Jeanne Of The Marshes
Bareheaded, Jeanne walked upon the yellow sands close to the softly breaking
waves. Inland stretched the marshes, with their patches of vivid green, their
clouds of faintly blue wild lavender, their sinuous creeks stealing into the bosom
of the land. She climbed on to a grassy knoll, warm with the sun's heat, and
threw herself down upon the turf. She turned her back upon the Hall and looked
steadily seawards, across the waste of sands and pasture-land to where sky and
sea met. Here at least was peace. She drew a long breath of relief, cast aside
the book which she had never dreamed of reading, and lay full length in the
grass, with her eyes upturned to where a lark was singing his way down from the
Andrew came before long, speeding his way out of the village harbour in his little
catboat. She watched him cross the sandy bar of the inlet, and run his boat
presently upon the beach below where she sat. Then she shook out her skirts
and made room for him by her side.
"Really, Mr. Andrew," she said, resting her chin upon her hands, and looking up
at him with her full dark eyes, "you are becoming almost gallant. Until now, when
I have been weary, and have wished to talk to you, I have had almost to come
and fetch you. To-day it is you who come to me. That is a good sign."
"It is true," he admitted. "I have kept my telescope fixed upon the sands here for
more than an hour. I wanted to see you."
"You have something to tell me about last night?" she asked gravely.
"No!" he answered, "I did not come here to talk about that."
"Did you know," she asked, "who your lodger really was?"