“I’m not the least tired. I never felt more awake in my life. Surely the wind has fallen.”
He went to the door and opened it and looked out.
“It is only a lull. It will probably blow up again stronger than ever,” and as he turned he found her at his elbow.
“Let us go outside,” she said, and he could have taken her into his arms. Instead, he tiptoed across the room and got her cloak, and placed it on her shoulders with a new, vast sense of proprietorship.
He knew just how she felt. Even that room of rare delights was not large enough just then for her and for him. The whole wide world, and the illimitable heights of the heavens, could scarce contain that which was in them. Their hearts were full, and that which was in them was that of which God is the ultimate perfection. And in their ears, in the gaps of the storm, was the roaring thunder of the great white waves as they tore along the black sides of Brecqhou.
“Tell me more about those letters,” she said briefly. “What did you write?”
“I wrote, nominally, to inform you of Lady Elspeth’s sudden call to Scotland, but actually to tell you how sorely I regretted the sudden break in our acquaintance which had become to me so very great a delight.”
“And when you got no answer?”
“I waited and waited, and then I had a sudden fear that you might be ill. And to satisfy myself I called on Mr. Pixley at his office. He told me you were quite well, that you had had my letters, and had handed them to him.”
“Yes,—he said you were shortly to marry his son.”
“That is what he wished,—and that is why I am here.”
“Thank God! Then I may tell you, Margaret. I had been building castles and you were mistress of them all and of my whole heart. When Mr. Pixley knocked them into dust I came here to fight it out by myself, and a black time I had. Then God, in His goodness, put it into your heart to come too. Will you marry me, Margaret?”
And there, in the lull of the gale, in the lee of the lonely house on Brecqhou, they plighted their troth with no more need of feeble words, for their hearts had gone out to one another.
And all along the gaunt black rocks the great waves, which a moment before had been growling in dull agony, roared a mighty chorus of delight, and rolled it up the sloping seams of Longue Pointe, and flashed it on in thunderous bursts of foam from Bec-du-Nez to L’Etac.
And Miss Henrietta Penny, awakening about this time, and finding herself alone, laughed happily to herself, and sighed just once, and said from her heart, “God bless them!”—and did not go to sleep again, though to look at her you would never have known it, save for the fact that she no longer purred in her sleep,—for the woman has yet to be born who ever pleaded guilty to actual snoring.