In a moment Law was master of himself. “Give it to me, Madam, if you please,” he said, quietly, and took the knife from fingers which loosened under his grasp. There was no further word spoken. He tossed the knife into a crack of the bunk beyond him. He lay with his right arm doubled under his head, looking up steadily into the low ceiling, upon which the fire made ragged masses of shadows. His left arm, round, full and muscular, lay across the figure of the woman whom he had forced down upon the couch beside him. He could feel her bosom rise and pant in sheer sobs of anger. Once he felt the writhing of the body beneath his arm, but he simply tightened his grasp and spoke no word.
It was not far from morning. In time the gray dawn came creeping in at the window, until at length the chinks between the logs in the little square-cut window and the ill-fitting door were flooded with a sea of sunlight. As this light grew stronger, Law slowly turned and looked at the face beside him. Out of the tangle of dark hair there blazed still two eyes, eyes which looked steadily up at the ceiling, refusing to turn either to the right or to the left. He calmly pulled closer to him, so that it might not stain the garments of the woman beside him, the blood-soaked shirt whose looseness and lack of definition had perhaps saved him from a fatal blow. He paid no attention to his wound, which he knew was nothing serious. So he lay and looked at Mary Connynge, and finally removed his arm.
“Get up,” said he, simply, and the woman obeyed him.
“The fire, Madam, if you please, and breakfast.”
These had been the duties of the Indian woman, but Mary Connynge obeyed.
“Madam,” said Law, calmly, after the morning meal was at last finished in silence, “I shall be very glad to have your company for a few moments, if you please.”
Mary Connynge rose and followed him into the open air, her eyes still fixed upon the dark-crusted stain which had spread upon his tunic. They walked in silence to a point beyond the cabin.
“You would call her Catharine!” burst out Mary Connynge. “Oh! I heard you in your very sleep. You believe every lying word Sir Arthur tells you. You believe—”
John Law looked at her with the simple and direct gaze which the tamer of the wild beast employs when he goes among them, the look of a man not afraid of any living thing.
“Madam,” said he, at length, calmly and evenly, as before, “what I have said, sleeping or waking, will not matter. You have tried to kill me. You did not succeed. You will never try again. Now, Madam, I give you the privilege of kneeling here on the ground before me, and asking of me, not my pardon, but the pardon of the woman you have foully stabbed, even as you have me.”
The figure before him straightened up, the blazing yellow eyes sought his once, twice, thrice, behind them all the fury of a savage soul. It was of no avail. The cool blue eyes looked straight into her heart. The tall figure stood before her, unyielding. She sought to raise her eyes once more, failed, and so would have sunk down as he had said, actually on her knees before him.