" A hopeless darkness settles o'er my fate ;
# * jf * #
My doom is closed !"
She starts as though he had touched her, and looks at him
in a mute appealing fashion that has something of agony
in It. Has the day of grace gone by ? Must she speak ?
" Something is troubling you," says Clanbrassil very
gently. " Can I help you ?"
"Yes; I am in trouble," returns she, feverishly—"in
sore trouble. And you alone can help me—if you
She had meant to go on, but she breaks down a little
here, drawing her breath sharply, as one might -who finds
himself standing upon the very brink of his life's ruin.
" Of course I will help 'Oti," says Clanbras.sil, quietly.
" Ask me what you wdl."
" You are too ready with your promise. You do not yet
know how far I may trespass upon your generosity," says
the girl, raising her large irnhappy eyes to his, and clasping
and unckvsping her hands with nervous unconsciousness.
" You do not know what It is I am going to ask. It is a
monstrous request. I promise you, however, I shall not
even remember the fact if you refuse to grant it, be sure
of that, at least."
" Let me hear what It Is," returns Clanbrassil, calmly.
His calmness is such a contrast to her ill-suppressed
vehemence that for the time it subdues her. It numbs
her and renders it almost Impossible to her to speak.
She tries to place her request In spoken words, but
cannot. She feels weak, powerless.