ACROSS THE ZODIAC by Percy Greg
 
Chapter XXI—Private Audiences.
 
I spent my days between mist and mist, according to the Martial saying, not infrequently in excursions more or less extensive and adventurous, in which I could but seldom ask Eveena’s company, and did not care for any other. Comparatively courageous as she had learned to be, and free from all affectation of pretty feminine fear, Eveena could never realise the practical immunity from ordinary danger which a strength virtually double that I had enjoyed on Earth, and thorough familiarity with the dangers of travel, of mountaineering, and of the chase, afforded me. When, therefore, I ventured among the hills alone, followed the fishermen and watched their operations, sometimes in terribly rough weather, from the little open surface-boat which I could manage myself, I preferred to give her no definite idea of my intentions. Davilo, however, protested against my exposure to a peril of which Eveena was happily as yet unaware.
 
“If your intentions are never known beforehand,” he said, “still your habit of going forth alone in places to which your steps might easily be dogged, where you might be shot from an ambush or drowned by a sudden attack from a submarine vessel, will soon be pretty generally understood, if, as I fear, a regular watch is set upon your life. At least let me know what your intentions are before starting, and make your absences as irregular and sudden as possible. The less they are known beforehand, even in your own household, the better.”
 
“Is it midnight still in the Council Chamber?” I asked.
 
“Very nearly so. She who has told so much can tell us no more. The clue that placed her in mental relations with the danger did not extend to its authorship. We have striven hard to find in every conceivable direction some material key to the plot, some object which, having been in contact with the persons of those we suspect, probably at the time when their plans were arranged, might serve as a link between her thoughts and theirs; but as yet unsuccessfully. Either her vision is darkened, or the connection we have sought to establish is wanting. But you know who is your unsparing personal enemy; and, after the Sovereign himself, no man in this world is so powerful; while the Sovereign himself is, owing to the restraints of his position, less active, less familiar with others, less acquainted with what goes on out of his own sight. Again I say we can avenge; but against secret murder our powers only avail to deter. If we would save, it must be by the use of natural precautions.”
 
What he said made me desirous of some conversation with Eveena before I started on a meditated visit to the Palace. If I could not tell her the whole truth, she knew something; and I thought it possible on this occasion so far to enlighten her as to consult with her how the secret of my intended journeys should in future be kept. But I found no chance of speaking to her until, shortly before my departure, I was called upon to decide one of the childish disputes which constantly disturbed my temper and comfort. Mere fleabites they were; but fleas have often kept me awake a whole night in a Turkish caravanserai, and half-a-dozen mosquitos inside an Indian tent have broken up the sleep earned on a long day’s march or a sharply contested battlefield. I need only say that I extorted at last from Eveena a clear statement of the trifle at issue, which flatly contradicted those of the four participants in the squabble. She began to suggest a means of proving the truth, and they broke into angry clamour. Silencing them all peremptorily, I drew Eveena into my own chamber, and, when assured that we were unheard, reproved her for proposing to support her own word by evidence.
 
“Do you think,” I said, “that any possible proof would induce me to doubt you, or add anything to the assurance I derive from your word?”
 
“But,” she urged, “that cannot be just to others. They must feel it very hard that your love for me makes you take all I say for truth.” “Not my love, but my knowledge. ‘Be not righteous overmuch.’ Don’t forget that they know the truth as well as you.”
 
I would hear no more, and passed to the matter I had at heart….
 
Earnestly, and in a sense sincerely, as upon my second audience I had thanked the Camptâ for his munificent gifts, no day passed that I would not thankfully have renounced the wealth he had bestowed if I could at the same time have renounced what was, in intention and according to Martial ideas, the most gracious and most remarkable of his favours. On the present occasion I thought for a moment that such renunciation might have been possible.
 
The Prince had, after our first interview, observed with regard to every point of my story on which I had been carefully silent a delicacy of reserve very unusual among Martialists, and quite unintelligible to his Court and officers. To-day the conversation in public turned again upon my voyage. Endo and another studiously directed it to the method of steering, and the intentional diminution of speed in my descent, corresponding to its gradual increase at the commencement of the journey—points at which they hoped to find some opening to the mystery of the motive force. The Prince relieved me from some embarrassment by requesting me as usual to attend him to his private cabinet.
 
He said: —”I have not, as you must be aware, pressed you to disclose a secret which, for some reason or other, you are evidently anxious to preserve. Of course the exclusive possession of a motive power so marvellous as that employed in your voyage is of almost incalculable pecuniary value, and it is perfectly right that you should use your own discretion with regard to the time and the terms of its communication.”
 
