The Maid-At-Arms eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about The Maid-At-Arms.

With a spasmodic effort he got on his feet, seized glass and pipe, and waddled out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

In the ringing silence a charred log broke and fell in a shower of sparks, tincturing the air with the perfume of sweet birch smoke.

[Illustration:  “A strange shyness seemed to hold us apart".]

I rose from my chair.  Dorothy rose, too, trembling.  A strange shyness seemed to hold us apart.  She stood there, the forced smile stamped on her lips, watching me with the fascination of fear; and I steadied myself on the arm of my chair, looking deep into her eyes, seeking to recognize in her the child I had known.

The child had gone, and in her place stood this lovely, silent stranger, with all the mystery of woman-hood in her eyes—­that sweet light, exquisitely prophetic, divinely sad.

“Dorothy,” I said, under my breath.  “All that is brave and adorable in you, I love and worship.  You have risen so far above me—­and I am so weak and—­and broken, and unworthy—­”

“I love you,” she faltered, her lips scarcely moving.  Then the color surged over brow and throat; she laid her hands on her hot cheeks; I took her in my arms, holding her imprisoned.  At my touch the color faded from her face, leaving it white as a flower.

“I fear you—­maid spiritual, maid militant—­Maid-at-Arms!” I stammered.

“And I fear you,” she murmured, looking at me.  “What lover does the whole world hold like you?  What hero can compare with you?  And who am I that I should take you away from the whole world?  Sweetheart, I am afraid.”

“Then fear no more,” I whispered, and bent my head.  She raised her pale face; her arms crept up around my neck and tightened, clinging closer as her closing lips met mine.

There came a tapping at the door, a shuffle of felt-shod feet—­

“Mars’ Gawge, suh, yo’ hoss done saddle’, suh.”

THE END

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Project Gutenberg
The Maid-At-Arms from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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