The Mettle of the Pasture
He sprang up and hurried over to the pavement and began to walk to and fro. He walked to and fro a long time; and after waiting for him to return, she came quickly and stood in his path. But when he drew near her he put out his hand.
"I cannot!" he repeated, shaking his head and turning away.
Still she waited, and when he approached and was turning away again, she stepped forward and laid on his arm her quivering finger-tips.
"You must," she said. "You shall tell me!" and if there was anger in her voice, if there was anguish in it, there was the authority likewise of holy and sovereign rights. But he thrust her all but rudely away, and going to the lower end of the pavement, walked there backward and forward with his hat pulled low over his eyes--walked slowly, always more slowly. Twice he laid his hand on the gate as though he would have passed out. At last he stopped and looked back to where she waited in the light, her