“Pardon me,” I interposed, “if I interrupt you, Prince, to prevent any misconception. It is not with a view to profit that I have carefully avoided giving any clue whatever to my secret. Tour munificence would render it most ungrateful and unjust in me to haggle over the price of any service I could render you; and I should be greedy indeed if I desired greater wealth than you have bestowed. If I may say so without offending, I earnestly wish that you would permit me, by resigning your gifts, to retain in my own eyes the right to keep my secret without seeming undutiful or unthankful.”
 
“I have said,” he replied, “that on that point you misconceive our respective positions. No one supposes that you are indebted to us for anything more than it was the duty of the Sovereign to give, as a mark of the universal admiration and respect, to our guest from another world; still less could any imagine that on such a trifle could be founded any claim to a secret so invaluable. You will offend me much and only if you ever again speak of yourself as bound by personal obligation to me or mine. But as we are wishful to buy, so I cannot understand any reluctance on your part to sell your secret on your own terms.”
 
“I think, Prince,” I replied, “that I have already asked you what you would think of a subject of your own, who should put such a power into the hands of enemies as formidable to you as you would be to the races of the Earth.”
 
“And I think,” he rejoined with a smile, “that I reminded you how little my judgment would matter to one possessed of such a power. I have gathered from your conversation how easily we might conquer a world as far behind us in destructive powers as in general civilisation. But why should you object? You can make your own terms both for yourself and for any of your race for whom you feel an especial interest.”
 
“A traitor is none the less a despicable and loathsome wretch because his Prince cannot punish him. I am bound by no direct tie of loyalty to any Terrestrial sovereign. I was born the subject of one of the greatest monarchs of the Earth; I left his country at an early age, and my youth was passed in the service of less powerful rulers, to one at least of whom I long owed the same military allegiance that binds your guards and officers to yourself. But that obligation also is at an end. Nevertheless, I cannot but recognise that I owe a certain fealty to the race to which I belong, a duty to right and justice. Even if I thought, which I do not think, that the Earth would be better governed and its inhabitants happier under your rule, I should have no right to give them up to a conquest I know they would fiercely and righteously resist. If—pardon me for saying it—you, Prince, would commit no common crime in assailing and slaughtering those who neither have wronged nor can wrong you, one of themselves would be tenfold more guilty in sharing your enterprise.”
 
“You shall ensure,” he replied, “the good government of your own world as you will. You shall rule it with all the authority possessed by the Regents under me, and by the laws which you think best suited to races very different from our own. You shall be there as great and absolute as I am here, paying only an obedience to me and my successors which, at so immense a distance, can be little more than formal.”
 
“Is it to acquire a merely formal power that a Prince like yourself would risk the lives of your own people, and sacrifice those of millions of another race?”
 
“To tell you the truth,” he replied, “I count on commanding the expedition myself; and perhaps I care more for the adventure than for its fruits. You will not expect me to be more chary of the lives of others than of my own?”
 
“I understand, and as a soldier could share, perhaps, a feeling natural to a great, a capable, and an ambitious Prince. But alike as soldier and subject it is my duty to resist, not to aid, such an ambition. My life is at your disposal, but even to save my life I could not betray the lives of hundreds of millions and the future of a whole world.”
 
“I fail to understand you fully,” he said, abandoning with a sigh a hope that had evidently been the object of long and eager day-dreams. “But in no case would I try to force from you what you will not give or sell; and if you speak sincerely—and I suppose you must do so, since I can see no motive but those you assign that could induce you to refuse my offer—I must believe in the existence of what I have heard of now and then but deemed incredible—men who are governed by care for other things than their own interests, who believe in right and wrong, and would rather suffer injustice than commit it.”
 
“You may be sure, Prince,” I replied, perhaps imprudently, “that there are such men in your own world, though they are perhaps among those who are least known and least likely to be seen at your Court.”
 
“If you know them,” he said, “you will render me no little service in bringing them to my knowledge.”
 
“It is possible,” I ventured to observe, “that their distinguishing excellences are connected with other distinctions which might render it a disservice to them to indicate their peculiar character, I will not say to yourself, but to those around you.”
 
