“There is nothing not forgiven,” Katrine said. “I would give my life to save him,” and the two clung to each other, weeping, before setting out, wifehood and motherhood, to battle with death.
Well hidden by the curtains, Nora watched Katrine enter the carriage after Mrs. Ravenel, realizing, with more anger than she had ever felt, all that the going meant. She had hoped that after a few years of the singing Katrine’s heart would turn to Dermott, and as she saw her hopes fade away she shook her head knowingly, with even a touch of vindictive satisfaction.
“There are two kinds of men,” she reflected, her eyes on the departing carriage: “the man who wants a woman to put her head on his shoulder, and the man who wants to put his head on a woman’s shoulder. And when a girl’s fool enough to like the last kind best, she generally pays.”
UNDER THE SOUTHERN PINES ONCE MORE
When Mrs. Ravenel and Katrine entered Frank’s apartments they found Dr. Johnston by the window of the sitting-room, and, with no spoken word, Katrine knew he had been waiting for her to come. His face bespoke more than professional anxiety; it bore a look of sorrow and the dread of losing a dear friend.
According Katrine but a scant nod of recognition, he crossed to the door of the sleeping-room, and, after looking in, made a gesture, stealthy and cautious, for Katrine to enter.
The room was dark save for a night light. Frank’s face was turned toward her, his eyes closed. One hand, helpless, unutterably appealing, lay outside the white cover, and at sight of him thus it seemed her heart would break.
With a swift movement she knelt beside the bed, waiting to take the poor, tired head upon her breast. As her eyes grew accustomed to the light, she saw his lips tremble.
“Dear,” she said.
There was silence, and then: “It is worth all—it is worth all—for this,” he whispered. “Touch me, Katrine!”
And she laid her cheek on his.
“You will stay? I will try to sleep now if you will touch me. Katrine, you will not slip away?”
“I shall stay until you are quite well, beloved.”
At three in the morning he awoke with a shiver. “Where are you?” he called. “Where are you, Katrine?”
“Here,” she answered, laying a hand on his cheek.