The Broad Highway eBook

Jeffery Farnol
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 424 pages of information about The Broad Highway.

“They are still very wet!” said I deprecatingly.

“Yes,” she answered.

“Listen to the wind!” said I.

“It is terribly high.”

“And it rains very hard!” said I.

“Yes,” and she shivered again.

“It will be bad travelling for any one to-night,” said I.

Charmian stared into the fire.

“Indeed, it would be madness for the strongest to stir abroad on such a night.”

Charmian stared into the fire.

“What with the wind and the rain the roads would be utterly impassable, not to mention the risks of falling trees or shattered boughs.”

Charmian shivered again.

“And the inns are all shut, long ago; to stir out, therefore, would be the purest folly.”

Charmian stared into the fire.

“On the other hand, here are a warm room, a good fire, and a very excellent bed.”

She neither spoke nor moved, only her eyes were raised suddenly and swiftly to mine.

“Also,” I continued, returning her look, “here, most convenient to your hand, is a fine sharp knife, in case you are afraid of the ghost or any other midnight visitant and so—­good night, madam!” Saying which, I took up one of the candles and crossed to the door of that room—­which had once been Donald’s, but here I paused to glance back at her.  “Furthermore,” said I, snuffing my candle with great nicety, “madam need have no further qualms regarding the color of my hair and eyes—­none whatever.”

Whereupon I bowed somewhat stiffly on account of my bruises, and, going into my chamber, closed the door behind me.

Having made the bed (for since Donald’s departure I had occupied my two beds alternately) I undressed slowly, for my thumb was very painful; also I paused frequently to catch the sound of the light, quick footstep beyond the door, and the whisper of her garments as she walked.

“Charmian!” said I to myself when at length all was still, “Charmian!” And I blew out my candle.

Outside, the souls of the unnumbered dead still rode the storm, and the world was filled with their woeful lamentation.  But, as I lay in the dark, there came to me a faint perfume as of violets at evening-time, elusive and very sweet, breathing of Charmian herself; and putting up my hand, I touched the handkerchief that bound my brow.

“Charmian!” said I to myself again, and so, fell asleep.

CHAPTER V

IN WHICH I HEAR ILL NEWS OF GEORGE

The sun was pouring in at my lattice when I awoke next morning to a general soreness of body that at first puzzled me to account for.  But as I lay in that delicious state between sleeping and waking, I became aware of a faint, sweet perfume; and, turning my head, espied a handkerchief upon the pillow beside me.  And immediately I came to my elbow, with my eyes directed to the door, for now indeed I remembered all, and beyond that door, sleeping or waking, lay a woman.

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Project Gutenberg
The Broad Highway from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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