“Emilia! my own for ever! I swore to die this night it I did not see you!”
“You love me, Wilfrid? love me?”
“Come with me now!”
“Away! with me! your lover!”
“Then you love me!
“I love you! Come!”
“Now? I cannot move.”
“I am out in the night without you.”
“Oh, my lover! Oh, Wilfrid!”
“Come to me!”
“My feet are dead!”
“It’s too late!”
A sturdy hulloa! sounding from the coachman made Merthyr’s ears alive. When he returned he found Emilia huddled up on the seat, alone, her face in her hands, and the touch of her hands like fire. He had to entreat her to descend, and in helping her to alight bore her whole weight, and supported her in a sad wonder, while the horses were led across the rubble, and the carriage was with difficulty, and some confusions, guided to clear its wheels of the obstructing mass. Emilia persisted in saying that nothing ailed her; and to the coachman, who could have told him something, and was willing to have done so (notwithstanding a gold fee for silence that stuck in his palm), Merthyr put no question.
As they were taking their seats in the carriage again,
“Where is your wreath, Sandra?”
The black-briony wreath was no longer on her head.
“Then, it wasn’t a dream!” gasped Emilia, feeling at her temples.
Georgiana at once fell into a scrutinizing coldness, and when Merthyr, who fancied the wreath might have fallen as he was lifting Emilia from the carriage, proposed to go and search the place for it, his sister laid her fingers on his arm, remarking, “You will not find it, dear;” and Emilia cried “Oh! no, no! it is not there;” and, with her hands pressed hard against her bosom, sat fixed and silent.
Out of this mood she issued with looks of such tenderness that one who watched her, speculating on her character as Merthyr did, could see that in some mysterious way she had been, during the few minutes that separated them, illumined upon the matter nearest her heart. Was it her own strength, inspired by some sublime force, that had sprung up suddenly to eject a worthless love? So he hoped in despite of whispering reason, till Georgiana spoke to him.
When the force of Wilfrid’s embrace had died out from her body, Emilia conceived wilfully that she had seen an apparition, so strange, sudden, and wild had been his coming and going: but her whole body was a song to her. “He is not false: he is true.” So dimly, however, was the ‘he’ now fashioned in her brain, and so like a thing of the air had he descended on her, that she almost conceived the abstract idea, ‘Love is true,’ and possibly, though her senses did not touch on it to shape it, she had the reflection in her: “After all, power is mine to bring him to my side.” Almost it seemed to her that she had brought him from the grave. She sat hugging herself in the carriage, hating to hear words, and seeing a ball of fire away in the white mist. Georgiana looked at her no more; and when Tracy remarked that he had fancied having seen a fellow running up the bank, she said quietly, “Did you?”