“Each morning as I have risen, and each night as I have turned to sleep, those words have repeated themselves again and again in my heart, for ten years. It was so I became the Ashton Gerard you know to-day. Since that day, we have never met or written to each other. All I know is that she is still alive, and still with him, and never would I disturb their peace. When I die, I would not have her know it. If love is immortal, we shall meet again—when I am worthier to meet her. Such reunions are either mere dreams, or they are realities to which the strongest forces of the universe are pledged.”
Henry’s only comment had been to grip Gerard’s hand, and give him the sympathy of silence.
“Now,” said Gerard, once more after a while, “it is about those letters I want to speak to you. They are here,” and he unlocked a drawer and drew from it a little silver box. “I always keep them here. The key of the drawer is on this ring, and this little gold key is the key of the box itself. I tell you this, because I have what you may regard as a strange request to make.
“I suppose most men would consider it their duty either to burn these letters, or leave instructions for them to be buried with them. That is a gruesome form of sentiment in which I have too much imagination to indulge. Both my ideas of duty and sentiment take a different form. The surname of the writer of these letters is nowhere revealed in them, nor are there any references in them by which she could