For the first time the girl became vaguely conscious of, the possibility of an affection, a tie superseding all others; she began to see how it was possible to give herself to this man, not from an impulse of gratitude or because she liked him better than any one else, but because of a feeling, new, mysterious, which gave him a sort of divine right in her. Something in the expression of his eyes had been more potent than his words; something subtle, swift as an electric spark had passed from him to her, awakening a faint, strange tumult in the heart she thought so utterly crushed. A few moments before, she could have promised resolutely to be his wife; she could have permitted his embrace with unresponsive apathy. Now she felt a sudden shyness. A faint color stole into her pale face, and she longed to be alone.
“Ralph,” she faltered, “you are so generous, I—I don’t know what to say.”
“You needn’t say anything till I come back. If possible, I will be here by Christmas, for you shouldn’t be alone that day with your grief. Good-by.”
The hand she gave him trembled, and her face was averted now.
“You will try to love me a little, won’t you?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
A VISITOR AT THE MINE
Ralph Brandt was admirably fitted for the task he had undertaken. With fearlessness he united imperturbable coolness and unwearied patience in pursuit of an object. Few knew him in his character of detective, and no one would have singled him out as an expert in his calling. The more difficult and dangerous the work, the more careless and indifferent his manner, giving the impression to superficial observers of being the very last person to be intrusted with responsible duty. But his chief and others on the force well knew that beneath Brandt’s careless demeanor was concealed the relentless pertinacity of a bloodhound on track of its victim. With the trait of dogged pursuit all resemblance to the bloodthirsty animal ceased, and even the worst of criminals found him kind-hearted and good-natured after they were within his power. Failure was an idea not to be entertained. If the man to be caught existed, he could certainly be found, was the principle on which our officer acted.
He readily obtained permission to attempt the capture of the escaped prisoner, Bute; but the murderer had disappeared, leaving no clew. Brandt learned that the slums of large cities and several mining camps had been searched in vain, also that the trains running east had been carefully watched. We need not try to follow his processes of thought, nor seek to learn how he soon came to the conclusion that his man was at some distant mining station working under an assumed name. By a kind of instinct his mind kept reverting to one of these stations with increasing frequency. It was not so remote in respect to