From my life the light has waned:

Every golden gleam that shone

Through the dimness now las gone.

Of all joys has one remained?

Stays one gladness I have known?

Day is past; I stand, alone,

Here beneath these darkened skies,

Asking—“Doth a star arise?”

IT ended so faintly that Daireen Gerald could not tell when the last note had come. She felt that she was in a dream and the sounds she had heard were but a part of her dream—sounds? were these sounds, or merely the effect of breathing the lovely shadowy light that swathed the waters? The sounds seemed to her the twilight expressed in music.

Then in the silence she heard a voice speaking her name. She turned and saw Oswin Markham standing beside her.

“Miss Gerald,” he said, “I owe my life to you. I thank you for it.”

He could hardly have expressed himself more simply if he had been thanking her for passing him a fig at dinner, and yet his words thrilled her.

“No, no; do not say that,” she said, in a startled voice. “I did nothing—nothing that any one else might not have done. Oh, do not talk of it, please.”

“I will not,” he said slowly, after a pause. “I will never talk of it again. I was a fool to speak of it to you. I know now that you understand—that there is no need for me to open my lips to you.”

“I do indeed,” she said, turning her eyes upon his face. “I do understand.” She put out her hand, and he took it in his own—not fervently, not with the least expression of emotion, his fingers closed over it. A long time passed before she saw his face in front of her own, and felt his eyes looking into her eyes as his words came in a whisper, “Child—child, there is a bond between us—a bond whose token is silence.”

She kept her eyes fixed upon his as he spoke, and long after his words had come. She knew he had spoken the truth: there was a bond between them. She understood it.

She saw the gaunt face with its large eyes close to her own; her own eyes filled with tears, and then came the first token of their bond—silence. She felt his grasp unloosed, she heard him moving away, and she knew that she was alone in the silence.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook