal arches ring
With Thy beloved Name. 
And Heaven’s eternal arches ring
With Thy beloved Name.”

Avery leaned her head against her husband’s shoulder.  “I hear an angel singing,” she said.

* * * * *

Ten minutes later, Gracie stood in the great hall with the red glow of the fire spreading all about her, her bright eyes surveying the master of the house who lay back in a low easy-chair with his wife kneeling beside him and Caesar the Dalmatian curled up with much complacence at his feet.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Bars of Iron from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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