“I hardly understand you,” he rejoined. “Take, however, my assurance that nothing you say here shall, without your own consent, be used elsewhere. It is no light gratification, no trifling advantage to me, to find one man who has neither fear nor interest that can induce him to lie to me; to whom I can speak, not as sovereign to subject, but as man to man, and of whose private conversation my courtiers and officials are not yet suspicious or jealous. You shall never repent any confidence you give to me.”
 
My interest in and respect for the strange character so manifestly suited for, so intensely weary of, the grandest position that man could fill, increased with each successive interview. I never envied that greatness which seems to most men so enviable. The servitude of a constitutional King, so often a puppet in the hands of the worst and meanest of men—those who prostitute their powers as rulers of a State to their interests as chiefs of a faction—must seem pitiable to any rational manhood. But even the autocracy of the Sultan or the Czar seems ill to compensate the utter isolation of the throne; the lonely grandeur of one who can hardly have a friend, since he can never have an equal, among those around him. I do not wonder that a tinge of melancholo-mania is so often perceptible in the chiefs of that great House whose Oriental absolutism is only “tempered by assassination.” But an Earthly sovereign may now and then meet his fellow-sovereigns, whether as friends or foes, on terms of frank hatred or loyal openness. His domestic relations, though never secure and simple as those of other men, may relieve him at times from the oppressive sense of his sublime solitude; and to his wife, at any rate, he may for a few minutes or hours be the husband and not the king. But the absolute Ruler of this lesser world had neither equal friends nor open foes, neither wife nor child. How natural then his weariness of his own life; how inevitable his impatient scorn of those to whom that life was devoted! A despot not even accountable to God—a Prince who, till he conversed with me, never knew that the universe contained his equal or his like—it spoke much, both for the natural strength and soundness of his intellect and for the excellence of his education, that he was so sane a man, so earnest, active, and just a ruler. His reign was signalised by a better police, a more even administration of justice, a greater efficiency, judgment, and energy in the execution of great works of public utility, than his realm had known for a thousand years; and his duty was done as diligently and conscientiously as if he had known that conscience was the voice of a supreme Sovereign, and duty the law of an unerring and unescapable Lawgiver. Alone among a race of utterly egotistical cowards, he had the courage of a soldier, and the principles, or at least the instincts, worthy of a Child of the Star. With him alone could I have felt a moment’s security from savage attempts to extort by terror or by torture the secret I refused to sell; and I believe that his generous abstinence from such an attempt was as exasperating as it was incomprehensible to his advisers, and chiefly contributed to involve him in the vengeance which baffled greed and humbled personal pride had leagued to wreak upon myself, as on those with whose welfare and safety my own were inextricably intertwined. It was a fortunate, if not a providential, combination of circumstances that compelled the enemies of the Star, primarily on my account, to interweave with their scheme of murderous persecution and private revenge an equally ruthless and atrocious treason against the throne and person of their Monarch.
 
My audience had detained me longer than I had expected, and the evening mist had fairly closed in before I returned. Entering, not as usual through the grounds and the peristyle, but by the vestibule and my own chamber, and hidden by my half-open window, I overheard an exceedingly characteristic discussion on the incident of the morning.
 
“Serve her right!” Leenoo was saying. “That she should for once get the worst of it, and be disbelieved to sharpen the sting!”
 
“How do you know?” asked Enva. “I don’t feel so sure we have heard the last of it.”
 
“Eveena did not seem to have liked her half-hour,” answered Leenoo spitefully. “Besides, if he did not disbelieve her story, he would have let her prove it.”
 
“Is that your reliance?” broke in Eunané. “Then you are swinging on a rotten branch. I would not believe my ears if, for all that all of us could invent against her, I heard him so much as ask Eveena, ‘Are you speaking the truth?’“
 
“It is very uneven measure,” muttered Enva.
 
“Uneven!” cried Eunané. “Now, I think I have the best right to be jealous of her place; and it does sting me that, when he takes me for his companion out of doors, or makes most of me at home, it is so plain that he is taking trouble, as if he grudged a soft word or a kiss to another as something stolen from her. But he deals evenly, after all. If he were less tender of her we should have to draw our zones tighter. But he won’t give us the chance to say, ‘Teach the ambâ with stick and the esve with sugar.’“
 
“I do say it. She is never snubbed or silenced; and if she has had worse than what he calls ‘advice’ to-day, I believe it is the first time. She has never ‘had cause to wear the veil before the household’ [to hide blushes or tears], or found that his ‘lips can give sharper sting than their kiss can heal,’ like the rest of us.”
 
