In the excitement and exertion attendant upon the incident, Henry Carroll had not recognized Hatchie; and, while Jaspar inquired for her deliverer, he had been seeking the surgeon. Henry thought of nothing but her safety.
Hatchie at once knew the voice of Henry, but, knowing nothing of the relation between him and his mistress, he feared to trust him with his secret.
“But as thou art a man
Whom I have picked and chosen from the world,
Swept that thou wilt be true to what I utter;
And when I’ve told thee that which only gods,
And men like gods, are privy to, then swear
No chance, or change, shall wrest it from thy bosom.”
Emily Dumont, while yet insensible, was conveyed to her state-room, where, by the assiduous attention of the stewardess and the lady passengers, she was soon restored to consciousness. An army surgeon, who was fortunately on board, prescribed a course of treatment which prevented all evil consequences, so that on the following morning she appeared at breakfast as well as usual bodily, though the terrible fact that her uncle had attempted her life so agitated her that sleep had been a stranger to her eyelids. By whom she had been rescued was yet unknown to her.
Henry Carroll again took his place opposite her at the morning meal,—a place he had secured by the exercise of a full hour’s patience in occupying it. At the first convenient opportunity, he congratulated her upon her safe recovery, and for the first time she heard the particulars of her rescue. Jaspar, with an ill grace, expressed his obligations to him, though at the same time he wished him at the bottom of the river.
Henry failed not to notice the blush which came to her cheek, as she modestly but fervently expressed her gratitude for the noble service he had rendered her. Although her accepted lover, there had been but little intercourse of a tender nature between them,—not enough to prevent her heart from fluttering when he spoke, and sending its warm blood to her cheek.
With what indescribable pleasure does the lover recognize the blush which a word or an act of his own calls to the face of his new-found love! Like the breaking clouds which disclose to the worn mariner the faint outline of the distant land, he hails it as the omen of future bliss! It is part of the mystical language of the heart. It is part of the mechanism of the affections, which the will cannot conceal. The gentle look, the warm pressure of the hand, the eloquent language of love, which modesty at first forbids, are supplied by the timid, uncalled, beautiful blush! Prudence and delicacy cannot chain it in the veins.
Henry read in her blush the warm current of pure love which flowed from her heart. It told him how willingly her gratitude coalesced with her love. Their position at table did not afford the opportunity of interchanging those feelings of the heart which each felt swelling within. The present, so full of joy and hope, it seemed cruel to surround with circumstances which forbade them to enjoy it. A crowded steamer is the most uncomfortable place in the world for a pair of lovers, and Henry and Emily felt the inconvenience of it.