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IV IN THE SILENCE OF THE GUNS AT noon the next day, Dan, sitting beside the fireless hearth, with his head resting on his clasped hands, saw a shadow fall suddenly upon the floor, and, looking up, found Mrs. Ambler standing in the doorway. " I am too late?" she said quietly, and he bowed his head and motioned to the pallet in the corner. Without seeing the arm he put out, she crossed the room like one bewildered by a sudden blow, and went to where the Governor was lying beneath the patchwork quilt. No sound came to her lips; she only stretched out her hand with a protecting gesture and drew the dead man to her arms. Then it was that Dan, turning to leave her alone with her grief, saw that Betty had followed her mother and was coming toward him from the doorway . For an instant their eyes met; then the girl went to her dead, and Dan passed out into the sunlight with a new bitterness at his heart. A dozen yards from the cabin there was a golden beech spreading in wide branches against the sky, and seating himself on a fallen log beneath it, he looked over the soft hills that rose round and deepbosomed from the dim blue valley. He was still there an hour later when, hearing a rustle in the 418 In the Silence of the Guns 419 grass, he turned and saw Betty coming to him over the yellowed leaves. His first glance showed him that she had grown older and very pale; l1is second that her kind brown eyes were full of tears. "Betty, is it this way?" he asked, and opened his arms. With a cry that was half a sob she ran toward him, her black skirt sweeping the leaves about her feet. Then, as she reached him, she swayed forward as if a strong wind blew over her, and as he caught her from the ground, he kissed her lips. Her tears broke out afresh, but as they stood there in each other's arms, neither found words to speak nor voice to utter them. The silence between them had gone deeper than speech, for it had in it all the dumb longing of the last two years - the unshaken trust, the bitterness of the long separation, the griefs that had come to them apart, and the sorrow that had brought them at last together. He held her so closely that he felt the flutter of her breast with each rising sob, and an anguish that was but a vibration from her own swept over him like a wave from head to foot. Since he had put her from him on that last night at Chericoke their passion had deepened by each throb of pain and broadened by each step that had led them closer to the common world. Not one generous thought, not one temptation overcome but had gone to the making of their love to-day - for what united them now was not the mere prompting of young impulse, but the strength out of many struggles and the fulness out of experiences that had ripened the heart of each. The Battle-Ground "Let me look at you," said Betty, lifting her wet face. "It has been so long, and I have wanted you so much - I have hungered sleeping and waking ." "Don't look at me, Betty, I am a skeleton - a crippled skeleton, and I will not be looked at by my love." " Your love can see you with shut eyes. Oh, my best and dearest, do you think you could keep me from seeing you however hard you tried? Why, there's a lamp in my heart that lets me look at you even in the night." " Your lamp flatters, I am afraid to face it. Has it shown you this?" He drew back and held up his maimed hand, his eyes fastened upon her face, where the old fervour had returned. With a sob that thrilled through him, she caught his hand to her lips and then held it to her bosom, crooning over it little broken sounds of love and pity. Through the spreading beech above a clear gold light filtered down upon her, and a single yellow leaf was caught in her loosened hair. He saw her face, impassioned, glorified, amid a flood of sunshine. "And I did not know," she said breathlessly. " You were wounded and there was...


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