He met her gaze fully, absorbing into his inmost soul the mesmeric spell of her matchless loveliness, he saw, without actually realizing the circumstance, that the whole vast multitude around him had fallen prostrate in an attitude of worship, and still he stood erect, drinking in the warmth of those dark, witching, sleepy orbs that flashed at him half-resentfully, half- mockingly, . . and then, . . the beauty-burdened ship began to sway gently, and move onwards, she, that wondrous Siren-Queen was vanishing, vanishing! she and her kneeling maidens, and music, and flowers, vanishing ... Where?
There had been a new, secret self-consciousness in her heart with regard to Gilbert, ever since that fleeting moment of revelation in the garden of Echo Lodge. Something alien had intruded into the old, perfect, school-day comradeship something that threatened to mar it. "I never felt glad to see Gilbert go before," she thought, half-resentfully, half-sorrowfully, as she walked alone up the lane.
"By the way," said I; "did n't you blame Thompson and Cunningham for duffing in your horse-paddock, ten or twelve months ago?" "I didn't make any song about it," replied the boundary rider half-resentfully. "Of course not. Still you owe them an apology which I shall be happy to convey, if you wish it. Alf Morris was the depredator.
Confusedly, half-resentfully, but irresistibly she knew that she did not could not stand alone, was not the first thus to be struck down. This knowledge brought the tonic summons to courage. She held out her hand unflinchingly, and stood up as she read the message, "Mother died this morning at dawn." The telegram was dated three days before. She was now two days from home.
Where, he wondered, half-resentfully, was the dim oppression, the subtle pain he had heretofore associated with these tranquil water spaces? What witch-work were those girls playing with the traditions of twenty-five years? He glanced from one to the other of their unconscious faces, each absorbed after its own fashion. After all, it was pleasant to look upon the world through young eyes.
In the course of our casual conversation he discovered that I was about to launch myself and my capital into the cattle-business, whereupon he himself made me an offer which I felt should not be lightly brushed aside." "They all did!" Billy could not help flinging out half-resentfully, when he remembered that but for his timely interference Dill would have been gulled more than once.
Then, with a vehemence that can better be imagined than described he exclaimed, half-angrily, half-resentfully: "Then, in God's name, Beatrice, why are we here? and why should we go to the church at all?" "Were you serious about it?" she asked. "I certainly was and am, now!" "Foolish boy!" she exclaimed, laughing with nervous apprehension.
"I hope you WILL win, Lorne," she said, half-resentfully, and he, with forced cheerfulness, replied, "Oh, we'll have a shot at it." Then with a little silent nod at her which, notwithstanding her provocations, conveyed his love and trust, he went out into the struggle of the day.
But he heard light footfalls behind him; he was conscious of a faint perfume, born of no earthly flower, felt a soft panting breath. A light hand touched his face. He flung his vows to anxious Satan, and turned to clasp the woman in his arms. But she coyly retreated, half-resentfully, half-invitingly, wholly lovely.