Page:Wells-Country of the blind and others stories-1913.djvu/429

This page needs to be proofread.
423
A DREAM OF ARMAGEDDON.

"'No,' said I. 'Even now I do not repent. I will not repent; I made my choice, and I will hold on to the end.'

"And then——

"Overhead in the sky flashed something and burst, and all about us I heard the bullets making a noise like a handful of peas suddenly thrown. They chipped the stones about us, and whirled fragments from the bricks and passed...."

He put his hand to his mouth, and then moistened his lips.

"At the flash I had turned about....

"You know—she stood up—

"She stood up, you know, and moved a step towards me——

"As though she wanted to reach me——

"And she had been shot through the heart."

He stopped and stared at me. I felt all that foolish incapacity an Englishman feels on such occasions. I met his eyes for a moment, and then stared out of the window. For a long space we kept silence. When at last I looked at him he was sitting back in his corner, his arms folded and his teeth gnawing at his knuckles.

He bit his nail suddenly, and stared at it.

"I carried her," he said, "towards the temples, in my arms—as though it mattered. I don't know why. They seemed a sort of sanctuary, you know, they had lasted so long, I suppose.

"She must have died almost instantly. Only—I talked to her—all the way."

Silence again.

"I have seen those temples," I said abruptly, and