Another case of the same kind is of a more affecting character.
"You are mistaken," she interrupted softly. "I am not tired; I only wished to do the important thing first. Shall I get my desk? Do you really wish me to write?"
"Yes," said he, softly dropping her hand. "I wish you to write. It will ensure me good sleep, and sleep will make me strong. A few words, Doris; just a few words."
She nodded; turning quickly away to hide her tears. His smile had gone to her very soul. It was always a beautiful one, his chief personal attraction, but at this moment it seemed to concentrate within it the unspoken fervours and the boundless expectations of a great love, and she who was the aim and cause of all this sweetness lay in unresponsive silence in a distant tomb!
But Doris' own smile was not lacking in encouragement and beauty when she came back a few minutes later and sat down by his side to write. His melted before it, leaving his eyes very earnest as he watched her bending figure and the hard-worked little hand at its unaccustomed task.
"I must give her daily exercises," he decided within himself. "That look of pain shows how difficult this work is for her. It must be made easy at any cost to my time. Such beauty calls for accomplishment. I must not neglect so plain a duty."
Meantime, she was struggling to find words in face of that great Dread. She had written Dear Miss Challoner and was staring in horror at the soulless words. Only her sense of duty upheld her. Gladly would she have torn the sheet in two and rushed away. How could she add sentences to this hollow phrase, the mere employment of which seemed a sacrilege. Dear Miss Challoner. Oh, she was dear, but -
Unconsciously the young head drooped, and the pen slid from her hand.
"I cannot," she murmured, "I cannot think what to say."
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