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A Son of Perdition by Fergus Hume

Soon he would know more Eberstein had assured him of that


But,

as common sense told him, thinking would not help him, as his thoughts spun in a circle and always brought him back to the same point. That point was the meeting with Alice and the weird feelings which contact with her personality had aroused in him. She belonged to his life in some way which he could not quite put into words, and he belonged to hers. They were together and yet apart, but what parted them it was impossible to say, as the vision had not indicated in detail the especial sin, or what had led to the commission of that sin. Soon he would know more--Eberstein had assured him of that. Therefore it would be best to wait for the knowledge. He had been given light enough in the darkness of the path to take the next step, and that light revealed Alice waiting for him to come to her. He was only too willing to do so, as the feeling that he loved her deeply grew with overwhelming swiftness. When she knew what was in his heart and he knew what was in hers, then the next step could be taken. What it might be and where it would lead to Montrose could not say.

However, the doctor had given him necessary instructions for the moment in the phrase "Watch and pray!" To watch for the dawning love in Alice and to pray that he might be worthy of such love seemed to be his task, and a very delightful task it would be. Therefore Montrose knelt down and prayed with all his clean heart that every possible blessing might befall the girl and that, if it was

God's will, he might become her husband to cherish and protect her. Then he went to bed in a peaceful frame of mind. Sleep came to him almost immediately, but before his eyes closed he felt that Alice was near him, and knew that in some wordless manner Alice spoke to him.

"We have much to learn and there is pain in the learning," she whispered, "but we are together to suffer together."

"Suffering does not matter," said Montrose, as in a dream, "we are together!"

CHAPTER VIII

LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM

After the storm comes the calm, and when trouble has endured for a season peace descends to refresh the exhausted soul. Montrose had suffered a great deal during the five-and-twenty years of his present life, and it was time that he should enjoy a rest. Ever since he could remember, dark clouds had enshrouded him, and with a fainting heart he had groped his way through the gloom. The meeting with Eberstein had been the end of sorrow and the beginning of joy, for the doctor had bidden him raise his eyes to the hills made glorious by the rising sun. With the legacy of Lady Staunton the dawn had come, but only when he met Alice did Montrose feel that the sun was above the horizon. As by magic the darkness was swept away, and now he walked in golden sunshine, no longer alone. She was beside him, and he wondered how he could have endured life without her dear presence. For the next three weeks he was in heaven rather than on earth.


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