“The pain is very great?” she inquired.
“The pain at thinking of your going away is very great,” he answered. One hand on the newel post, he bent down, his head on his arm for an instant. “Oh, you’re making me pay!” he groaned. But the next moment he turned on her defiantly. “I’ll not learn! If this was the only way for me to meet you, then I’ll not regret a single thing I’ve done. I’ll not! I’ll not! I’ll not pay! It all comes back to me, just what I said before. What couldn’t we do, together?—I need you—I need you!”
“You must go to your room. You’ve been standing for an hour.”
“But I’ve been with you. I can’t hope for another hour like this. You’ll be leaving me. But I’d live the hour over again—in hell with you!”
“I told you, when we all gave parole, that I would exact my price of you, in regret, in remorse.”
“You shall not have it in regret, I’ll not regret. But I’m paying! See, I’m telling you you may go, that you must go—away from me.”
THE ART OF DOCTOR JAMIESON
Eleazar proved a faithful messenger once more. Before the evening shadows had greatly lengthened, three figures appeared at the lower end of the approach to Tallwoods mansion house. Jeanne, as usual looking out from their window, saw these.
“It is the old man, Madame,” she commented. “And yes, Monsieur le Docteur at last—thank the Bon Dieu! But one other—who is that?”
[Illustration: “It is the old man, Madame,” commented Jeanne.]
It was a very worn and weary doctor who presently swung out of his saddle at the gallery step. His clothing was stained with mud, his very shoulders drooping with fatigue. In the past few days he scarcely had slept, but had been here and there attending to the wants of surviving sufferers of the boat encounter. None the less he smiled as he held out his hand to Josephine.
“How is my patient?” he inquired. “Plumb well, of course. And how about this new one—I thought I fixed him up before he came home. I’ve been grunting at Eleazar all the way, telling him it’s all foolishness, my coming away out here—he could have fixed Dunwody’s leg up, somehow. I suppose you know the old man’s son, Hector. He came along for good measure, I reckon.”
The young man referred to now advanced, made a leg and pulled a black forelock. He was a strapping youth, attired in the latest fashion of French St. Genevieve. He bowed to this lady; but at the same time, the glance he cast at her French waiting-maid was evidence enough of the actuating cause of his journey. He had heard somewhat of these strangers at Tallwoods house.
“I’ll been forget to tell the docteur h’all about Mr. Dunwodee,” began Eleazar.
“What business have you to forget!” demanded Jamieson sternly. “Has anything gone wrong?”