“I hoped he would scare them. But what is to be the end of it all, Nance dear? Things cannot go on this way. Would it be possible to get me a boat and let me get over to Guernsey?”
“If you will wait a little time, that is what we must do, if the truth does not come out.”
“And meanwhile you may be drowned in trying to keep me from starving.”
“I shall not be drowned and you shall not starve,” she said resolutely.
“I would sooner live on puffins’ eggs than have you swim across that place. My heart goes right down into my feet when I think of it.”
“There is no need. I am all right.”
“The Senechal and the Seigneur could not stop them?”
“Mr. Le Pelley is in Guernsey still. The Senechal they would not listen to. But the truth will come out if only you will wait.”
“If I get away, will you come to me, Nance? And all my life I will give to making you happy.”
“Yes, I will come. But it will be sore leaving Sark. To a Sark-born there is no other place in the world like Sark.”
“All my life I will give to making up for it.”
“We will see. Now I must go, or it will be daylight before I get back.”
“I shall be in misery till I know you are safe.”
“It will be nearly light. I will wave to you from Breniere;” and they went slowly round to the ledges, and parted with kisses; and in the grey morning light he could, for a time, follow the little white figure as it slipped bravely through the bristling black waves of the Race.
But presently he could see her no more, and could but wait, full of anxiety and many prayers, for the signal that should tell of her safety.
But it did not come, and he grew desperate and full of fears.
HOW JULIE’S SCHEMES FELL FLAT
Nance found the return journey still more trying to her strength, but she struggled through, and was devoutly thankful when the slack water under Breniere was reached.
She waded ashore almost too weary to stand, and had to cling to the rough rocks till she recovered her breath. Then, slowly and heavily, she dragged herself up the lower ledges to the little plateau where her clothes were.
Julie had sat revolving grim schemes in that black head of hers.
She hated the girl. She hated Gard. She hated Sark and every one in it. Why had she ever come into these outer wilds? She would have done with it all and get away back to the life that was more to her taste.
But first—yes, mon Dieu, she would leave them something to remember her by.
She had not a doubt that Gard was still on L’Etat. Nothing else would take this girl across there. The shameless hussy!—to go swimming across to see her man with nothing but a white shift on!
She could wound Gard through Nance. She could wound Nance through Gard.