“I do not quite know how to say it,” she said a little timidly. “When you went away this afternoon, the Patriarch took me back into his room, and—and I knelt at his knees—and after a little while my mind seemed very calm and quiet—do you know what I mean? And I tried to think things out—and understand. And it seemed to come to me that there was a shrine everywhere if we would only look for it—that God has put a shrine in every heart, only we are so blind—that every one can make their own surroundings beautiful and good and true, no matter where they are, or how poor, or how rich—and if they live like that they must be good and true themselves.”
“Yes,” he said slowly; then, after a moment: “And faith too is very much like that.”
“Only some need a sign,” she said.
There was silence again, while her hand crept over his face and back to his forehead to smooth his hair once more—and then very gently she slipped out of his arms.
“What are we to do about—about everything here?” she asked soberly. “We are forgetting that in our own happiness. How are we going to return the money that we have taken?”
“I don’t know yet,” he answered. “I haven’t thought much about it—but we’ll manage somehow.”
She shook her head.
“I’ve thought a great deal about it since yesterday—and I’m not so sure it is to be ’managed somehow’—and the more I’ve thought the more tangled and complicated it has become.”
“Well, we’ll untangle it to-morrow,” said Madison, with a smile, “and—”
“No”—she touched his sleeve. “To-night. Let us do it now—to-night. I should be so happy then.”
He smiled at her again, and drew her to him.
“But we ought to have Pale Face and the Flopper too, don’t you think so?” he said.
“Of course,” she said; “and so we will. The Flopper is here, and we can send him for Harry. It’s early yet—not ten o’clock.”
“All right,” said Madison; “if you wish it. We’ll go in then and get the Flopper.”
And so they walked to the cottage door, and into the porch—but in the porch Madison held her for a moment, and lifted up her face again and looked into her eyes.
“My—wife,” he whispered—and took her in his arms.
Strange scene indeed! Strange antithesis to that other night when these four were gathered in that crime-reeked, sordid room at the Roost—where Pale Face Harry, gaunt, emaciated, coughed, and, trembling, plunged a morphine needle in his arm; where the Flopper, a wretched tatterdemalion from the gutter, licked greedy lips and gloated in his rascality; where Helena, flushed-faced, inhaled her interminable cigarettes and dangled her legs from the table edge; where Madison, suave, flippant, so certain of his own infallibility, glorying in his crooked masterpiece, laid the tribute to genius at his own feet!