They did not speak at all, for the ground beneath their feet was holy, and all things that called for speech were left behind. Only as dawn became day—as the sun-god mounted triumphant above the waiting earth—the man’s arm tightened about the woman, and his flickering eyes grew steadfast and reverent as the eyes of one who sees a vision....
“‘Prophet and priestess we came—back from the dawning,’” quoted Nick, under his breath.
Muriel uttered a long, long sigh, and turned her face against her husband’s shoulder.
His lips were on her forehead for a moment; the next he was peering into her face with his usual cheery grin.
“Care to hear my piece of news?” he questioned.
She looked at him eagerly. “Oh, Nick, not the mail!”
He nodded. “Runner came in late last night. You were asleep and dreaming of me. I hadn’t the heart to wake you.”
She laughed and blushed. “As if I should! Do you really imagine that I never think of anyone else? But go on. What news?”
He pulled out two letters. “One from Olga, full of adoration, bless her funny heart, and containing also a rude message from Jim to the effect that Redlands is going to rack and ruin for want of a tenant while we are philandering on the outside edge of civilisation doing no good to anybody. No good indeed! I’ll punch his head for that some day. But I suppose we really ought to be thinking of Home before long, eh, sweetheart?”
She assented with a smile and a sigh. “I am sure we ought. Dr. Jim is quite right. We must come back to earth again, my eagle and I.”
Nick kissed her hair. “It’s been a gorgeous flight hasn’t it? We’ll do it again—heaps of times—before we die.”
“If nothing happens to prevent,” said Muriel.
He frowned. “What do you say that for? Are you trying to be like Lady Bassett? Because it’s a vain aspiration, so you may as well give it up at the outset.”
“Nick, how absurd you are!” There was a slight break in the words. “I—I had almost forgotten there was such a person. No, I said it because—because—well, anything might happen, you know.”
“Such as?” said Nick.
“Anything,” she repeated almost inaudibly.
Nick pondered this for a moment. “Is it a riddle?” he asked.
She did not answer him. Her face was hidden.
He waited a little. Then, “I shall begin to guess directly,” he said.
She uttered a muffled laugh, and clung to him with a sudden, passionate closeness. “Nick, you—you humbug! You know!”
Nick tossed his letters on the ground and held her fast. “My precious girl, you gave the show away not ten seconds ago by that blush of yours. There! Don’t be so absurdly shy! You can’t be shy with me. Look at me, sweet. Look up and tell me it’s true!”
She turned her face upwards, quivering all over, yet laughing tremulously. “Yes, Nick, really, really!” she told him. “Oh, my darling, are you glad?”