“Do ye not understand?” he said, in near desperation. “I would lay the world at your feet, Claire—and I have nothing to give ye!”...
At last I took one big, callused hand and slid forward so I knelt on the boards between his knees. I laid my head against his chest, and felt his breath stir my hair. I had no words, but I had made my choice.
“ ‘Whither thou goest,’ ” I said, “ ‘I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.’ ” Be it Scottish hill or southern forest. “You do what you have to; I’ll be there.”
He watched her when she went up to take Communion, and became aware with a slight start that he was praying wordlessly.
He relaxed just a bit when he realized the content of his prayer; it wasn’t the ignoble “Let me have her” he might have expected. It was the more humble—and acceptable, he hoped—“Let me be worthy of her, let me love her rightly; let me take care of her.”
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