PART SECOND: THE ISABELS
6. CHAPTER SIX
She stood up, smiling graciously, and her little figure seemed to
be diminished still more by the heavy mass of her hair and the
long train of her gown.
"But always to success," she said, persuasively.
Charles Gould, enveloping her in the steely blue glance of his
attentive eyes, answered without hesitation--
"Oh, there is no alternative."
He put an immense assurance into his tone. As to the words, this
was all that his conscience would allow him to say.
Mrs. Gould's smile remained a shade too long upon her lips. She
"I will leave you; I've a slight headache. The heat, the dust,
were indeed--I suppose you are going back to the mine before the
"At midnight," said Charles Gould. "We are bringing down the
silver to-morrow. Then I shall take three whole days off in town
"Ah, you are going to meet the escort. I shall be on the balcony
at five o'clock to see you pass. Till then, good-bye."
Charles Gould walked rapidly round the table, and, seizing her
hands, bent down, pressing them both to his lips. Before he
straightened himself up again to his full height she had
disengaged one to smooth his cheek with a light touch, as if he
were a little boy.
"Try to get some rest for a couple of hours," she murmured, with
a glance at a hammock stretched in a distant part of the room.
Her long train swished softly after her on the red tiles. At the
door she looked back.
Two big lamps with unpolished glass globes bathed in a soft and
abundant light the four white walls of the room, with a glass
case of arms, the brass hilt of Henry Gould's cavalry sabre on
its square of velvet, and the water-colour sketch of the San Tome
gorge. And Mrs. Gould, gazing at the last in its black wooden
frame, sighed out--