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      When day returned and Anna and Flora slept, the murmur they had heard may after all have been only God's thunder and really not from the southeast; but just down there under the landscape's flat rim both forts, though with colors still gallantly flying, were smoking ruins, all Dixie's brave gunboats and rams lay along the river's two shores, sunken or burned, and the whole victorious Northern fleet, save one boat rammed and gone to the bottom, was on its cautious, unpiloted way, snail-slow but fate-sure, up the tawny four-mile current and round the gentle green bends of the Mississippi with New Orleans for its goal and prey.Is there no coach, no vehicle, to take me? asked Trafford.

      I loves to be de beau o' de ladies!

      You are not likely to meet her, he said, gravely. Lady Ada left England before we returned. She is living on the Continent.

      With smiting pity he saw her affright. "Go back!" he once more gasped: "In God's name, go back!" while recklessly he stepped forward out of cover. But in splendid desperation, with all her soul's battle in her eyes--horror, love, defiance, and rending chagrin striving and smiting, she sprang after him into the open, and clutched and twined his arms. The blue skirmish-line, without hearing, saw him; saw, and withheld their fire, fiercely glad that tactics and mercy should for once agree. And Anna saw.Lady Wyndover stopped as if she had been shot, and stared at him aghast.

      Tell me some more, said Esmeralda. They are all new to me, and I believe them, whatever Lord Selvaine may say.

      Do you remember our bargain, Varley? she said. I promised that if ever I were in trouble that I would come back to you, and you promised to take me.No moment of equal bitterness had Flora Valcour ever known. To tell half her distresses would lose us in their tangle, midmost in which was a choking fury against the man whom unwillingly she loved, for escaping her, even by a glorious death. One thought alone--that Anna, as truly as if stricken blind, would sit in darkness the rest of her days--lightened her torture, and with that thought she smiled a stony loathing on the mincing grandam and the boy's unlifted head. Suddenly, purpose gleamed from her. She could not break forth herself, but to escape suffocation she must and would procure an outburst somewhere. Measuredly, but with every nerve and tendon overstrung, she began to pace the room.



      If youd been an hour and a half earlier you could have gone with the Neptune, he said, with a smile. She has only just left the dock. A fine vessel, too; one of our fastest.