THE WHITE LEECH
neck, and pulled it away. But I could not hold it, and was hardly able to throw it from me. I only heard it splash in the water !'
' We'll kill it next time ! ' I said; but with that I turned faint, sought the open air, but fell.
When I came to myself the sun was up. The lady stood a little way off, looking, even in the clumsy attire I had fashioned for her, at once grand and graceful. I had seen those glorious eyes ! Through the night they had shone ! Dark as the darkness primeval, they now outshone the day ! She stood erect as a column, regarding me. Her pale cheek indicated no emotion, only question. I rose.
' We must be going ! ' I said. The white leech-----'
I stopped: a strange smile had flickered over her beautiful face.
' Did you find me there ?' she asked, pointing to the cave.
' No ; I brought you there,' I replied.
' You brought me ? '
' From where ? '
' From the forest.'
'What have you done with my clothes—and my jewels ?'
' You had none when I found you.'
' Then why did you not leave me ? '
' Because I hoped you were not dead.'
' Why should you have cared ? '
' Because I was very lonely, and wanted you to live.'
'You would have kept me enchanted for my beauty !' she said, with proud scorn.