But Glory Goldie did not yet understand. She had thought of her father only with aversion and dread since her return and muttered something about his being a madman.
Linnart heard what she said, and it hurt him. “I’m not so sure that Jan was mad!” he retorted. “I told him that I hadn’t seen any gaolers around Glory Goldie. ‘My good Linnart,’ he then said, ’didn’t you notice how closely they guarded her when she drove by? They were Pride and Hardness, Lust and Vice, all the enemies she has to battle against back there in her Empire.’”
Glory Goldie stopped a moment and turned toward Linnart. “Well?” was all she said.
“I replied that these enemies I, too, had seen,” returned Linnart Hindrickson curtly.
The girl gave a short laugh.
“But instantly I regretted having said that,” pursued the man. “For then Jan cried out in despair: ’Oh, pray to God, my dear Linnart, that I may be able to save the little girl from all evil! It doesn’t matter what becomes of me, just so she is helped.’”
Glory Goldie did not speak, but walked on hurriedly. Something had begun to pull and tear at her heart strings—something she was trying to force back. She knew that if that which lay hidden within should burst its bonds and come to the surface, she would break down completely.
“And those were Jan’s last words,” said Linnart. “It wasn’t long after that before he proved that he meant what he said. Don’t think for a moment that Jan jumped into the lake to get away from his own sorrow; it was only to rescue Glory Goldie from her enemies that he plunged in after the boat.”
Glory Goldie tramped on, faster and faster. Her father’s great love from first to last now stood revealed to her. But she could not bear the thought of it and wanted to put it behind her.
“We keep pretty well posted in this parish as to one another’s doings,” Linnart continued. “There was much ill feeling against you at first, after the Emperor was drowned. I for my part considered you unworthy to receive his farewell message. But we all feel differently now; we like your staying down at the pier to watch for him.”
Then Glory Goldie stopped short. Her cheeks burned and her eyes flashed with indignation. “I stay down there only because I’m afraid of him,” she said.
“You have never wanted to appear better than you are. We know that. But we understand perhaps better than you yourself do what lies back of this waiting. We have also had parents and we haven’t always treated them right, either.”
Glory Goldie was so furious that she wanted to say something dreadful to make Linnart hush, but somehow she couldn’t. All she could do was to run away from him.
Linnart Hindrickson made no attempt to follow her further. He had said what he wanted to say and he was not displeased with that morning’s work.