“What for? If he wished to find her in fault he would have to watch her dreams. Do you expect him to be harder to her than to us? He don’t ‘look for stains with a microscope.’ None of us can say that he ‘drinks tears for taste.’ None of us ever ‘smarted because the sun scorched him.’ Would you have him ‘tie her hands for being white’?” [punish her for perfection].
 
“She is never at fault because he never believes us against her,” returned Leenoo.
 
“How often would he have been right? I saw nothing of to-day’s quarrel, but I know beforehand where the truth lay. I tell you this: he hates the sandal more than the sin, but, strange as it seems, he hates a falsehood worse still; and a falsehood against Eveena—If you want to feel ‘how the spear-grass cuts when the sheath bursts,’ let him find you out in an experiment like this! You congratulate yourself, Leenoo, that you have got her into trouble. Elnerve that you are! —if you have, you had better have poisoned his cup before his eyes. For every tear he sees her shed he will reckon with us at twelve years’ usury.”
 
“You have made her shed some,” retorted Enva.
 
“Yes,” said Eunané, “and if he knew it, I should like half a year’s penance in the black sash” [as the black sheep or scapegoat of her Nursery] “better than my next half-hour alone with him. When I was silly enough to tie the veil over her mouth” [take the lead in sending her to Coventry] “the day after we came here, I expected to pay for it, and thought the fruit worth the scratches. But when he came in that evening, nodded and spoke kindly to us, but with his eyes seeking for her; when he saw her at last sitting yonder with her head down, I saw how his face darkened at the very idea that she was vexed, and I thought the flash was in the cloud. When she sprang up as he called her, and forced a smile before he looked into her face, I wished I had been as ugly as Minn oo, that I might have belonged to the miseries, worst-tempered man living, rather than have so provoked the giant.”
 
“But what did he do?”
 
“Well that he don’t hear you!” returned Eunané. “But I can answer; —nothing. I shivered like a leveloo in the wind when he came into my room, but I heard nothing about Eveena. I told Eivé so next day—you remember Eivé would have no part with us? ‘And you were called the cleverest girl in your Nursery!’ she said; ‘you have just tied your own hands and given your sandal into Eveena’s. Whenever she tells him, you will drink the cup she chooses to mix for you, and very salt you will find it.’“
 
“Crach!” (tush or stuff), said Eiralé contemptuously. “We have ‘filled her robe with pins’ for half a year since then, and she has never been able to make him count them.”
 
“Able!” returned Eunané sharply, “do you know no better? Well, I chose to fancy she was holding this over me to keep me in her power. One day she spoke—choosing her words so carefully—to warn me how I was sure to anger Clasfempta” (the master of the household) “by pushing my pranks so often to the verge of safety and no farther. I answered her with a taunt, and, of course, that evening I was more perverse than ever, till even he could stand it no longer. When he quoted—
 
 “‘More lightly treat whom haste or heat to headlong trespass urge;
 The heaviest sandals fit the feet that ever tread the verge’—
 
“I was well frightened. I saw that the bough had broken short of the end, and that for once Clasfempta could mean to hurt. But Eveena kept him awhile, and when he came to me, she had persuaded him that I was only mischievous, not malicious, teasing rather than trespassing. But his last words showed that he was not so sure of that. ‘I have treated you this time as a child whose petulance is half play; but if you would not have your teasing returned with interest, keep it clipped; and—keep it for me.’ I have often tormented her since then, but I could not for shame help you to spite her.”
 
“Crach!” said Enva. “Eveena might think it wise to make friends with you; but would she bear to be slighted and persecuted a whole summer if she could help herself? You know that—
 
 “Man’s control in woman’s hand
 Sorest tries the household band.
 Closer favourite’s kisses cling,
 Favourite’s fingers sharper sting.’“
 
“Very likely,” replied Eunané. “I cannot understand any more than you can why Eveena screens instead of punishing us; why she endures what a word to him would put down under her sandal; but she does. Does she cast no shadow because it never darkens his presence to us? And after all, her mind is not a deeper darkness to me than his. He enjoys life as no man here does; but what he enjoys most is a good chance of losing it; while those who find it so tedious guard it like watch-dragons. When the number of accidents made it difficult to fill up the Southern hunt at any price, the Camptâ’s refusal to let him go so vexed him that Eveena was half afraid to show her sense of relief. You would think he liked pain—the scars of the kargynda are not his only or his deepest ones—if he did not catch at every excuse to spare it. And, again, why does he speak to Eveena as to the Camptâ, and to us as to children—’child’ is his softest word for us? Then, he is patient where you expect no mercy, and severe where others would laugh. When Enva let the electric stove overheat the water, so that he was scalded horribly in his bath, we all counted that he would at least have paid her back the pain twice over. But as soon as Eveena and Eivé had arranged the bandages, he sent for her. We could scarcely bring you to him, Enva; but he put out the only hand he could move to stroke your hair as he does Eivé’s, and spoke for once with real tenderness, as if you were the person to be pitied! Anyone else would have laughed heartily at the figure her esve made with half her tail pulled out. But not all Eveena’s pleading could obtain pardon for me.”
 
