Castle Craneycrow eBook

George Barr McCutcheon
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 231 pages of information about Castle Craneycrow.

“Oh, heaven, if Philip Quentin could see me now!  If he could but hear my sobs and see my tears!  How he would rejoice, how he would laugh, how he would pity me.  This is your triumph, Philip Quentin, but you are not here to claim the wretched victory.  Fool!  Fool!  Fool!”

She had thrown herself face downward on the patch of carpet and was writhing in the agony of fear and regret.  Suddenly there came to her ears the distant report of a firearm, the rush of feet and then something heavy crashed against the little door.  She was on her feet in an instant, cowering in the far corner of the room, her face among the cobwebs.  Panic seized her, and she screamed aloud in her terror.  Outside the door there were sounds of a savage struggle, but they rapidly became indistinct, and finally passed beyond hearing altogether.  She ran to the door and pounded on it with hands that knew not the bruises they were acquiring, and she moaned in the fear that the rescuers, for such they surely must be, were leaving her behind.

“Phil!  Phil!” she cried again and again.  But there suddenly came to her a terrifying thought, and she fell back, cold and voiceless.  Ugo!  What if he had at last run the treacherous Courant to earth?  What if the rescuer were he?

She slunk away from the door, the dampness of dread sending a chill to her heart.  And when again the rush of footsteps brought a heavy body against the door, she had not the voice to cry out, so sure was she that Ugo Ravorelli was coming to her in that dismal hole.

Then the door gave way, and Philip Quentin came plunging into the room, hatless, coatless, his shirt in shreds.  The mighty draft of air from the open door killed the sickly candle-flame, but not before they had seen each other.  For the second time that night she lost consciousness.

At the bottom of a deep ravine lay the body of Courant.  He had fled from before the two adversaries after a vain attempt to reenter the room below the church and had blindly dashed over the cliff.  Turk, with more charity than Courant had shown not many hours before, climbed down the dangerous steep, and, in horror, touched his quivering hand.  Then came the last gasp.

XXIX

DOROTHY’S SOLUTION

Quentin carried her forth into the night.  When Turk came upon him in the darkness a few minutes later, he was wandering about the hilltop, the limp figure of the woman he loved in his arms, calling upon her to speak to him, to forgive him.  The little man checked him just in time to prevent an ugly fall over a steep embankment.

“My God, she’s dead, Turk!” he groaned, placing her tenderly on the grassy sward and supporting her head with his arm.  “The wretch has killed her.”

“He’s paid for it, if he did.  I guess it’s nothin’ but a faint er a fit.  Does she have fits?” demanded Turk, earnestly.  Quentin paid no heed to him, but feverishly began working with her, hope springing from Turk’s surmise.

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Project Gutenberg
Castle Craneycrow from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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