hat curiously devised code that you are pleased to term Honour—a code which permits you to betray a woman but not a secret—to cheat a man out of millions in business but not out of a cent at cards. It’s a little artificial, and we’re ridiculously primitive. We use lynch-law still; swift justice with the nearest weapon at hand.”
221 O’Hara was shaking like a man in a chill, his voice hardly above a whisper. “What have you done? What have you done, Delilah?”
“Don’t you understand?” She spoke with pretty patience, as though to some backward child. “I have ruined you—you and your Ireland, too. I sent——”
And suddenly, shaken and breathless, she was in his arms.
“Oh, Ireland—Ireland and I!” But even at that strange cry she neve u could insult
r stirred. “It’s you—you who are ruined, my Magic—and it’s I who have done it, driving you to this ugly madness.” He held her as though he would never let her go, sheltering the bowed golden head with his hand. “Though I forgive you a thousand thousand times, how will you forgive yourself, my little Love? You who would not hurt a flower, where will you turn when you see what you have done?”
He could feel her tears on his hand; she was weeping piteously, like a terrified child.
“Oh, you do love me, you do love me! I was so frightened—I thought that you would never love me.”
He held her closer, infinitely careful of that shining fragility.
“I love nothing else me beyond bel
222 He closed his hunted eyes, shutting out Memory.
“I hated Ireland,” wept the small voice fiercely, “because you loved her so.”
“Hush, hush, my Heart.”
“But you do—you do love me best?”
“God forgive me, will you make me say so?”
There was a moment’s silence, then something brushed his hand, light as a flower, and Delilah raise ief, mock me