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III The Heart Of Man Anna Katharine Green

XL Desolate

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"Orlando!" Visions were passing before Oswald's eyes, soul-crushing visions such as in his blame less life he never thought could enter into his consciousness or blast his tranquil outlook upon life. "Orlando!" he again appealed, covering his eyes in a frenzied attempt to shut out these horrors, "I cannot let you go like this. To-morrow -"

"To-morrow, in every niche and corner of this world, wherever Edith Challoner's name has gone, wherever my name has gone, it will be known that the discoverer of a practical air-ship, is a man whom they can no longer honour. Do you think that is not hell enough for me; or that I do not realise the hell it will be for you? I've never wearied you or any man with my affection; but I'm not all demon. I would gladly have spared you this additional anguish; but that was impossible. You are my brother and must suffer from the connection whether we would have it so of not. If it promises too much misery - and I know no misery like that of shame - come with me where I go to-morrow. There will be room for two."

Oswald, swaying with weakness, but maddened by the sight of an overthrow which carried with it the stifled affections and the admiration of his whole life, gave a bound forward, opened his arms and - fell.

Orlando stopped short. Gazing down on his prostrate brother, he stood for a moment with a gleam of something like human tenderness showing through the flare of dying passions and perishing hopes; then he swung open the door and passed quietly out, and Mr. Challoner could hear the laughing remark with which he met and dismissed the half-dozen men and women who had been drawn to this end of the hall by what had sounded to them like a fracas between angry men.

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