As to such extreme measures Peter offered no opinion. He looked vaguely round the big kitchen as though in search of something that used to be there, and said—
“How about supper?”
HOW THEY WENT THROUGH THE DARKNESS OF THE NARROW WAY
One dark night Gard sauntered down the cutting towards the Coupee, enjoying a last pipe before turning in.
This had become something of a habit with him. The people of Plaisance, hard at work all day in the fields, went early to bed and left him to follow when he pleased. And to stand securely in that deep cleft, just where the protecting walls broke off short and left the narrow path to waver on into the darkness, was always fascinating to him.
When the moon flooded the gulf on the left with shimmering silver, and the waves broke along the black rocks below in crisp white foam like silver frost, he would stand by the hour there and never tire of it.
The moon cast such a mystic glamour over those great voids of darkness and over the headlands, melting softly away, fold behind fold, on the right, while Little Sark became a mystery land into which the white path rambled enticingly and invited one to follow.
And to him, as his eyes followed it till it disappeared over the crown of the ridge, it was more than a mystery land—a land of promise, rich in La Closerie and Nance.
Always within him, as he watched, was the feeling that if the sweet slim figure should come tripping down the moonlit path towards him, he would be in no way astonished. When he stood there, watching, it seemed to him that it would be entirely fitting for her to come so, in the calm soft light that was as pure and sweet as herself.
And at times his eye would light on the grim black pile of L’Etat, lying out there in the silvery shimmer like some great monumental cairn, a rough and rugged heap of loneliness and mystery—the grimmer and lonelier by reason of the twinkling brightness of its setting. And then his thoughts would play about the lonely pile, and come back with a sense of homely relief to the fairy path which Nance’s little feet had trod, in light and dark, and storm and shine, since ever she could walk.
He pictured her as a tiny girl running fearlessly across the grim pathway to school, dancing in the sunshine, bending to the storm, and all alone when she had been kept in—he wondered with a smile what she had been kept in for.
He thought of her, as he had seen her, walking to church, her usually blithe spirit tuned to sedateness by the very fact, and, to him, delightfully stiffened by the further fact that she, almost alone among her friends and school-fellows, wore Island costume, while all the rest flaunted it in all the colours of the rainbow. And he laughed happily to himself, for very joy, at thought of the sweet elusive face in the shadow of the great sun-bonnet. There was not a face in all Sark to compare with it, nor, for him, in all the world.