She nodded. “He told me not to write. He said you would get well faster if you had something to bother you.” The demure face was full of glinting lights. “He seemed to think that is what we are made for—mostly. He’s an old dear!” she added.
“He is!” He had gained possession of the quick-moving hand. “I shall keep you now that I have you—”
“—for that very purpose!”
She smiled quietly. “I’ll try to live up to it. You took the prize, you know.”
He caged the other hand. “Bother the prize! There’s only one thing I want.”
Her lip trembled a little.
He watched it jealously. He bent and touched the trembling line. The world was blotted out—sun and bay and wheeling sky. A new world was born—of two souls and swift desire. The heart of the universe opened to them. When they drew apart, her eyes were lighted with tears. He wiped them away slowly, holding the prisoned hands. “We will not wait,” he whispered.
“No,” half breathed.
“In a week?” insistently.
The laughter had come back to her eyes. “To-day!” She freed her hands. “Come.”
He was searching her face. “You mean it?”
“Why not? They will be glad to get rid of us.” She lifted a laughing gesture to the cliff.
“William and Benjamin.” She said the names with slow pleasure, smiling at his puzzled face. “It all came out when I told him that I knew you and that Uncle William lived here. He saw in a flash—everything! We started next day.”
He had put an arm about her, guardingly. “We’ll go hunt up a priest,” he said.
“At once!” decisively. “Uncle William might think I needed more discipline.”
“You’re looking very well.” She was gazing at him with fond eyes.
“I am well.” He stretched out his arms. “I could conquer the world.”
“We’ll sail round it.” She nodded to the boat that was anchored off the island. “She is ours—for as long as we want her.”
He stared at the boat and raised a glance to the cliff. “And what will he do?”
“M. Curie? He builds for himself a house, for himself—and for us.” She half chanted the words in sheer delight.
“A house—here—for himself—and for us!” His glance took in the bare, stern grandeur. “It will be very near heaven.”
“Very near. Come, let us go.” They climbed the steep path, with many pauses to look back on the gleaming bay and the boat riding at anchor—the boat that was to carry them away to the ends of the earth.
“We will go to St. Petersburg,” said Sergia, watching the shining light.
“And build castles there.”
“Castles! And then we will come home at last—”