She saw that he slept, and her head dropped forward until it touched the edge of his bed, but very softly.... And there, for a long time, she remained, until the woven cane left a white impress upon her forehead.
Late in the afternoon the others met below, but Bedient had not awakened. Miss Mallory joined them and told what she had done, and how ill he had been for need of rest.... When the day was ending she stole through the little room into his. Still he slept, so softly, that she bent close to hear his breathing.... All the furious moments of action in recent days passed in swift review, as she stood there in the dark. And from it all came this:
“It is a good thing for a woman to serve a man, with hand and brain,—as one man might serve another—and there’s high joy in it; but a woman must not serve a man that way—if she’d rather have his love than hope of heaven.”
... And when he awakened, she was still beside him.
THE HILLS AND THE SKIES
Varied were the emotions of Dictator Jaffier and Coral City generally, while Bedient slept through that long day of surpassing fortune to the Island. He communicated certain facts to the Dictator next morning, and a day later, the government forces entered and took possession of The Pleiad without firing a shot.
It did not transpire at this time that the vast inflation of war-sentiment in Equatoria was pricked with a knife, so small that a woman could conceal it in her hair.
Bedient intervened between Jaffier and Senora Rey, and upon the latter a substantial settlement was made, as well as a generous annuity. Within three days, the Glow-worm had left Coral City for an Antillean port, to connect with a South American steamer. The Sorensons and one Chinese accompanied her. The Glow-worm shone as one lavishly rich, but trembled with fears which she dared not express, until Equatoria should sink from her horizon.
Jaffier’s gunboat, which had followed the Savonarola on principle and deserted for the unlit tramp, drove this latter destiny-maker through the coral passage in daylight, and around to the harbor, amid the subdued rejoicing of the Defenders. Subdued, because the Defenders were jerky with fear of a trick, even with the guns and ammunition safely stored in the Capitol—until the message from Bedient to Jaffier made certain mysterious issues clear.
The Pleiad guests were not summarily routed, but the force of law, and the flood of light, suddenly turned upon every corner of this establishment, destroyed the atmosphere for crime and concupiscence. The paintings and various beautiful collections of the late art-lover-and-patron, were gathered together in one of the great wings of the establishment, and opened to the people. The magnificent grounds became a public park.