some fifty yards distant, lay the island, cool and mysterious in the gathering darkness.
Jimmy broke off, and seized the paddle.
On this side of the island was a boathouse, a little creek covered over with boards and capable of sheltering an ordinary rowboat. He ran the canoe in just as the storm began, and turned her broadside on, so that they could watch the rain, which was sweeping over the lake in sheets.
He began to speak again, more slowly now.
"I think I loved you from the first day I saw you on the ship. And, then, I lost you. I found you again by a miracle, and lost you again. I found you here by another miracle, but this time I am not going to lose you. Do you think I'm going to stand by and see you taken from me by—by—"
He took her hand.
"Molly, you can't love him. It isn't possible. If I thought you did, I wouldn't try to spoil your happiness. I'd go away. But you don't. You can't. He's nothing. Molly!"
The canoe rocked as he leaned toward her.
She said nothing; but, for the first time, her eyes met his, clear and unwavering. He could read fear in them, fear—not of himself, of something vague, something he could not guess at. But they shone with a light that conquered the fear as the sun conquers fire; and he drew her to him, and kissed her again and again, murmuring incoherently.