She started forward with a little moan, and put her hands over her eyes. Then her will reasserted itself, and her firm lips closed tight.
Nothing should make her waver or alter her mind now—and these phantasies should be ruthlessly stamped out.
She sat down in an armchair, and forced herself to picture her life with Henry. It would be full of such great and interesting things, and he would be there to guide and protect her always and keep her from all regrets.
So presently she grew calm and comforted, and by the time she was dressed for dinner, she was even bright and gay, and made a most sweet and gracious mistress of Heronac and of the heart of Henry Fordyce. Just as they were leaving the dining-room, Nicholas brought her a message from Pere Anselme, to the effect that a very bad storm was coming up, and she must be sure to have the great iron shutters inside the lower dungeon windows securely closed. He had already told Berthe’s son to take in the little boat.
And as they crossed the connecting passage, Madame Imogen gave a scream, for a vivid flash of lightning came in through the open windows—followed by a terrific crash of thunder, and when they reached the sitting-room the storm had indeed come.
It was past midnight when Michael reached Paris, and, going in to the Ritz, met Miss Daisy Van der Horn and a number of other friends just leaving after a merry dinner in a private room. They greeted him with fervor. Where had he been? And would not he dress quickly and come on to supper with them?
“Why, you look as glum as an owl, Michael Arranstoun!” Miss Van der Horn herself informed him. “Just you hustle and put on your evening things, and we’ll make you feel a new man.”
And with the most supreme insolence, before them all he bent down and kissed both her hands—while his blue eyes blazed with devilment as he answered:
“I will join you in half an hour—but if you pull me out of bed like this, you will have to make a night of it with me. You shan’t go home at all!”
A whole month went by, and after the storm peace seemed to cover Heronac. Sabine gardened with Pere Anselme, and listened to his kindly, shrewd common sense, and then they read poetry in the afternoons when tea was over. They read Beranger, Francois Villon, Victor Hugo, and every now and then they even dashed into de Musset!
The good Father felt more easy in his mind. After all, his impressions of Lord Fordyce’s character had been very high, and he was not apt to make mistakes in people—perhaps le bon Dieu meant to make an exception in favor of the beloved Dame d’Heronac, and to find divorce a good thing! Sabine had heard from Mr. Parsons that the negotiations had commenced. It would be some time, though, before she could be free. She must formally refuse to return when the demand asking her to do so should come. This