She was violently agitated. "I can't leave you so," she said. "Give me your hand."
"I mortified you; and you have saved me." She took his hand, and, holding it gently in both her little palms, sobbed out,--"Oh, think of something I can do, to show my gratitude, my esteem. Pray, pray, pray."
"Oh, not that. I don't mean that."
"That or nothing. In two years, I'll be as good a gentleman as HE is. I'm not risking my life in that church, for nothing. If you have one grain of pity or esteem for me, wait two years."
"Incurable!" she murmured: but he was gone.
Coventry heard the prayer. That was loud and earnest enough. Her reply he could not bear.
She rejoined him, and the torch came rapidly forward.
It was carried by a lass, with her gown pinned nearly to her knees, and displaying grand and powerful limbs; she was crying, like the tenderest woman, and striding through the snow, like a young giant.