“Indeed!” said Dunwody sarcastically. “That’s very nice, for them!”.
She went on unperturbed. “I’m going to set them free. Judge Clayton and Mr. Jones and you others, too, must go on home. You will have to surrender to the courts. These men are going to leave the state. All of you must disperse—at once.”
“And you yourself,—” began Dunwody grimly; “what do you plan?”
“I remain. I am a hostage. It will now be known where I am. You will be responsible for me, now. I fancy that will suit Washington as well as to detain Captain Carlisle as my jailer any longer. If I thought I needed him, I would not let him go. We are all of us going to be under parole, don’t you see?”
“Is it your wish that we should give parole in these circumstances, Dunwody?” Judge Clayton himself smiled rather sardonically.
“I don’t see why not, after all,” said Dunwody, at length, slowly. “I don’t see why that isn’t about as wise as anything we can do. The law will do the rest of this work, and we must all be ready for it, as she says. Only one thing, gentlemen, before we part. As to this young lady here, I’ll kill the first man, friend or foe, who raises a breath against her. Do I make myself plain? Put down your guns, then. I won’t turn any man away, not even an enemy. Have you eaten, gentlemen? Are you rested enough to go to-night?”
An hour later clattering hoofs once more resounded along the Tallwoods road.
Leaning against the pillar of the gallery, Dunwody watched them all, old friends, late foes, depart. Josephine St. Auban stood not far away. He turned to her, and her gaze fell upon his face, now haggard and gaunt. He had ridden sixty miles since the previous sun, half the distance wounded as he was; had been without sleep for thirty-six hours, without food for almost as long, and now was suffering with an aggravated wound.
“You are ill,” she said to him impulsively. “You’re badly hurt.”
“Aren’t you glad to see me suffer?” he asked grimly.
“I am not glad to see any one suffer.”
“Well, never mind about me. But now, you, yourself. Didn’t I tell you to go to your room and rest?”
She was pale, the corners of her mouth were drawn, her eyes were duller. Neither had she slept. She also suffered, even now. Yet her courage matched his own. She smiled.
“It makes me crawl, all the way through, to see a woman hurt that way. Why did you try to climb out of that window? You weren’t walking in your sleep.”
“I was trying to get away from you. I thought you were coming. I thought I heard you—at the door.” She looked him full in the face, searching it for sign of guilt, of confusion. “Was it not enough?” she added.
The frown on his face only deepened. “That was not true,” said he. “I never came to your door. It was Sally you heard. I’ll confess—I sent her, to get away those—those clothes you saw. I didn’t want—you to see them.”