At last he caught sight of a woman, alone, forlorn, the picture of despondency. Far down the beach to his right there rose a rugged, stony formation, extending into the sea and rising several hundred feet in the air. At the base of this rocky promontory a multitude of great boulders lay scattered, some quite large and jagged, others insignificant in size.
Upon one of the smaller stones, well up the slope, sat the figure of the woman he had drugged from the sea and whom he had hated with his last conscious breath. Her head was lying against the sheer wall that ran up alongside, and he could tell that she was staring out toward the sea, which roared against the rocks so close by that the spray must have reached her feet. The distance to this rock was fully three hundred yards. There was a fascination about her loneliness that held him immovable for a long time. Finally he struggled to a sitting posture, faint and dizzy. At the same moment she slowly turned her head and looked in his direction. Half rising, she made a movement as if to come toward him, first peering intently. Then she sank back upon the rock and sent her gaze out to the sea again.
With all the haste he could command he scrambled eagerly toward the rocks, carrying the crumpled jacket in his hand. Not once did she take her eyes from the breakers. Tired and faint, he at last came to the edge of the rocky pile. Here his strength failed him and he sank trembling with exhaustion upon the first friendly stone, still a hundred feet from where she sat. In his bitter rage against her he strove to shout, but the effort was little more than a hoarse whisper. Lying there impotently, he studied her attitude as the minutes crept by, and there came at last into his heart a touch of pity that swelled with the sight of her.
Pain-racked but determined, he again started toward the elevation, crawling over and around the boulders that intervened. He was within five feet of her before he spoke, and then not until he had studied her face for some moments, steadying himself against a large rock. She was more beautiful than ever with her black hair awry and matted, brushed away from the pure white face and fastened recklessly with the shell combs she had worn on board the Tempest Queen. Her blue eyes looked mournfully from beneath their long lashes. The slender white hands lay listlessly in the lap of the once white dress, now water-stained, wrinkled and shapeless. In spite of all that dreadful buffeting by the wind and water she was still the beautiful creation of nature he had found so charming in a realm where nature seldom presents herself.
“Lady Tennys,” he called hoarsely. “You do not know how I thank God you are alive.”
She turned slowly, as if she had known all along of his tortuous approach. Her voice was low and thrilling.
[Illustration: “’LADY TENNYS, ... YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW I THANK GOD YOU ARE ALIVE’”]