Page:Twilight.djvu/360

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352
TWILIGHT

past pleading, and could only suffer, then began again:

"Pity me. Do something…let me go; help me…"

One has to recollect that he loved her, that he knew her heart was diseased, that there would be other such attacks. Also that Gabriel Stanton, as he feared, had proved inflexible. There would be no wedding and inevitable publicity. Then she cried to him again. And Stevens took up the burden of her cry.

"For the Lord's sake give her something, give her what she's asking for. Human nature can't bear no more…look at her." Stevens was moved, as any woman would be, or man, either, by such suffering.

"Your promise!" were words that were wrung through her dry lips. Her tortured eyes raked and racked him.

"I…I can't," was all the answer.

"If you care, if you ever cared. Your miserable weakness. Oh, if I only had a man about me!" She turned away from him for ease and he could hardly hear her. In the next paroxysm he lifted her gently on to the floor, placed a pillow under her head. He whispered to her, but she repelled him, entreated her, but she would not listen. All the time the pain went on. "You promised," were not words,—but a moan.