Presently he turned. "I will bid you goodby," he said, with an effort at lofty courtesy, "and I will leave my adieux for your friends with you."
"Are you going--back to the States?" stammered Lucy.
"Yes, I am going back to the States," he replied sternly. "A man of merit there has his place, regardless of rank. Jem Perry can hold his head there as high as any beggarly prince. Farewell, Miss Dunbar."
He strode down the path and disappeared. Lucy shook her head and cried from sheer wretchedness. She felt that she had been beaten to-day with many stripes.
Suddenly the bushes beside her rustled. "Forgive me," he said hoarsely. She looked up and saw his red honest eyes. "I behaved like a brute. Good-by, Lucy! I never loved any woman but you, and I never will."
He heard her, but he did not come back.
Lucy was silent and dejected for a day or two, being filled with pity for Mr. Perry's ruined life. But when she saw his name in a list of outgoing passengers on the Paris her heart gave a bound of relief. Nothing more could now be done. That chapter was closed. There had been no other chapter of moment in her life, she told herself sternly. Now, all the clouds had cleared away. It was a new day. She would begin again.
So she put on new clothes, none of which she had ever worn before, and tied back her curly hair with a fresh white ribbon, and came down to breakfast singing gayly.