Read Books Online, for Free
|Under the Andes||Rex Stout|
A Victory And A Conversation
|Page 5 of 9||
I was awakened by Harry's hand tugging at my arm. Rising on my elbows, I demanded to know how long I had slept.
"Six or seven hours," said Harry. "I waited as long as I could. Keep a lookout."
Desiree stirred uneasily, but seemed to be still asleep. I sat up, rubbing my eyes. The heap of bodies had disappeared; no wonder Harry was tired! I reproached myself for having slept so long.
Harry had arranged himself a bed that was really comfortable with the skins of his kill.
"That is great stuff," I heard him murmur wearily; then all was still.
I sat motionless, stiff and numb, but afraid to move for fear of disturbing Desiree.
Presently she stirred again, and, bending over her, I saw her eyes slowly open. They met my own with a curious, steadfast gaze--she was still half asleep.
"Is that you, Paul?" she murmured.
"I am glad. I seem to feel--what is it?"
"I don't know, Desiree. What do you mean?"
"Nothing--nothing. Oh. it feels so good--good--to have you hold me like this."
"Yes?" I smiled.
"But, yes. Where is Harry?"
"Asleep. Are you hungry?"
"Yes--no. Not now. I don't know why. I want to talk. What has happened?"
I told her of everything that had occurred since she had swooned; she shuddered as memory returned, but forgot herself in my attempt at a humorous description of Harry's valor as a hunter of food.
"You don't need to turn up your nose," I retorted to her expressive grimace; "you ate some of the stuff yourself."
There was a silence; then suddenly Desiree's voice came:
"Paul--" She hesitated and stopped.
"What do you think of me?"
"Do you want a lengthy review?" I smiled.
What a woman she was! Under those circumstances, and amid those surroundings, she was still Desiree Le Mire.
"Don't laugh at me," she said. "I want to know. I have never spoken of what I did that time in the cavern--you know what I mean. I am sorry now. I suppose you despise me."
"But you did nothing," I objected. "And you wouldn't. You were merely amusing yourself."
She turned on me quickly with a flash of her old fire.
"Don't play with me!" she burst out. "My friend, you have never yet given me a serious word."
"Nor any one else," I answered. "My dear Desiree, do you not know that I am incapable of seriousness? Nothing in the world is worth it."
"At least, you need not pretend," she retorted. "I meant once for you to die. You know it. And since you pretend not to understand me, I ask you--these are strange words from my lips-- will you forgive me?"
"There is nothing to forgive."
"My friend, you are becoming dull. An evasive answer should always be a witty one. Must I ask you again?"
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|Under the Andes
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004