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CHAPTER 19: MY GREAT HOUR (continued)
I moved over to the locked door. My hand found the key. I turned round with evil triumph in my heart, and God knows what upon my face. Rattray did not move. With lifted hands the girl was merely begging him to go by the door that was open, down the stair. He shook his head grimly. With an oath I was upon them.
"Go, both of you!" I whispered hoarsely. "Now - while you can - and I can let you. Now! Now!"
Still Rattray hung back.
I saw him glancing wistfully at my great revolver lying on the table under the lamp. I thrust it upon him, and pushed him towards the door.
"You go first. She shall follow. You will not grudge me one last word? Yes, I will take your hand. If you escape - be good to her!"
He was gone. Without, there was a voice still calling me; but now it sounded overhead.
"Good-by, Eva, I said. "You have not a moment to lose."
Yet those divine eyes lingered on my ugliness.
"You are in a very great hurry," said she, in the sharp little voice of her bitter moments.
"You love him; that is enough."
"And you, too!" she cried. "And you, too!"
And her pure, warm arms were round my neck; another instant, and she would have kissed me, she! I know it. I knew it then. But it was more than I would bear. As a brother! I had heard that tale before. Back I stepped again, all the man in me rebelling.
"That's impossible," said I rudely.
"It isn't. It's true. I do love you - for this!"
God knows how I looked!
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