Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/206

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

may be there, or may have hidden here. Search;—have my people with you—let them take torches, and seek through the gardens. No one can have entered; but the grounds are a wilderness——"

"More likely he has escaped to the sea-shore; and all I know, or care now, is, that he has served to bringing—here! Oh! my God, if you knew how I have sought you!—and now that we have met, what can I say? Nothing that will not leave me deeper your debtor than before."

"Say no more. You owe me nothing. Who would not have done for you the little that I did?"

"Yon perilled your life to save mine, and mine is owed to you if a man's life was ever owed for angel work," broke in Erceldoone, while the force of a new and strange softness trembled through his voice as he stood alone in the stillness of the night with this woman, of whom he knew nothing—nothing, save that she filled his soul and his senses with a sweet fierce joy that had never touched them before, and that he had been rescued from his grave by her hand.

Over her face swept a look almost of pain:

"Call nothing I did by that name. And—why should you feel it as a debt, as a merit even? A