She was too surprised to answer, too overcome by the suddenness of his assault to resist. The power she had undertaken to estimate was in his eyes, strong, plain, relentless.
“And because you remember I can see the hardness going from your eyes, the tenderness replacing it. The flush in your cheek is not so much of anger as it was, your heart is not beating in rebellion as it was, and all because you cannot forget—you will not forget.”
“This is madness,” she cried, shivering as with a mighty chill.
“Madness it may be, Dorothy, but—well, because we have not forgotten the days when we were sweethearts, I am claiming this day of you and you must give it to me for the same reason. You must say to me that you give it willingly,” he half whispered, intensely. She could only look helplessly into his eyes.
From the rumble Turk saw nothing, neither did he hear.
SOME UGLY LOOKING MEN
Prince Ugo Ravorelli was not, that day, the only one whose coming to Brussels was of interest to Quentin. Dickey Savage came in from Ostend and was waiting at the Bellevue when he walked in soon after six o’clock. Mr. Savage found a warm welcome from the tall young man who had boldly confiscated several hours that belonged properly to the noble bridegroom, and it was not long until, dinner over, he was lolling back in a chair in Quentin’s room, his feet cocked on the window sill, listening with a fair and increasing show of interest to the confidences his friend was pouring forth.
“So you deliberately drove off and left the prince, eh? And she didn’t sulk or call you a nasty, horrid beast? I don’t know what the devil you want me here for if you’ve got such a start as that. Seems to me I’ll be in the way, more or less,” said Dickey, when the story reached a point where, to him, finis was the only appropriate word.
“That’s the deuce of it, Dickey. I can’t say that I’ve got a safe start at all, even with her, and I’ve certainly got some distance to go before I can put the prince out of the running. You may think this is a nice, easy, straightaway race, but it isn’t. It’s going to be a steeplechase, and I don’t know the course. I’m looking for a wide ditch at any turn, and I may get a nasty fall. You see, I’ve some chance of getting my neck broken before I get to the stretch.”
“And some noted genius will be grinding out that Lohengrin two-step just about the time you get within hearing distance, too. You won’t be two-stepping down the aisle at St. Gudule, but you’ll agree that it’s a very pretty party. That will be all, my boy—really all. I don’t want to discourage you and I’m willing to stay by you till that well-known place freezes over, but I think an ocean voyage would be very good for you if you can arrange to start to-morrow.”
“If you’re going into this thing with that sort of spirit, you’ll be a dead weight and I’ll be left at the post,” said Quentin, ruefully.