From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

is not a word of truth in what she says. As you say, I have admitted guilt, being innocent. Gabriel, I was innocent before, but racked, tortured to prove it. Here I have only paid five hundred pounds. Oh, Heaven! give me words, the power to show you. I am pleading with you for my life. For my life, Gabriel…ours. Let the cheque go through, give her another if necessary, and yet another. I don't mind buying my happiness." She pleaded wildly.

"Hush! Hush!" He hushed her on his breast, held her to him.

"Dear love…" She wept, and the tortures of which she spoke were his. "If only I might yield to you."

"What is it stops you? Obstinacy, self-righteousness…"

"If it were either would I not yield now, now, with your dear head upon my breast?" She was sobbing there. "Dear love, you unman me." His breathing was irregular. "Listen, you unman me, you weaken me. We were both looking forward, and must still be able to look forward. And backward, too. Not stain our name, more than our name, our own personal honour. Margaret, we are clean, there must be no one who can say, 'Had they been innocent, would they have paid to hide it?' And this fresh charge, this fresh and hideous accusation! And you would accept all, ad-