“A bientot,” she said.
“On the lawn out there—farther out, in the starlight,” he whispered—his voice broke—“my darling—”
She bent her head, passing slowly before him, turned, looked back, her answer in her eyes, her lips, in every limb, every line and contour of her, as she stood a moment, looking back.
Austin and Boots were talking volubly when he returned to the tables now veiled in a fine haze of aromatic smoke. Gerald stuck close to him, happy, excited, shy by turns. Others came up on every side—young, frank, confident fellows, nice in bearing, of good speech and manner.
And outside waited their pretty partners of the younger set, gossiping in hall, on stairs and veranda in garrulous bevies, all filmy silks and laces and bright-eyed expectancy.
The long windows were open to the veranda; Selwyn, with his arm through Gerald’s, walked to the railing and looked out across the fragrant starlit waste. And very far away they heard the sea intoning the hymn of the four winds.
Then the elder man withdrew his arm and stood apart for a while. A little later he descended to the lawn, crossed it, and walked straight out into the waste.
The song of the sea was rising now. In the strange little forest below, deep among the trees, elfin lights broke out across the unseen Brier water, then vanished.
He halted to listen; he looked long and steadily into the darkness around him. Suddenly he saw her—a pale blur in the dusk.
“Is it you, Philip?”
She stood waiting as he came up through the purple gloom of the moorland, the stars’ brilliancy silvering her—waiting—yielding in pallid silence to his arms, crushed in them, looking into his eyes, dumb, wordless.
Then slowly the pale sacrament changed as the wild-rose tint crept into her face; her arms clung to his shoulders, higher, tightened around his neck. And from her lips she gave into his keeping soul and body, guiltless as God gave it, to have and to hold beyond such incidents as death and the eternity that no man clings to save in the arms of such as she.
THE LEADING NOVEL OF TODAY.
* * * * *
The Fighting Chance.
By ROBERT W. CHAMBERS. Illustrated by A.B.
Wenzell. 12mo. Ornamental
In “The Fighting Chance” Mr. Chambers has taken for his hero, a young fellow who has inherited with his wealth a craving for liquor. The heroine has inherited a certain rebelliousness and dangerous caprice. The two, meeting on the brink of ruin, fight out their battles, two weaknesses joined with love to make a strength. It is refreshing to find a story about the rich in which all the women are not sawdust at heart, nor all the men satyrs. The rich have their longings, their ideals, their regrets, as well as the poor; they have their struggles and inherited evils to combat. It is a big subject, painted with a big brush and a big heart.