Page:Lippincotts Monthly Magazine-94.pdf/772

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.



A robin called his mate and sent a

sick thrill quivering through her. She

she knew it.

She is haunted with

the sin against his wife.”

drew her hands across her

She raised herself with his aid;

throbbing eyes, and it was as though

her ears roared and her mouth was

another sun had risen and shown her

all, relentlessly, naked in the glare.

dry so that it was agony to speak. “You—you—want—me—to play

She saw herself, tiny and self-cen tered, her heart cramped with bitter

—I—was—his—wife?” “It is a case of life and death.


I ask too much? He would forgive you, did he know—surely.”

She had asked all and

given nothing. It was not even worldly, for in the world we must make a feint at giving. He had stolen primarily to minister to her pride, and it was her pride that turned to pitiless scorn and hate— the scorn and hate that drove him

further into the dark.

And that

Other ?


A horrible choking of laughter seized her, and she smothered it by

actually gripping her twitching throat with her hands. “He would

Go in.

I’m com

ing.” The doctor marveled a little at

her hysteria, and doubted the wis

“I give my soul up long ago

dom of his demand, but it was not a

I went in it with my eyes

case for tact. He supported her to the sick-room, where, heedless of his protest, she threw herself to her

I knew it wouldn’t


I never expected it to be dif'rent, an’ if I prayed, what right had I? “God!” she whispered, white last.

lipped, to the sun, and the word was strange in her mouth.

“Is this sin,



The answer was in her suddenly outstretched arms, the violent tremb

ling that crushed her into that at titude of despair, longing, and self abasement the masters have painted at the foot of the Cross.

Even with

the coming of understanding was the promise of peace

forgiveness and

The doctor's hand fell upon her bowed shoulder.

“This is not fair of you,” he said gently.

She hastily thrust the letter into her blouse. He appeared not to no tice the havoc passion had wrought on her face.

knees at the bedside.

“I was his wife,” she said stead

ily, holding the fever-burnt hands. “I was his wife by law. I have known bitterer sin than yours. I forgive you as I cry God's pardon for myself.” The sick woman regarded her tensely. “You?” she whispered hoarsely. “He’s dead?

Ah, I knew.




“I found his letter to you. The hurt we do each other by our sin ning! God asks no more of us. Let us be merciful when we can!”

“You—and you forgive me?” “Yes—yes—yes!” “And—and Davy ?” “Oh!” her passionately flowing tears choked her—“can you think—a little child?”

“If I die, could you “Live!





“I have something difficult to beg of you. She is raving. The cad

gether we must build up in Davy all we have thrown away—make him worthy to be our expiation. You have not sinned so deeply as I.” “How can you?” whispered the

that wronged her was married, and

sick woman softly. “How good you

“I—I thought you might have needed me,” she lied brokenly. “I can rest when the nurse comes.”