The Zeppelin's Passenger eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 249 pages of information about The Zeppelin's Passenger.
courage which, when necessity demanded, had flamed up in him, a born and natural quality.  She remembered the agony of those few minutes on the preceding day, when nothing but what still seemed a miracle had saved him.  At one moment she felt herself inclined to pray that he might never come back.  At another, her heart ached to see him once more.  She knew so well that if he came it would be for her sake, that he would come to ask her finally the question with which she had fenced.  She knew, too, that his coming would be the moment of her life.  She was so much of a woman, and the passionate craving of her sex to give love for love was there in her heart, almost omnipotent.  And in the background there was that bitter desire to bring suffering upon the man who had treated her like a child, who had placed her in a false position with all other women, who had dawdled and idled away his days, heedless of his duty, heedless of every serious obligation.  When she tried to reason, her way seemed so clear, and yet, behind it all, there was that cold impulse of almost Victorian prudishness, the inheritance of a long line of virtuous women, a prudishness which she had once, when she had believed that it was part of her second nature, scoffed at as being the outcome of one of the finer forms of selfishness.

She told herself that she had come there to decide, and decision came no nearer to her.  A late afternoon star shone weakly in the sky.  A faint, vaporous mist obscured the horizon and floated in tangled wreaths upon the face of the sea.  Only that line of sand seemed still clear-cut and distinct, and as she glanced along it her eyes were held by something approaching, something which seemed at first nothing but a black, moving speck, then gradually resolved itself into the semblance of a man on horseback, galloping furiously.  She watched him as he drew nearer and nearer, the sand flying from his horse’s hoofs, his figure motionless, his eyes apparently fixed upon some distant spot.  It was not until he had come within fifty yards of her that she recognised him.  His horse shied at the sight of her and was suddenly swung round with a powerful wrist.  Little specks of sand, churned up in the momentary stampede of hoofs, fell upon her skirt.  For the rest, she watched the struggle composedly, a struggle which was over almost as soon as it was begun.  Captain Griffiths leaned down from his trembling but subdued horse.

“Lady Cranston!” he exclaimed in astonishment.

“That’s me,” she replied, smiling up at him.  “Have you been riding off your bad temper?”

He glanced down at his horse’s quivering sides.  Back as far as one could see there was that regular line of hoof marks.

“Am I bad-tempered?” he asked.

“Well,” she observed, “I don’t know you well enough to answer that question.  I was simply thinking of yesterday evening.”

He slipped from his horse and stood before her.  His long, severe face had seldom seemed more malevolent.

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The Zeppelin's Passenger from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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