The Definite Object eBook

Jeffery Farnol
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 454 pages of information about The Definite Object.

“What frightened you, Hermione—­who was it?”

“I—­I thought I saw some one crouching behind a bush—­watching us!”

“Not—­M’Ginnis?” he demanded, fierce-eyed.

“No—­no, I’m sure it wasn’t!”

“I’ll go and look,” said Ravenslee, clenching his fists.  But now, as he turned away, two round arms were about him again, soft and compelling, and she was looking up at him, all shy-eyed, passionate tenderness; and before the revelation in that look, he forgot all else in the world.

“Hermione—­when will you marry me?”

Now, softened by distance, there floated to them the mellow booming of a gong.

“That means I must go!” she sighed.

“Hermione—­when will you marry me?”

“Good-by—­good-by—­I must run!”

But his long arms only clasped her the closer.

“Hermione, when will you be my wife?”

“Oh, please, please let me go; if I’m late—­”

“When, Hermione?”

“When I—­come home, if—­you really—­want me—­Oh, now my hair’s all coming down, I know.  Good-by!”

Reluctantly he loosed her and stood to watch until, reaching the verandah of the house, she paused to glance back to where he stood among the leaves ere she vanished between the screen doors.  Then Ravenslee turned, and remembering her sudden fright, looked sharply about him, even pausing, now and then, to peer behind bush and thicket; but this time he did not think to glance upward, and thus failed to see the round eyes that watched him from amid the leaves of the great tree.

So he came again to the dusty highway and strode along, throbbing with life and the lust of life, revelling in the glory of earth and sky and quite unconscious of the small, furtive figure that flitted after him far behind.

And it was not until he sat in the ferryboat that he remembered he had forgotten to give her the ring, after all.



Mulligan’s was in a ferment.  Bare-armed women talked in every doorway; they talked from open windows, they talked leaning over banisters, they congregated on landings and in passageways—­but everywhere they talked; while men and youths newly returned from work, lunch-can and basket in hand, listened in wide-eyed astonishment, shook incredulous heads, puffed thoughtfully at pipes or cigarettes, and questioned in guttural wonderment.

But Ravenslee, lost in his own happy thoughts, sped up the stairs all unheeding, abstractedly returning such neighbourly salutes as he happened to notice; reaching his lofty habitation in due course he let himself in, and was in the act of filling his pipe when Mrs. Trapes appeared.  In one hand she grasped a meat skewer and in the other an open testament, and it was to be noted that her bright eyes, usually so keen and steady, roved here and there, from pink rug to green and yellow tablecloth, thence to the parrot-owl, and at last to her lodger.  Finally she spoke.

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The Definite Object from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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