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“Morn in the white wake of the morning star
Came furrowing all the orient into gold.”

The Princess.

The sun must needs be of an impudent fancy. He
alone had boldness to look on fair Godiva at Coventry:
and on the morning after the masque-ball at Montvale,
he sent peering ray-glances into every chamber-window
that opened eastward in our half of the earth. One
of these light-bolts struck John Cranston full in the face,
and woke him from the deep sleep that had followed
two days of exhausting excitement. As if he had been
uninterruptedly pursuing the train of thought in which
he had fallen asleep, Cranston immediately commenced
to discuss within himself the situation.

“If I challenge him, he 'll choose swords again; and,
by the rood! however reluctantly I confess it, I 've got
evidence to show that he can beat me at that.

“So, on swords, I lose.

“If he chose pistols, I might kill him; but then inquiry
would be aroused, the contemptible quidnuncs
would investigate, and the whole affair would be trumpeted
forth by the enterprising scoundrels.

“On pistols, I lose again.

“What a fool I am,” he suddenly exclaimed, rising
up in bed, “not to see that I have lost already! Old


Page 104
Sterling will never pardon what occurred in his house;
nor — nor Felix either. The whole thing stands about
so,” — knitting his brows and falling back upon his
pillow: “first, the gratification of revenge; said gratification
is, however, in the first place doubtful, and in
the second place, if successful, will lose me my reputation
for life and kill John Cranston, senior: second,
the postponement of the revenge till such time as I
can call this man out on some other pretext which will
not involve the discovery of my — affair at Frankfort.
For which, God knows! God knows! I 'm sorry
enough. How white her face was!”

John Cranston's face became half blank, as faces
will, when, in endeavoring to avoid a thought, one does
one's best to think of nothing. But he was a man of
short arguments and quick conclusions.

“I 'll go home and wait,” concluded he; and did so,
that day.

The sun sent another ray into the window of a room
in the second story of John Sterling's house. It fell
and dwelt lovingly upon the sleeping eyes of Ottilie.
Large, diaphanous half-globes, blue-veined, dainty, were
these white-lidded eyes. Have you ever seen two
grand magnolia petals fallen on the ground, convex
side up?

Ottilie rose, and walked to her window. From the
tranquil river below were rising a thousand rings of
mist, which lengthened into soft ellipses, or broke and
curled into fantastic curves, or stretched away into
wavering, streaming pennants, all glittering suddenly
as they floated into range of the straight sun-rays.


Page 105

“The river prays to God!” said Ottilie; and, obeying
an inexplicable impulse, she fell upon her knees
and burst forth into an agony of tears.

She had not wept in a year; nor prayed either, except
to the trees and the stars.

Rübetsahl saw his sun-ray coming. He had not
slept all night. He had been silently sitting by his
grave, and watching the pale flower that lay upon it.

And poor John Briggs, being in No. 93 of the west
wing, got no sunbeam. All the night his dreams had
hovered vaguely, yet full tenderly, about Ottilie, like
clouds gathering round a star.