“I had not meant to tell you,” Theresa eagerly answered, “but now I must. It is too wonderful. What time did your clock strike, Allan?”
“One, the last time.”
“Yes; it was then that I awoke. And she had been with me. I had not seen her, but her arm had been about me and her kiss was on my cheek. Oh. I knew; it was unmistakable. And the sound of her voice was with me.”
“Then she bade you, too——”
“Yes, to stay with you. I am glad we told each other.” She smiled tearfully and began to fasten her wrap.
“But you are not going—now!” Allan cried. “You know that you cannot, now that she has asked you to stay.”
“Then you believe, as I do, that it was she?” Theresa demanded.
“I can never understand, but I know,” he answered her. “And now you will not go?”
* * * * *
I am freed. There will be no further semblance of me in my old home, no sound of my voice, no dimmest echo of my earthly self. They have no further need of me, the two that I have brought together. Theirs is the fullest joy that the dwellers in the shell of sense can know. Mine is the transcendent joy of the unseen spaces.
BY WILBUR DANIEL STEELE
End, by Wilbur Daniel Steele. Copyright, 1908,
Harper and Brothers. By permission of the publishers and Wilbur
I tell you sir, I was innocent. I didn’t know any more about the world at twenty-two than some do at twelve. My uncle and aunt in Duxbury brought me up strict; I studied hard in high school, I worked hard after hours, and I went to church twice on Sundays, and I can’t see it’s right to put me in a place like this, with crazy people. Oh yes, I know they’re crazy—you can’t tell me. As for what they said in court about finding her with her husband, that’s the Inspector’s lie, sir, because he’s down on me, and wants to make it look like my fault.
No, sir, I can’t say as I thought she was handsome—not at first. For one thing, her lips were too thin and white, and her color was bad. I’ll tell you a fact, sir; that first day I came off to the Light I was sitting on my cot in the store-room (that’s where the assistant keeper sleeps at the Seven Brothers), as lonesome as I could be, away from home for the first time, and the water all around me, and, even though it was a calm day, pounding enough on the ledge to send a kind of a woom-woom-woom whining up through all that solid rock of the tower. And when old Fedderson poked his head down from the living-room with the sunshine above making a kind of bright frame around his hair and whiskers, to give me a cheery, “Make yourself to home, son!” I remember I said to myself: “He’s all right. I’ll get along with him. But his wife’s enough to sour milk.” That was queer, because she was so much under him in age—’long about twenty-eight or so, and him nearer fifty. But that’s what I said, sir.