66 BRET harte's CHOICE BITS.
Mr, Dent. Give me your word not to seek him
—to avoid him if he seeks you. Do you promise ?
It is well."
He would have taken her hand; but she waved
him away. In another moment he heard the swift
rustle of her dress in the hall, the sound of her
feet upon the stair, the sharp closing of her bedroom
door, and all was quiet.
And even thus quietly the day wore away, and
the night rose slowly from the valley and over¬
shadowed the mountains with purple wings that
fanned the still air into a breeze, until the moon
followed it and lulled everything to rest as with the
laying on of white and benedictory hands. It was
a lovely night; but Henry Ranee, waiting impa¬
tiently beneath a sycamore at the foot of the garden,
saw no beauty in the earth or air or sky, A
thousand suspicions common to a jealous nature, a
vague suspicion of the spot filled his mind with
distrust and doubt. " If this should be a trick to
keep my hands off this insolent pup ! " he muttered.
But even as the thought passed his tongue a while
figure slid from the shrubbery near the house,
glided along the line of picket-fence, and then
stopped midway motionless in the moonlight.
It was she. But he scarcely recognised her in
the white drapery that covered her head and
shoulders and breast. He approached her with a