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love me… If the worst came to the worst, you will help me through…?"


"I must.… I want your promise."

"What is the good of promising? I couldn't do it."

"You said you could die for me."

"It isn't my death you are asking. Unless I should be hanged!"

"You can safeguard yourself."

"You will never ask me."

"But if I did?"

"Oh, God knows!"

"If I not only asked but implored? Give me this hope, this promise. If I come to the end of my tether, can bear no more; then ask you for release, the great release…?"

"My hand would drop off."

"Lose your hand."

"My heart would fail."

"Other men have done such things for the woman they love."

"It won't come to that."

"But if it did…?"

She pressed him, pressed him so hard that in the end he yielded, gave her the promise she asked. His night had been sleepless, he had been without breakfast. He scarcely knew what he was saying, only that he could not say "No" to her. And that when