As he was expecting, she opened the door herself; but only a little, with the gesture habitual to women who live alone in apprehension, and she kept her hand on the latch. "Good morning," he said curtly. "Can I speak to you?" His eye could not blaze like hers, but all his self-respect depended on his valour now, and with desperation he affronted her.
For there seems no reason to doubt, that if Florence, instead of exasperating these neighbours of hers, had sought to win them over, either by entering into league with them or by lending them assistance, she would at this hour have been mistress of Tuscany.
He held out his hand, and she put hers in it. How cool and firm his touch was, and how her tremor subsided under it! He pulled her hand within his arm, and hers rested fully upon his, with but their light summer draperies between them. "But a little way further," he said, in his cheery voice, and they hurried forward. Neither spoke. What did either think?
Now it seems to me that this peculiarity of hers can scarcely have escaped the notice of the slave- trading fraternity, because it was so very marked.
From time to time, as he talked, his eyes sought hers boldly, and in their dark pupils were tiny points of light that stirred and confused her, made her wonder what was behind them, in his soul. When he had finished his argument, he singled her out. "You do not work in the mills?" he asked. "No, I'm a stenographer or I was one." "And now?" "I've given up my place." "You want to join us?"
"Fancy my allowing my best friend's little sister to walk all the way home with those tiny feet of hers! How she would stumble and trip over the sharp stones in the mountain paths!
He kept his hand on hers and held it on the warm ground. "Perhaps it is the sun," he said. "I lose my head here, and I lose my heart!" She still looked rather surprised, and again her ignorance fascinated him. He thought that it was far more attractive than any knowledge could have been. "I'm horribly happy here, but I oughtn't to be happy." "Why, signorino? It is better to be happy."
His color, allowing for the black beard, was hardly darker than hers. "Why should I not listen, since my heart is in the matter? Lord sahib Colonel sahib bahadur! take back those words before it is too late! Undo the promise made to this Armenian! What is he to thee? Set me instead of thee, sahib!
You're stuck on her, ol' man?" "I'm afraid I am, Billy," Bridge admitted; "but what's the use? Let's forget it. Oh, say, is this the horse I let you take the night you robbed the bank?" "Yes," said Billy; "same little pony, an' a mighty well-behaved one, too. Why?" "It's hers," said Bridge. "An' she wants it back?" "She didn't say so; but I'd like to get it to her some way," said Bridge.
Dyceworthy regarded her with a bland and lofty air. "I trust no concerns of mine or hers to the keeping of a paid domestic," he said. "A domestic, moreover, who deserts the ways of her own people, who hath dealings with the dwellers in darkness, who even bringeth herself to forget much of her own native tongue, and who devoteth herself to "