He was not going away again, I soon found; qui va a la chasse perd sa place. He had lost his place, but he would stay and guard me all the same; and the chase for gold seemed given up for good and all.
Kilian was in constant surprise, and made out many catechisms, but he got little satisfaction.
Richard was going to have a few weeks’ “rest,” unless something should occur to call him back to town.
He sought no interview with me, was kind and silent, but his eye was never off me. I think he watched his opportunity for saying what he had to say to Mr. Langenau, but such an opportunity seemed destined not to come.
Mr. Langenau was ill the day after Richard came home—quite ill enough to cause alarm. He had a high fever, and the Doctor even seemed uneasy, and prescribed the profoundest quiet. After a day or two, however, he improved, and all danger seemed averted.
As soon as he was strong enough, he was to be removed to his own room above, for the sake of quiet, and to release the household from its enforced tranquillity.
All these particulars I heard at table, or from morning groups on the piazza: with stony cheeks, and eyes that looked unflinchingly into all curious faces: so works the law of self-defence.
All but Richard, I am sure, were staggered, but he read with his heart.
I never blushed now, I never faltered, I never said a word I did not mean to say. It was a struggle for life: though I did not value the life, and should have found it hard to say why I did not give up and let them see that I was killed.
But I kept wondering how I should sustain myself if I should be called upon to meet him once again.
Forever at her side,
and yet forever lonely,
I shall unto the end have made life’s journey, only
Daring to ask for naught, and having naught received.
Duty to God is duty
to her; I think
God, who created her, will save her too
Some new way, by one miracle the more
Without me. Then, prayer may avail, perhaps.
“Mr. Langenau is coming down to-day,” said Charlotte Benson in a stage-whisper, as we took our places at the table, a week after this. “I met him in the hall about an hour ago, looking like a ghost, and he told me he was coming down to dinner.”
“Vraiment,” said Sophie, looking a little disconcerted. “Well, he shall have Charley’s place. Charley isn’t coming.”
“I hope he’s in a better temper than that last day we saw him,” said Henrietta.
“Poor fellow!” said Charlotte, “that was the day before the fever began. It was coming on: that was the reason of it all, no doubt. He looks ghastly enough now. You’ll forgive all, the moment that you see him.”