Was she dreaming? Were those great, stony cliffs the gates of paradise? Was the fragrant breath of the breeze suddenly caused by the flutter of angels wings, bringing tidings of unearthly joys to her, after all her suffering, orfaint and illwas she the prey of delirium?
She listened again, and once again she heard the same very earthly sounds of good, honest British language, not the least akin to whisperings from paradise or flutter of angels wings.
She looked round her eagerly at the tall cliffs, the lonely hut, the great stretch of rocky beach. Somewhere there, above or below her, behind a boulder or inside a crevice, but still hidden from her longing, feverish eyes, must be the owner of that voice, which once used to irritate her, but which now would make her the happiest woman in Europe, if only she could locate it.
Percy! Percy! she shrieked hysterically, tortured between doubt and hope, I am here! Come to me! Where are you? Percy! Percy!
Its all very well calling me, mdear! said the same sleepy, drawly voice, but odds life, I cannot come to you: those demmed frog-eaters have trussed me like a goose on a spit, and I am as weak as a mouse I cannot get away.
And still Marguerite did not understand. She did not realise for at least another ten seconds whence came that voice, so drawly, so dear, but alas! with a strange accent of weakness and of suffering. There was no one within sight except by that rock Great God! the Jew! Was she mad or dreaming?
His back was against the pale moonlight, he was half crouching, trying vainly to raise himself with his arms tightly pinioned. Marguerite ran up to him, took his head in both her hands and looked straight into a pair of blue eyes, good-natured, even a trifle amusedshining out of the weird and distorted mask of the Jew.
Percy! Percy! my husband! she gasped, faint with the fulness of her joy. Thank God! Thank God!
La! mdear, he rejoined good-humouredly, we will both do that anon, an you think you can loosen these demmed ropes, and release me from my inelegant attitude.
She had no knife, her fingers were numb and weak, but she worked away with her teeth, while great welcome tears poured from her eyes, onto those poor, pinioned hands.
Odds life! he said, when at last, after frantic efforts on her part, the ropes seemed at last to be giving way, but I marvel whether it has ever happened before, that an English gentleman allowed himself to be licked by a demmed foreigner, and made no attempt to give as good as he got.
It was very obvious that he was exhausted from sheer physical pain, and when at last the rope gave way, he fell in a heap against the rock.
Marguerite looked helplessly round her.
Oh! for a drop of water on this awful beach! she cried in agony, seeing that he was ready to faint again.
Nay, mdear, he murmured with his good-humoured smile, personally I should prefer a drop of good French brandy! an youll dive in the pocket of this dirty old garment, youll find my flask I am demmed if I can move.
When he had drunk some brandy, he forced Marguerite to do likewise.
La! thats better now! Eh! little woman? he said, with a sigh of satisfaction. Heigh-ho! but this is a queer rig-up for Sir Percy Blakeney, Bart., to be found in by his lady, and no mistake. Begad! he
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