“No; you see, I hardly looked at you.”
“And, now that you do look at me, am I so very much like Sir Maurice?”
“Not now,” she answered, shaking her head, “for though you are of his height, and though your features are much the same as his, your expression is different. But—a moment ago—when your hat fell off—”
“Yes?” said I.
“Your expression—your face looked—”
“Demoniac?” I suggested.
“Yes,” she answered.
“Yes?” said I.
So we went upon our way, nor paused until we had left the Daemon and the dark woods behind us. Then I looked from the beauty of the sweet, pure earth to the beauty of her who stood beside me, and I saw that her glance rested upon the broken knuckles of my right hand. Meeting my eyes, her own drooped, and a flush crept into her cheeks, and, though of course she could not have seen the Daemon, yet I think that she understood.
“Journeys end in lovers’ meetings”
The moon was fast sinking below the treetops to our left, what time we reached a road, or rather cart-track that wound away up a hill. Faint and far a church clock slowly chimed the hour of three, the solemn notes coming sweet and silvery with distance.
“What chimes are those?” I inquired.
“Is it far to Cranbrook?”
“One mile this way, but two by the road yonder.”
“You seem very well acquainted with these parts,” said I.
“I have lived here all my life; those are the Cambourne Woods over there—”
“Cambourne Woods!” said I.
“Part of the Sefton estates,” she continued; “Cambourne village lies to the right, beyond.”
“The Lady Sophia Sefton of Cambourne!” said I thoughtfully.
“My dearest friend,” nodded my companion.
“They say she is very handsome,” said I.
“Then they speak truth, sir.”
“She has been described to me,” I went on, “as a Peach, a Goddess, and a Plum; which should you consider the most proper term? “My companion shot an arch glance at me from the corners of her eyes, and I saw a dimple come and go, beside the curve of her mouth.
“Goddess, to be sure,” said she; “peaches have such rough skins, and plums are apt to be sticky.”
“And goddesses,” I added, “were all very well upon Olympus, but, in this matter-of-fact age, must be sadly out of place. Speaking for myself—”
“Have you ever seen this particular Goddess?” inquired my companion.
“Then wait until you have, sir.”
The moon was down now, yet the summer sky was wonderfully luminous and in the east I almost fancied I could detect the first faint gleam of day. And after we had traversed some distance in silence, my companion suddenly spoke, but without looking at me.