The priest rose quickly, passed though the kitchen, and opened the door leading to the outer office. Two women stood waiting, one in a long cloak, the other clinging to her arm, her face white as chalk, her lips quivering.
“Come in,” said the priest.
Martha put her arm around Lady Barbara and led her into the room.
Felix staggered to his feet.
The two stood facing each other, Lady Barbara searching his eyes, her fingers tight hold of Martha’s arm.
“Don’t turn away, Felix,” she sobbed. “Please listen. Father Cruse said you would. He brought me here.”
No answer came, nor did he move, nor had he heard her plea. It was the bent, wasted figure and sunken cheeks, the strands of her still beautiful hair in a coil about her neck, that absorbed him.
Again her eyes crept up to his.
“I’m so tired, Felix—so tired. Won’t you please take me home to my father—”
He made a step forward, halted as if to recover his balance, wavered again, and stretched out his hands.
“Barbara! Barbara!” he cried. “Your home is here.” And he caught her in his arms.