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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The Daughter Of Natas

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"Some day, perhaps, you will be floating in the clouds, and you will hear that hymn rising from the throats of millions gathered together from the ends of the earth, and when you hear that you will know that our work is done, and that there is peace on earth at last."

"I hope so," replied the engineer quietly, "and, what is more, I believe that some day I shall hear it."

"I believe so too," suddenly interrupted Radna, turning round on her seat at the piano, "but there will be many a battle-song sung to the accompaniment of battle-music before that happens. I wish"--

"That all Russia were a haystack, and that you were beside it with a lighted torch," said Natasha, half in jest and half in earnest.

"Yes, truly!" replied Radna, turning round and dashing fiercely into the "Marseillaise" again.

"I have no doubt of it. But, come, it is after midnight, and we have to get back to Cheyne Walk. The princess will think we have been arrested or something equally dreadful. Ah, Mr. Colston, we have a couple of seats to spare in the brougham. Will you and our Admiral of the Air condescend to accept a lift as far as Chelsea?"

"The condescension is in the offer, Natasha," replied Colston, flushing with pleasure and glancing towards Radna the while. Radna answered with an almost imperceptible sign of consent, and Colston went on: "If it were in an utterly opposite direction"--

"You would not be asked to come, sir. So don't try to pay compliments at the expense of common sense," laughed Natasha before he could finish. "If you do you shall sit beside me instead of Radna all the way."

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There was a general smile at this retort, for Colston's avowed devotion to Radna and the terrible circumstances out of which it had sprung was one of the romances of the Circle.

As for Arnold, he could scarcely believe his ears when he heard that he was to ride from Clapham Common to Chelsea sitting beside this radiantly beautiful girl, behind whose innocence and gaiety there lay the shadow of her mysterious and terrible parentage.

Lovely and gentle as she seemed, he knew even now how awful a power she held in the slender little hand whose nervous clasp he could still feel upon his own, and this knowledge seemed to raise an invisible yet impassable barrier between him and the possibility of looking upon her as under other circumstances it would have been natural for a man to look upon so fair a woman.

Natasha's brougham was so far an improvement on those of the present day that it had two equally comfortable seats, and on these the four were cosily seated a few minutes after the party broke up. To Arnold, and, doubtless, to Colston also, the miles flew past at an unheard-of speed; but for all that, long before the carriage stopped at the house in Cheyne Walk, he had come to the conviction that, for good or evil, he was now bound to the Brotherhood by far stronger ties than any social or political opinions could have formed.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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