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The Man and the Moment

CHAPTER XXIV
W HEN the first moment of ecstasy in the knowledge that they were indeed given back
to each other was over, Michael drew Sabine to the window seat where she had been
crouching only that short while before in silent misery.
"Sweetheart," he entreated, "now you have got to tell me everything—do you understand,
Sabine—every single thing from the first moment in the chapel when we made those
vows until now when we are going to keep them. I want to know everything, darling
child—all your thoughts and what you did with your life—and when you hated me and
when you loved me——"
They sat down on the velvet cushions and Sabine nestled into his arms.
"It is so difficult, Michael," she cooed, "how can I begin? I was sillier and more ignorant
than any other girl of seventeen could possibly be, I think—don't you? Oh! don't let us
speak of that part—I only remember that when you kissed me first in the chapel some
kind of strange emotion came to me—then I was frightened——"
"But not after a while," he interpolated, something of rapturous triumph in his fond
glance, while he caressed and smoothed her hair, as her little head lay against his
shoulder, "I thought you had forgiven me before I went to sleep."
"Perhaps I had—I did not know myself—only that there in the gray dawn everything
seemed perfectly awful and horror and terror came upon me again, and I had only one
wild impulse to rush away—surely you can understand—" she paused.
"Go on, sweetheart," he commanded, "I shall not let you off one detail. I love to make
you tell me every single thing"—and he took her hand and played with her wedding ring,
but not taking it off, while Sabine thrilled with happiness.
"Well—you did not wake—and so presently I got into the sitting-room, and at last found
the certificate—and just as I was going out of the door on to the balcony I heard you call
my name sleepily—and for one second I nearly went back—but I did not, and got safely
away and to the hotel!"
"Think of my not waking!" Michael exclaimed. "If only I had—you would never have
been allowed to go—it is maddening to remember what that sleep cost—but how did you
manage at the hotel?"
"It was after five o'clock and the side door was open into the yard. Not a soul saw me,
and I carried out my original plan. I think when I was in the train I had already begun to
 
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