Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/309

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her feet, and sunned in her smile, and welcomed by her word, they struck on him as passing all that history had ever held of women's traitorous heartlessness.

Idalia was now—what much evil done to her had made her.

His hands clenched on her dress in a convulsive wretchedness.

"Have you no heart, no soul, no conscience? I laid down all I had on earth for you; I gave you my peace, my honour, my abject slavery. And yet——""

His voice died inarticulate, while the light from the sea fell on his upturned face—a face of fair and gallant cast, of ancient race, and leonine blood, in the early prime of manhood, yet now worn, haggard, drawn, and darkened with the hopeless passions that were loosening in him beyond all strength to hold them.

She looked down on him, still without change of glance or feature. It was a tale so often told to her. She drew herself from him with her coldest indolence.

"You came here to tell me this? It was scarcely worth while. Good evening."

Like a deer stung by a shot he started to his feet, standing between her and the shafts of jasper