“That was caprice, not even dealing,” said Leenoo. “You were not half so bad as Enva.”
 
“He made me own that I was,” replied Eunané. “It never occurred to him to suppose or say that she did it on purpose. But I was cruel on purpose to the bird, if I were not spiteful to its mistress. ‘Don’t you feel,’ he said, ‘that intentional cruelty is what no ruler, whether of a household or of a kingdom, has a right to pass over? If not, you can hardly be fit for a charge that gives animals into your power.’ I never liked him half so well; and I am sure I deserved a severer lesson. Since then, I cannot help liking them both; though it is mortifying to feel that one is nothing before her.”
 
“It is intolerable,” said Enva bitterly; “I detest her.”
 
“Is it her fault?” asked Eunané with some warmth. “They are so like each other and so unlike us, that I could fancy she came from his own world. I went to her next day in her own room.”
 
“Ay,” interjected Leenoo with childish spite, “‘kiss the foot and ‘scape the sandal.’“
 
“Think so,” returned Eunané quietly, “if you like. I thought I owed her some amends. Well, she had her bird in her lap, and I think she was crying over it. But as soon as she saw me she put it out of sight. I began to tell her how sorry I was about it, but she would not let me go on. She kissed me as no one ever kissed me since my school friend Ernie died three years ago; and she cried more over the trouble I had brought on myself than over her pet. And since then,” Eunané went on with a softened voice, “she has showed me how pretty its ways are, how clever it is, how fond of her, and she tries to make it friends with me…. Sometimes I don’t wonder she is so much to him and he to her. She was brought up in the home where she was born. Her father is one of those strange people; and I fancy there is something between her and Clasfempta more than….”
 
I could not let this go on; and stepping back from the window as if I had but just returned, I called Eunané by name. She came at once, a little surprised at the summons, but suspecting nothing. But the first sight of my face startled her; and when, on the impulse of the moment, I took her hands and looked straight into her eyes, her quick intelligence perceived at once that I had heard at least part of the conversation.
 
“Ah,” she said, flushing and hanging her head, “I am caught now, but”—in a tone half of relief—”I deserve it, and I won’t pretend to think that you are angry only because Eveena is your favourite. You would not allow any of us to be spited if you could help it, and it is much worse to have spited her.”
 
I led her by the hand across the peristyle into her own chamber, and when the window closed behind us, drew her to my side.
 
“So you would rather belong to the worst master of your own race than to me?”
 
“Not now,” she answered. “That was my first thought when I saw how you felt for Eveena, and knew how angry you would be when you found how we—I mean how I—had used her, and I remembered how terribly strong you were. I know you better now. It is for women to strike with five fingers” (in unmeasured passion); “only, don’t tell Eveena. Besides,” she murmured, colouring, with drooping eyelids, “I had rather be beaten by you than caressed by another.”
 
“Eunané, child, you might well say you don’t understand me. I could not have listened to your talk if I had meant to use it against you; and with you I have no cause to be displeased. Nay” (as she looked up in surprise), “I know you have not used Eveena kindly, but I heard from yourself that you had repented. That she, who could never be coaxed or compelled to say what made her unhappy, or even to own that I had guessed it truly, has fully forgiven you, you don’t need to be told.”
 
“Indeed, I don’t understand,” the girl sobbed. “Eveena is always so strangely soft and gentle—she would rather suffer without reason than let us suffer who deserve it. But just because she is so kind, you must feel the more bitterly for her. Besides,” she went on, “I was so jealous—as if you could compare me with her—even after I had felt her kindness. No! you cannot forgive for her, and you ought not.”
 
