The Valley of Silent Men eBook

James Oliver Curwood
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Valley of Silent Men.

Suddenly she faced him again.  “It has just this moment occurred to me,” she said, “that you haven’t said ‘Thank you.’”

So suddenly that he startled her he was at her side.  He did not hesitate this time, as he had hesitated in his room at Cardigan’s place.  He caught her two hands in his, and with them he felt the soft, damp crush of her hair between his fingers.  Words tumbled from his lips.  He could not remember afterward all that he said.  Her eyes widened, and they never for an instant left his own.  Thank her!  He told her what had happened to him—­in the heart and soul of him—­from the hour she had come to him at Cardigan’s.  He told her of dreams and plans, of his determination to find her again after he had escaped, if it took him all his life.  He told her of Mercer, of his discovery of her visit to Kim’s Bayou, of his scheme to follow her down the Three Rivers, to seek for her at Fort Simpson, to follow her to the Valley of Silent Men, wherever it was.  Thank her!  He held her hands so tight they hurt, and his voice trembled.  Under the cloud of her hair a slow fire burned in Marette Radisson’s cheeks.  But it did not show in her eyes.  They looked at him so steadily, so unfalteringly, that his own face burned before he had finished what was in his mind to say, and he freed her hands and stepped back from her again.

“Forgive me for saying all that,” he entreated.  “But it’s true.  You came to me there, at Cardigan’s place, like something I’d always dreamed about, but never expected to find.  And you came to me again, at the cell, like—­”

“Yes, I know how I came,” she interrupted him.  “Through the mud and the rain, Mr. Kent.  And it was so black I lost my way and was terrified to think that I might not find barracks.  I was half an hour behind Mr. Fingers’ schedule.  For that reason I think Inspector Kedsty may return at any moment, and you must not talk so loud—­or so much.”

“Lord!” he breathed in a whisper.  “I have said a lot in a short time, haven’t I?  But it isn’t a hundredth part of what I want to get out of my system.  I won’t ask the million questions that want to be asked.  But I must know why we are here.  Why have we come to Kedsty’s?  Why didn’t we make for the river?  There couldn’t be a better night to get away.”

“But it is not so good as the fifth night from now will be,” she said, resuming the task of drying her hair.  “On that night you may go to the river.  Our plans were a little upset, you know, by Inspector Kedsty’s change in the date on which you were to leave for Edmonton.  Arrangements have been made so that on the fifth night you may leave safely.”

“And you?”

“I shall remain here.”  And then she added in a low voice that struck his heart cold, “I shall remain to pay Kedsty the price which he will ask for what has happened tonight.”

“Good God!” he cried.  “Marette!”

She turned on him swiftly.  “No, no, I don’t mean that he will hurt me,” she cried, a fierce little note in her voice.  “I would kill him before that!  I’m sorry I told you.  But you must not question me.  You shall not!”

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Project Gutenberg
The Valley of Silent Men from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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