It was so tempting to the weary young soul, who had already begun to sink under the accumulated burdens of the past year, not for herself, but for the sick mother, who complained unceasingly of the changed conditions of their lives. The care and attention would mean so much to her—and yet, what right had she to encourage this man to go against the wishes of his father, to take advantage of his love for her? But she was grateful to him, and there was a wealth of tenderness in the eyes that she turned toward him.
“No, Lennox, I appreciate your generosity, but I do not think it would be wise for either of us.”
“Don’t talk to me of generosity. Good God, Anna, can’t you realize what this separation means to me? I have no heart to go on with my life away from you. If you are going to throw me over, I shall cut college and go away.”
She loved him all the better for his impatience.
“Anna,” he said—the two dark heads were close together, the madness of the impulse was too much for both. Their lips met in a first long kiss. The man was to have his way. The kiss proved a more eloquent argument than all his pleading.
“Say you will, Anna.”
“Yes,” she whispered.
And then they heard the street door open and close, and the voices of Mrs. Tremont and her daughter, as they made their way to the library. And the two young souls, who hovered on the brink of heaven, were obliged to listen to the latest gossip of fashionable Boston.
Containing some reflections and the entrance of Mephistopheles.
“Not all that heralds rake from
Nor florid prose, nor horrid lies of rhyme,
Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.”—Byron.
Lennox Sanderson was stretched in his window-seat with a book, of which, however, he knew nothing—not even the title—his mind being occupied by other thoughts than reading at that particular time.
Did he dare do it? The audacity of the proceeding was sufficient to make the iron will of even Lennox Sanderson waver. And yet, to lose her! Such a contingency was not to be considered. His mind flew backward and forward like a shuttle, he turned the leaves of his book; he smoked, but no light came from within or without.
He glanced about the familiar objects in his sitting-room as one unconsciously does when the mind is on the rack of anxiety, as if to seek council from the mute things that make up so large a part of our daily lives.