THE STORM-SPIRIT SUBDUED
Mrs. Hughes bustled about with many a sympathetic exclamation, now in pretty broken English, now in more fluent Welsh, which sounded as soft as Russian or Italian, in her musical voice. Mr. Benson, for that was the name of the hunchback, lay on the sofa thinking; while the tender Mrs. Hughes made every arrangement for his relief from pain. He had lodged with her for three successive years, and she knew and loved him. glass dildos
Ruth stood in the little bow-window, looking out. Across the moon, and over the deep blue heavens, large, torn, irregular-shaped clouds went hurrying, as if summoned by some storm-spirit. The work they were commanded to do was not here; the mighty gathering-place lay eastward, immeasurable leagues; and on they went, chasing each other over the silent earth, now black, now silver-white at one transparent edge, now with the moon shining like Hope through their darkest centre, now again with a silver lining; and now, utterly black, they sailed lower in the lift, and disappeared behind the immovable mountains; they were rushing in the very direction in which Ruth had striven and struggled to go that afternoon; they, in their wild career, would soon pass over the very spot where he (her world's he) was lying sleeping, or perhaps not sleeping, perhaps thinking of her. The storm was in her mind, and rent and tore her purposes into forms as wild and irregular as the heavenly shapes she was looking at. If, like them, she could pass the barrier horizon in the night, she might overtake him.
Mr. Benson saw her look, and read it partially. He saw her longing gaze outwards upon the free, broad world, and thought that the siren waters, whose deadly music yet rang in his ears, were again tempting her. He called her to him praying that his feeble voice might have power.
"My dear young lady, I have much to say to you; and God has taken my strength from me now when I most need--Oh, I sin to speak so--but, for His sake, I implore you to be patient here, if only till to-morrow morning." He looked at her, but her face was immovable, and she did not speak. She could not give up her hope, her chance, her liberty, till to-morrow.
"God help me," said he mournfully, "my words do not touch her;" and, still holding her hand, he sank back on the pillows. Indeed, it was true that his words did not vibrate in her atmosphere. The storm-spirit raged there, and filled her heart with the thought that she was an outcast; and the holy words, "for His sake," were answered by the demon, who held possession, with a blasphemous defiance of the merciful God--
"What have I to do with Thee?"