Page:A Kentucky Cardinal.djvu/145

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127

wish to show her power over me, demanding the one thing she knew would be the hardest for me to grant? Women do that. Did she crave the pleasure of seeing me do wrong to humor her caprice? Women do that. But not one these things can I even associate with the thought of Georgiana. I have in every way to have her explain, to explain myself. She will neither give nor receive an explanation.

I had supposed that her unnatural request would have been the end of my love, but it has not; that her treatment since would have fatally stung my pride, but it has not. I understand neither; forgive both; love her now with that added pain which comes from a man’s discovering that the woman dearest to him must be pardoned — pardoned as long as he shall live.

Never since have I been able to look at the red-bird with the old gladness. He is the re-