Page:"A modern Hercules", the tale of a sculptress (IA amodernherculest00wins).pdf/82

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baser clay than the dull-witted fools that gathered round. I sighed for the pleasure of attiring those mighty limbs of yours, of decking you with jewels, rich and rare. I deemed you poor, that I might lavish gifts upon you. I thought you nameless, that I might envelop you with the mantle of my own fame and genius. You knew the motive, and yet, by the false pretense of silence, you tricked from my freakish lips that hasty declaration. Be gone! Let me not look upon your face again!"

The palor of death overspread his face, and he exclaimed, almost piteously: "I do confess my sin; yet, does it merit the punishment of exile? A life that's worse than death?"

"Go," she said, in tones that left no room for hope, "I'll not unsay a single word. Since you are other than I thought you, this marriage bed shall know you not. This is no place for such a husband."

She pointed to the door, and slowly Paul turned, and gradually his feet bore him away from her presence. When the sound of the departing tread of Paul had passed away, Ouida, with a glance at the inner room, wherein waited her lover, she sank with a sigh upon the floor. Her brain reeled, and consciousness for a period completely abandoned her being.