“Child,” I answered, sadly enough, for my conscience was as ill at ease as hers, with deeper cause, “I don’t tell you that your jealousy was not foolish and your petulance culpable; but I do say that neither Eveena nor I have the heart—perhaps I have not even the right—to blame you. It is true that I love Eveena as I can love no other in this world or my own. How well she deserves that love none but I can know. So loving her, I would not willingly have brought any other woman into a relation which could make her dependent upon or desirous of such love as I cannot give. You know how this relation to you and the others was forced upon me. When I accepted it, I thought I could give you as much affection as you would find elsewhere. How far and why I wronged Eveena is between her and myself. I did not think that I could be wronging you.”
 
Very little of this was intelligible to Eunané. She felt a tenderness she had never before received; but she could not understand my doubt, and she replied only to my last words.
 
“Wrong us! How could you? Did we ask whether you had another wife, or who would be your favourite? Did you promise to like us, or even to be kind to us? You might have neglected us altogether, made one girl your sole companion, kept all indulgences, all favours, for her; and how would you have wronged us? If you had turned on us when she vexed you, humbled us to gratify her caprice, ill-used us to vent your temper, other men would have done the same. Who else would have treated us as you have done? Who would have been careful to give each of us her share in every pleasure, her turn in every holiday, her employment at home, her place in your company abroad? Who would have inquired into the truth of our complaints and the merits of our quarrels; would have made so many excuses for our faults, given us so many patient warnings? … Wronged us! There may be some of us who don’t like you; there is not one who could bear to be sent away, not one who would exchange this house for the palace of the camptâ though you pronounce him kingly in nature as in power.”
 
She spoke as she believed, if she spoke in error. “If so, my child, why have you all been so bitter against Eveena? Why have you yourself been jealous of one who, as you admit, has been a favourite only in a love you did not expect?”
 
“But we saw it, and we envied her so much love, so much respect,” she replied frankly. “And for myself,”—she coloured, faltered, and was silent. “For yourself, my child?”
 
“I was a vain fool,” she broke out impetuously. “They told me that I was beautiful, and clever, and companionable. I fancied I should be your favourite, and hold the first place; and when I saw her, I would not see her grace and gentleness, or observe her soft sweet voice, and the charms that put my figure and complexion to shame, and the quiet sense and truth that were worth twelvefold my quickness, my memory, and my handiness. I was disappointed and mortified that she should be preferred. Oh, how you must hate me, Clasfempta; for I hate myself while I tell you what I have been!”
 
According to European doctrine, my fealty to Eveena must then have been in peril. And yet, warmly as I felt for Eunané, the element in her passionate confession that touched me most was her recognition of Eveena’s superiority; and as I soothed and comforted the half-childish penitent, I thought how much it would please Eveena that I had at last come to an understanding with the companion she avowedly liked the best.
 
“But, Eunané,” I said at last, “do you remember what you were saying when I called you—called you on purpose to stop you? You said that there was something between Eveena and myself more than—-more than what? What did you mean? Speak frankly, child; I know that this time you were not going to scald me on purpose.”
 
“I don’t know quite what I meant,” she replied simply. “But the first time you took me out, I heard the superintendent say some strange things; and then he checked himself when he found your companion was not Eveena. Then Eivé—I mean—you use expressions sometimes in talking to Eveena that we never heard before. I think there is some secret between you.”
 
“And if there be, Eunané, were you going to betray it—to set Enva and Leenoo on to find it out?”
 
“I did not think,” she said. “I never do think before I get into trouble. I don’t say, forgive me this time; but I will hold my tongue for the future.”
 
By this time our evening meal was ready. As I led Eunané to her place, Eveena looked up with some little surprise. It was rarely that, especially on returning from absence, I had sought any other company than hers. But there was no tinge of jealousy or doubt in her look. On the contrary, as, with her entire comprehension of every expression of my face, and her quickness to read the looks of others, she saw in both countenances that we were on better terms than ever before, her own brightened at the thought. As I placed myself beside her, she stole her hand unobserved into mine, and pressed it as she whispered—
 
“You have found her out at last. She is half a child as yet; but she has a heart—and perhaps the only one among them.”
 
“The four,” as I called them, looked up as we approached with eager malice: —bitterly disappointed, when they saw that Eunané had won something more than pardon. Whatever penance they had dreaded, their own escape ill compensated the loss of their expected pleasure in the pain and humiliation of a finer nature. Eunané’s look, timidly appealing to her to ratify our full reconciliation, answered by Eveena’s smile of tender, sisterly sympathy, enhanced and completed their discomfiture.
 
CONTINUES NEXT ISSUE

 

 
 


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