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      Tilly was more frightened than ever. She had never heard anything about the great Gate controversy, and could not understand why Reuben was so angry with Albert. The verses seemed to her quite harmless, they[Pg 187] were not even about love. However, she could not disobey her father, so she ran and fetched Albert out of the corn-chamber, begging him to be careful what he said, "fur f?ather's unaccountable vrothered to-night about something."But there was no way of escape. He had crept along the walls, pushing with his whole body in hopes of some opening. But the walls were metal and he could not push through metal. He could, in fact, do nothing at all except sit and wait for the punishment he knew was coming. He was sure, now, that it would be the great punishment, that he and Dara would be dead and no more. And perhaps, for his disobedience, he deserved death.

      "I do not see my way to helping Flightshot while I have so many other calls upon me. Richard is still unsettled, and unable entirely to support himself. I should be a poor friend indeed if after having induced my protg to abandon his home and rely on me, I should forsake him before he was properly established. Be a man, Ralph, and refuse to sell any more land to that greedy, selfish, unscrupulous old Backfield."So Robert put on his Sunday coat as usual and tramped away to the village. The only drawback was that from the high wheatfield Reuben distinctly saw him go.

      "Nothing. The Provost Guard came up at that moment, and I directed a Sergeant to place the two principal offenders in custody, and secure the names of the witnesses."

      But sometimes what kept him from her more than the thought of her humiliation was the thought of his own. For sometimes it seemed almost as if she had humbled him more than he had humbled her. He could not tell whether this sick feeling of shame which occasionally swamped him was due to the fact that he had so nearly surrendered to her or to the fact that he had not quite done so. Sometimes he thought it was the latter. The whole thing was ridiculous and perplexing, a lesson to him not to adventure into subtleties but to keep in communion with the broad plain things of earth.



      "There are spots the steel's never covered," he said. "You can tunnel through if you're lucky." A pause. "I"


      Cadnan tried to find words, but there were no words. She had won, and he knew it. He could not let Dara stay behind to draw a great punishment, possibly even to die, to be no more Dara. And there was no way of forcing her to go and escape that fateno way except to go with her.