He reached out his arms towards her with a sudden tenderness.
“No, no, no, do not touch me,” she cried. “Do not come near me. I must be alone now, and from now on and on.... You do not understand, but I must be alone. I must work it out alone, whatever it is.”
She got up with a quick energy, and went over to the writing-table again. “It may take every penny I have got, but I shall do it, because it is the thing I feel I must do.”
“You have millions, Jasmine,” he said, in a low, appealing voice.
She looked at him almost fiercely again. “No, I have what is my own, my very own, and no more,” she responded, bitterly. “You will do your work, and I will do mine. You will stay here. There will be no scandal, because I shall be going with Alice Tynemouth, and the world will not misunderstand.”
“There will be no scandal, because I am going, too,” he said, firmly.
“No, no, you cannot, must not, go,” she urged.
“I am going to South Africa in two days,” he replied. “Stafford was going with me, but he cannot go for a week or so. He will help you, I am sure, with forming your committee and arranging, if you will insist on doing this thing. He is still up-stairs there with the rest of them. I will get him down now, I—”
“Ian Stafford is here—in this house?” she asked, with staring eyes. What inconceivable irony it all was! She could have shrieked with that laughter which is more painful far than tears.
“Yes, he is up-stairs. I made him come and help us—he knows the international game. He will help you, too. He is a good friend—you will know how good some day.”
She went white and leaned against the table.
“No, I shall not need him,” she said. “We have formed our committee.”
“But when I am gone, he can advise you, he can—”
“Oh—oh!” she murmured, and swayed forward, fainting.
He caught her and lowered her gently into a chair.
“You are only mad,” he whispered to ears which heard not as he bent over her. “You will be sane some day.”
THE MENACE OF THE MOUNTAIN
Far away, sharply cutting the ether, rise the great sterile peaks and ridges. Here a stark, bare wall like a prison which shuts in a city of men forbidden the blithe world of sun and song and freedom; yonder, a giant of a lost world stretched out in stony ease, sleeping on, while over his grey quiet, generations of men pass. First came savage, warring, brown races alien to each other; then following, white races with faces tanned and burnt by the sun, and smothered in unkempt beard and hair—men restless and coarse and brave, and with ancient sins upon them; but with the Bible in their hands and the language of the prophets on their lips; with iron will, with