She sprang up in her rustling silks and took a dozen steps towards the door, then turned.
“Do you hear me?” she said. “I bid you remember every word I uttered—every word!”
She was gone, leaving me staring at the flowers and silver and the clustered lights. But I saw them not; for before my eyes floated the vision of a slender hand, and on the wedding-finger I saw a faint, rosy circle, as I had seen it there a moment since, when Dorothy dropped her bare arms on the cloth and laid her head between them.
So it was true; whether for good or ill my cousin wore the ghost-ring which for ages, Cato says, we Ormonds have worn before the marriage-ring. There was Ormond blood in Dorothy. Did she wear the sign as prophecy for that ring Sir George should wed her with? I dared not doubt it—and yet, why did I also wear the sign?
Then in a flash the forgotten legend of the Maid-at-Arms came back to me, ringing through my ears in clamorous words:
For all time shall the Maids-at-Arms,
Wearing the ghost-ring, triumph with their constancy!”
I sprang to the door in my excitement and stared at the picture of the Maid-at-Arms.
Sweetly the violet eyes of the maid looked back at me, her armor glittered, her soft throat seemed to swell with the breath of life.
Then I crept nearer, eyes fixed on her wedding-finger. And I saw there a faint rosy circle as though a golden ring had pressed the snowy flesh.