I was glad Beryl didn’t see that. I watched, not breathing, till I saw Weaver scramble into view, and Beryl’s dad get slowly to his feet and grope about for his rifle; so I knew there would be no funeral come of it. I fancy his language was anything but mild, though by that time we were too far away to hear anything but the faint churning of their motor as their wheels pawed futilely in the air.
They were harmless for the present. Their car tilted ungracefully on its side, and, though I hadn’t any quarrel with Weaver, I hoped his big Mercedes was out of business. I put away my gun, sat down, and looked at Beryl.
She was very white around the mouth, and her hat was hanging by one pin, I remember; but her eyes were fixed unswervingly upon the brown trail stretching lazily across the green of the grass-land, and she was driving that big car like an old hand.
“Well?” her voice was clear, and anxious, and impatient.
“It’s all right,” I said. I took the wheel from her, got into her place, and brought the car down to a six-mile gait. “It’s all right,” I repeated triumphantly. “They’re out of the race—for awhile, at least, and not hurt, that I could see. Just plain, old-fashioned mad. Don’t look like that, Beryl!” I slowed the car more. “You’re glad, aren’t you? And you will marry me, dear?”
She leaned back panting a little from the strain of the last half-hour, and did things to her hat. I watched her furtively. Then she let her eyes meet mine; those dear, wonderful eyes of hers! And her mouth was half-smiling, and very tender.
“You silly!” That’s every word she said, on my oath.
But I stopped that car dead still and gathered her into my arms, and—Oh, well, I won’t trail off into sentiment, you couldn’t appreciate it if I did.
It’s a mercy Weaver’s car was done for, or they could have walked right up and got their hands on us before we’d have known it.
The Final Reckoning.
About four o’clock we reached the ferry, just behind a fagged-out team and a light buggy that had in it two figures—one of whom, at least, looked familiar to me.
“Frosty, by all that’s holy!” I exclaimed when we came close enough to recognize a man. “I clean forgot, but I was sent to Kenmore this morning to find that very fellow.”
“Don’t you know the other?” Beryl laughed teasingly. “I was at their wedding this morning, and wished them God-speed. I never dreamed I should be God-speeded myself, directly! I drove Edith, over to Kenmore quite early in the car, and—”
“Certainly, Edith. Whom else? Did you think she would be left behind, pining at your infidelity? Didn’t you know they are old, old sweethearts who had quarreled and parted quite like a story? She used to read your letters so eagerly to see if you made any remark about him; you did, quite often, you know. I drove her over to Kenmore, and afterward went off toward Laurel just to put in the time and not arrive home too soon without her—which might have been awkward, if father took a notion to go after her. I’m so glad we came up with them.” She stood up and waved her hand at Edith.