* * * * *
On the evening of the twenty-sixth they sat on the mahogany settle together, in a moonless night, the lilacs and honeysuckle a-bloom around them.
“All those people are coming to-morrow. I wish they were in some other place,” he ended, inadequately considering the vehemence of his tone. “Do you, Katrine?” he asked.
She did not answer him.
“Do you, Katrine?” he repeated, insistently.
There was no response.
“Do you wish that we had these ten happy days to live over? Do you wish that they might come again? Will you miss me?”
She turned toward him with a wistful look, letting her eyes rest in his as she spoke. “I am sorry it is over. I shall miss you more than I can say.”
“Thank you.” And then, with a mixture of whimsicality and earnestness he continued: “Do you remember the talk we had the other day of Josef?”
“When you told me he believed women to have some undeveloped psychic power which, with study, could be developed to revolutionize the world?”
“I didn’t say it so clearly as that, but that is what he means.”
“Do you believe it, Katrine?”
“I don’t know, Mr. Ravenel.”
“Do you believe that if you tried to help me, even if I were far away, you could?”
“Again I don’t know, Mr. Ravenel.”
“I do,” he said, in the tone of one thoroughly convinced. “I have been thinking it over, and have come to the conclusion that Josef is right. You could make me do anything, Katrine. Will you try? In these days to come, when I am away with all those people, will you keep me from temptation?”
She hesitated for a minute, not knowing whether he was jesting or not.
“Believe me,” she said, at length, “I will try.”
DERMOTT GIVES A DINNER AT THE OLD LODGE
The following morning, as she stood clipping the roses, Dermott McDermott leaned over the hedge.
“Will you marry me, Katrine?” he said, with no salutation whatever.
“Will you wait,” she inquired, “till I’ve finished cutting the roses?”
“But I’m in earnest,” he announced.
She held the clippers in her gloved hand to shade the sun from her eyes, regarding him in her friendly, companionable way.
“Dermott,” she said, “what makes you such a liar?” The word as she spoke it of him seemed almost a compliment.
“You’ve been associating, I fear, with some narrow and confined spirit, who repeats things exactly as they occurred. I’ve more imagination!” he explained, with a laugh. “Why should I not change things a bit?” he continued. “Every Irishman’s got to have one of three vices: whiskey, love-making, or lying. Mention me one of any distinction who had none of these!”
“There was St. Patrick,” Katrine suggested, a laugh held under her eyelids.