"Well," she answered, "I think you have done an unspeakable thing, that is all." And then his thoughts shot back to the present with quick pain. She should not have come here, not so soon. He had taken a long, hard trip that had nearly ended in his death, to avoid this very thing, this [Pg 293]meeting, which, just because it made him so terribly happy, seemed a treachery, a sacrilege. Had she less delicacy of feeling than himself? Or had she more love? It was that, he saw it in her beautiful eyes which were growing wide and frightened at his silence. He took his hand from under the sheets and stretched it out to her. She went to him and dropped on her knees beside the bed, and threw her arms about him. He moved his weak head closer to her shoulder, and pressing her fingers to his face gave a choking sob. He was happy, so very happy. And nothing mattered but just this.
A few minutes before seven they all came back into the sitting room. The men wore black coats, by way of compromise, and Mrs. Kirby and the children were in white.
On a fine Sunday morning in June the triumphant general rode into a supply camp twelve miles north of the line, and spoke to the officer in command. "Nice morning, Colonel," he said. And then his quick eyes spied the most desirable thing in all the camp. It was a tin wash basin set on a potato box. The triumphant general dismounted, and washed his face.
"You won't, I don't guess, if it was the citizens' own wish," insisted the indomitable one. "You wouldn't be gone more than two days at the outside. And a big party of us will go with you."