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grass stem broke, the violets were scattered, and Peter used words that
he should not have uttered even when alone.
"I knew you would break it, but I never thought you could lose your
temper over so small a thing, Peter," said Margaret; and he in the
shadow looked up to see her standing there in the sunlight, fresh and
lovely as the spring itself.
Solemnly, in severe reproof, she shook her head, from which the hood had
fallen back, but there was a smile upon her lips, and laughter in her
eyes. Oh! she was beautiful, and at the sight of her Peter's heart stood
still. Then, remembering what he had just said, and certain other things
that Master Castell had said, he blushed so deeply that her own cheeks
went red in sympathy. It was foolish, but she could not help it, for
about Peter this morning there was something strange, something that
"For whom are you gathering violets so early," she asked, "when you
ought to be praying for that Scotchman's soul?"
"I care nothing for his soul," answered Peter testily. "If the brute had
one, he can look after it himself; and I was gathering the
She stared. Peter was not in the habit of making her presents of
flowers. No wonder he had looked strange.
"Then I will help you to tie them. Do you know why I am up so early? It
is for your sake. I behaved badly to you last night, for I was cross
because you wanted to thwart me about seeing the king. I never thanked
you for all you did, you brave Peter, though I thanked you enough in my
heart. Do you know that when you stood there with that sword, in the
middle of those Englishmen, you looked quite noble? