“Yes,” he answered slowly, “I’ll stay by you as long as you want me—if I can.”
“And that,” said Caroline Darrah Brown as she turned at the door and looked straight at him with a heavenly blush mounting in her cheeks, the tenderness of the ages curling her lips and the innocence of all of six years in her eyes, “will be always!” With which she disappeared instantly beyond the rose damask hangings.
And so when the ceremonies in the park were over and Caroline stood to clasp hands with each of the clamorous gray squad, Andrew Sevier waited just behind her and he met one after another of the sharp glances shot at him from under grizzled brows with a dignity that quieted even the grimmest old fire-eater.
And there are strange wild things that take hold on the lives of men—vital forces against which one can but beat helpless wings of mortal spirit.
THE SPELL AND ITS WEAVING
And after the confusion, the distress and the joy of the afternoon out in the park when she and her gift had been accepted and acclaimed, there came days full of deep and perfect peace to Caroline Darrah Brown.
Long, strenuously delightful mornings she spent with Tempie in the excitements of completing her most comprehensive culinary education and the amount of badinage she exchanged upon the subject with David Kildare occupied many of his unemployed minutes. His demands for the most intricate and soul-trying concoctions she took a perfect joy in meeting and his enthusiasm stimulated her to the attempting of the most difficult feats.
His campaign was on with full force and his days were busy ones, but he managed to drop into the kitchen at any time when he deemed it at all certain that he would find her there and was always fully rewarded.
He often found Andrew Sevier in the library in consultation with the major over the management of the delicate points in the campaign and occasionally brought him into Tempie’s kingdom with him. And Caroline laughed and blushed and explained it all to them with the most beautiful solicitude, Tempie looking on positively bridling with pride.
And there were other mornings when she took her sewing and crept in the library to work, while the major and Andrew held consultation over the affairs of the present or absent David.
The whisky ring had purchased one of the morning papers, which had hitherto borne a reputation for extreme conservatism, and had it appear each morning with brilliant, carefully modulated arguments for the machine; doctored statistics and brought allegations impossible to be investigated in so short a time.