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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 284 pages of information about The Purple Heights.

“It is You!”

She answered, in a shaking tone, like a child:  “Yes, I had to come,” and stood there looking at him, face uplifted, lips apart.

He drew nearer.  “Why?” said he, in a whisper.  “Why?”

She did not reply.  For a long moment they regarded each other, passion-pale in the moonlight.

“Was it because—­you knew I must be here!” he asked.

Her hands went to her leaping heart.  She had no faintest notion of concealing the truth, for there was no coquetry in her.  These two facing each other were as honest as the rocky coast, as unabashed as the wind.  They had no more thought of subterfuges and conventions than the sea had.  They were as real as nature itself.

He bent upon her his compelling glance, which seemed to lift her as upon golden pinions.  She was thrillingly conscious of his nearness.

“You knew I would be here?” he repeated.

She drew a deep breath.  “Yes!” she sighed.

And at that, inevitably, irresistibly, they rushed together.  He caught her in a mighty embrace and she gave him back his kiss with a heavenly shamelessness, a glorious passion, naive and pure.  It was as if she were born anew in the fire of his lips.  For she was sure, with a crystal clarity.  This man whose heart beat against hers was her high destiny.  Body and soul, she was his.  His kiss was the chrism of life.  And he, fallen into the same divine lunacy, was equally sure.  He had been born a man to hold this strong sweet body in his arms, to meet this spirit that complemented his own.  Not in high and lonely altitudes whose cold stillness chilled the heart, but by simple paths to peace, in a simple and passionate woman’s love, could he gain the purple heights!

CHAPTER XX

AND THE GLORY

He had said quietly:  “You are going to marry me!”

And she had replied, as if there could be no possible doubt about it: 

“Yes, I am going to marry you.”

“Because you love me better than anything or anybody else in all the world, even as I love you.”

“Because I love you better than anything or anybody else in all the world,” she repeated.

“So far, so good.  When, Beloved Lady?”

At that she hesitated for a space and fell silent.  He pressed her head closer, and bending his tall head laid his cheek to hers.

“When?”

“Presently.  But before that, dearest and best of men, there are so many, many things I wish to tell you, so many things I wish you to know!  I wish you to know me.  Everything about me!  For once upon a time there was a sad, neglected child, a piteous child I must make you acquainted with.  There was an ignorant and undisciplined young girl—­”

“You?”

She nodded sorrowfully.  His clasp tightened.  He slipped a hand beneath her chin, tilted her face upward, and kissed her eyes that had suddenly filled with tears, her lips that quivered.

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