“I can see a Flaming Cross, too,” said Callovan, speaking for the first time. “I can see it, and what is more, I am going up to it; let us not delay an instant”; and Callovan began to gird his strange-looking garment about him for the climb.
Then Orville knew that he himself was drawn toward that Flaming Cross. There was a something urging him on. His whole being was filled with a desire to get to that goal, and he, too, prepared quickly for the ascent.
“Wait a moment, sir,” said Michael. “Do the others see nothing on the mountain?”
Thornton and Marion, still frowning, were looking down into the haze of the valley. They were paying no attention to their friends.
“Come, let us go,” said Thornton to the girl, as he pointed to the road which led down into the valley.
“No, no,” said Michael, “not there. Look up at the mountain. What do you see?”
Both Marion and Thornton glanced upward. “I see nothing,” said Marion.
“I see a Cross, but it is black and repellant-looking,” said Thornton. “Come, Marion, let us go at once.”
Orville, alarmed, called out: “Marion, you will surely come with me.”
The frown on her face changed to a look of awful sadness, but she put her hand into Thornton’s while saying to Orville: “I can not go there with you—not upward. I must enter the valley with him.” She moved away, her hand still in Thornton’s. Orville watched them go, only wondering why he had no regrets.
“Michael,” he said, “I loved her on earth. Why am I unmoved to see her leave me?”
[Illustration: “But when their feet touched the road, they turned and looked their terror.”]
But Michael answered, “It is not strange in The Land of the Dead. There are stranger partings here; but all of them are like yours—tearless for those who see the Cross.”
Thornton and Marion by this time had entered the valley road and were on the other side of the rock gateway. But when their feet touched the road they turned and looked their terror. Suddenly they recoiled and struck viciously at each other. Then they parted. With the wide road between them they went down into the valley and the haze together.
Orville read the words on the rock gateway, for now they stood out so that he could see plainly, and they were: “The road without ending.” “Michael,” he said, “what does it mean?”
Michael answered, “She could not see the Cross here, who would not see it on earth. It repelled him, who so often had repelled it in life.”