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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.
behind the barrier of her hands she tried desperately to rally courage.  If things were—­they were!  One must look them in the face!  She took her hands away.  His eyes!  Was it light in them?  Was it?  They were seeing—­surely they saw.  And his lips made the tiniest movement.  In that turmoil of exultation she never knew how she managed to continue kneeling there, with her hands on his.  But all her soul shone down to him out of her eyes, and drew and drew at his spirit struggling back from the depths of him.  For many minutes that struggle lasted; then he smiled.  It was the feeblest smile that ever was on lips, but it made the tears pour down Nedda’s cheeks and trickle off on to his hands.  Then, with a stoicism that she could not believe in, so hopelessly unreal it seemed, so utterly the negation of the tumult within her, she settled back again at his feet to watch and not excite him.  And still his lips smiled that faint smile, and his opened eyes grew dark and darker with meaning.

So at midnight Kirsteen found them.

CHAPTER XXX

In the early hours of his all-night sitting Felix had first only memories, and then Kirsteen for companion.

“I worry most about Tod,” she said.  “He had that look in his face when he went off from Marrow Farm.  He might do something terrible if they ill-treat Sheila.  If only she has sense enough to see and not provoke them.”

“Surely she will,” Felix murmured.

“Yes, if she realizes.  But she won’t, I’m afraid.  Even I have only known him look like that three times.  Tod is so gentle—­passion stores itself in him; and when it comes, it’s awful.  If he sees cruelty, he goes almost mad.  Once he would have killed a man if I hadn’t got between them.  He doesn’t know what he’s doing at such moments.  I wish—­I wish he were back.  It’s hard one can’t pierce through, and see him.”

Gazing at her eyes so dark and intent, Felix thought:  ’If you can’t pierce through—­none can.’

He learned the story of the disaster.

Early that morning Derek had assembled twenty of the strongest laborers, and taken them a round of the farms to force the strike-breakers to desist.  There had been several fights, in all of which the strike-breakers had been beaten.  Derek himself had fought three times.  In the afternoon the police had come, and the laborers had rushed with Derek and Sheila, who had joined them, into a barn at Marrow Farm, barred it, and thrown mangolds at the police, when they tried to force an entrance.  One by one the laborers had slipped away by a rope out of a ventilation-hole high up at the back, and they had just got Sheila down when the police appeared on that side, too.  Derek, who had stayed to the last, covering their escape with mangolds, had jumped down twenty feet when he saw them taking Sheila, and, pitching forward, hit his head against a grindstone.  Then, just as they were marching Sheila and two of the laborers away, Tod had arrived and had fallen in alongside the policemen—­he and the dog.  It was then she had seen that look on his face.

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