"Hate me?" I asked. "Why should you hate me, Victory? I do not hate you. I--I--" What was I about to say? I was very close to her as a great light broke over me. Why had I never realized it before? The truth accounted for a great many hitherto inexplicable moods that had claimed me from time to time since first I had seen Victory.
"Why should I hate you?" she repeated. "Because Snider told me--he told me that you had promised me to him, but he did not get me. I killed him, as I should like to kill you!"
"Snider lied!" I cried. And then I seized her and held her in my arms, and made her listen to me, though she struggled and fought like a young lioness. "I love you, Victory. You must know that I love you--that I have always loved you, and that I never could have made so base a promise."
She ceased her struggles, just a trifle, but still tried to push me from her. "You called me a barbarian!" she said.
Ah, so that was it! That still rankled. I crushed her to me.