“No, you are my sweetheart,” he cried, discretion all gone now in his eager furtherance of his pleading. “I want you—only you, Mysie,” and he caught her in his arms in a strong burst of desire for her. “Mine, Mysie, mine!” he cried, his lips upon hers and hers responding now, his hot eyes greedily devouring her as he held her there in his strong young arms. “Say, Mysie, that you are mine, that I am yours, body and soul belonging to each other,” and so he raved on in eager burning language, which was the sweetest music in Mysie’s ears.
His arms about her, he made her sit down, she still unresisting and flattered by his words, he fondling and kissing her, his hands caressing her face, her ears, her hair, her neck, his head sometimes resting upon her breast.
Maddened and scorched by the passion raging within him, lured by the magic of the night, and impelled by the invitation of the sweet dewy lips that seemed to cry for kisses, he strained her to his breast.
He praised her eyes, her hair, her voice, whilst he poured kisses upon her, his fire kindling her whole being into response.
Then a thick cloud came over the face of the moon, darkening the dell, blotting out the silvery patterns on the ground, chasing the light shadows into dark corners; and a far-off protest of a whaup shouting to the hills was heard in a shriller and more anxious note that had something of alarm in it; the burn seemed to bicker more loudly in its anxiety to hurry on out into the open moor; and the scents and perfumes of the wood sank into pale ghosts of far-off memories.
When passion, red-eyed and fierce for conquest, had driven innocence from the throne of virtue the guardian angels wept; and all their tears, however bitter, could not obliterate the stains which marked the progress of destruction.
At the end of the copse, when Mysie and Peter emerged, they neither spoke nor laughed. There was shame in their downcast faces, and their feet dragged heavily. His arm no longer encircled her waist, he did not now praise her eyes, her hair, her figure. Lonely each felt, afraid to look up, as if something walked between them. And far away the whaup wheepled in protest, the burn still grumbled, and the perfumes, and the sounds of the glen and all its beauty were as if they had never existed, and the thick cloud grew blacker over the face of the moon.
Night after night for a week afterwards, Mysie lay awake till far on into the morning. She seemed to be face to face with life’s realities at last. The silly, shallow love stories held no fascination for her. The love affairs of “Jean the Mill Girl” could not rouse her interest. Often she cried for hours, till exhaustion brought sleep, troubled and unrefreshing.
She grew silent and avoided company. She sang no more at her work, and she avoided Peter, and kept out of his way. She often compared Robert with him now, and loved to let her mind linger on that one mad moment of delirious joy a year ago, when he had crushed her to his breast, and cried to her to be his. Thus womanhood dawned for her, and its great responsibilities frightened her.