The Ball and The Cross
The Swords Rejoined
As they came over the hill and down on the other side of it, it is not too much to
say that the whole universe of God opened over them and under them, like a
thing unfolding to five times its size. Almost under their feet opened the
enormous sea, at the bottom of a steep valley which fell down into a bay; and the
sea under their feet blazed at them almost as lustrous and almost as empty as
the sky. The sunrise opened above them like some cosmic explosion, shining
and shattering and yet silent; as if the world were blown to pieces without a
sound. Round the rays of the victorious sun swept a sort of rainbow of confused
and conquered colours--brown and blue and green and flaming rose-colour; as
though gold were driving before it all the colours of the world. The lines of the
landscape down which they sped, were the simple, strict, yet swerving, lines of a
rushing river; so that it was almost as if they were being sucked down in a huge
still whirlpool. Turnbull had some such feeling, for he spoke for the first time for
"If we go down at this rate we shall be over the sea cliff," he said.
"How glorious!" said MacIan.
When, however, they had come into the wide hollow at the bottom of that
landslide, the car took a calm and graceful curve along the side of the sea,
melted into the fringe of a few trees, and quietly, yet astonishingly, stopped. A
belated light was burning in the broad morning in the window of a sort of lodge-
or gate-keepers' cottage; and the girl stood up in the car and turned her splendid
face to the sun.
Evan seemed startled by the stillness, like one who had been born amid sound
and speed. He wavered on his long legs as he stood up; he pulled himself
together, and the only consequence was that he trembled from head to foot.
Turnbull had already opened the door on his side and jumped out.
The moment he had done so the strange young woman had one more mad
movement, and deliberately drove the car a few yards farther. Then she got out
with an almost cruel coolness and began pulling off her long gloves and almost
"You can leave me here," she said, quite casually, as if they had met five minutes
before. "That is the lodge of my father's place. Please come in, if you like--but I
understood that you had some business."
Evan looked at that lifted face and found it merely lovely; he was far too much of
a fool to see that it was working with a final fatigue and that its austerity was
agony. He was even fool enough to ask it a question. "Why did you save us?" he
said, quite humbly.