WE OF THE WORLD
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.
A horrible choking of laughter seized her, and she smothered it by
actually gripping her twitching throat with her hands. “He would
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.
the coming of understanding was the promise of peace
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.”