‘Don’t go.’ I was speechless with wonder at the night and the scene. They whispered; I saw their faces close together, and Heriot’s arms round her neck. ‘Oh, Heriot, my darling, my Walter,’ she said, crying, I knew by the sound of her voice.
‘Tell me you love me,’ said Heriot.
‘I do, I do, only don’t go,’ she answered.
‘Will you love me faithfully?’
‘I will; I do.’
‘Say, “I love you, Walter."’
‘I love you, Walter.’
’For ever. Oh! what a morning for me. Do you smell my honeysuckle? Oh, don’t go away from me, Walter. Do you love me so?’
‘I’d go through a regiment of sabres to get at you.’
’But smell the night air; how sweet! oh, how sweet! No, not kiss me, if you are going to leave me; not kiss me, if you can be so cruel!’
‘Do you dream of me in your bed?’
‘Yes, every night.’
‘God bless the bed!’
’Every night I dream of you. Oh! brave Heriot; dear, dear Walter, you did not betray me; my father struck you, and you let him for my sake. Every night I pray heaven to make you forgive him: I thought you would hate me. I cried till I was glad you could not see me. Look at those two little stars; no, they hurt me, I can’t look at them ever again. But no, you are not going; you want to frighten me. Do smell the flowers. Don’t make them poison to me. Oh, what a morning for me when you’re lost! And me, to look out on the night alone! No, no more kisses! Oh, yes, I will kiss you, dear.’
Heriot said, ‘Your mother was Irish, Julia.’
‘Yes. She would have loved you.’
’I ’ve Irish blood too. Give me her portrait. It ‘s the image of you.’
‘To take away? Walter! not to take it away?’
‘You darling! to keep me sure of you.’
‘Part with my mother’s portrait?’
‘Why, yes, if you love me one bit.’
‘But you are younger than me, Heriot.’
‘Then good-night, good-bye, Julia.’
‘Walter, I will fetch it.’
Heriot now told her I was below, and she looked down on me and called my name softly, sending kisses from her fingers while he gave the cause for our late return.
‘Some one must be sitting up for you—are we safe?’ she said.
Heriot laughed, and pressed for the portrait.
‘It is all I have. Why should you not have it? I want to be remembered.’
She sobbed as she said this and disappeared. Heriot still talked into her room. I thought I heard a noise of the garden-door opening. A man came out rushing at the ladder. I called in terror: ‘Mr. Boddy, stop, sir.’ He pushed me savagely aside, pitching his whole force against the ladder. Heriot pulled down Julia’s window; he fell with a heavy thump on the ground, and I heard a shriek above. He tried to spring to his feet, but dropped, supported himself on one of his hands, and cried: