With something very like a groan he made a precipitate retreat. He could not tell her what he had come here to say, to consult her about, he would have to write, or wait until Stanton was there. He wanted her to have one more good night. He loved her radiance. She wronged him if she thought he was jealous of her happiness, or of Gabriel Stanton, although he wished so desperately and so ignorantly that her lover had been other than he was.
Margaret had her uninterrupted night, her last happy night. Peter Kennedy turned and tossed, and tossed and turned on his narrow bed, the sheets grew hot and crumpled and the pillow iron-hard, making his head ache. Towards morning he left his bed, abandoning his pursuit of the sleep that had played him false, and went for a long tramp. At six o'clock, the sun barely risen and the sea cold in a retreating tide, he tried a swim. At eight o'clock he was nevertheless no better, and no worse than he had been the day before, and the day before that. He breakfasted on husks; the bacon and eggs tasted little better. Then he read Mrs. Roope's letter for about the twentieth time and wished he had the doctoring of her!
Dear Dr. Kennedy:―
I am sorry to say that since I last saw you additional facts have come to my knowledge which in fairness to the purity which is part of the higher life I cannot ignore. That Mr. Gabriel Stanton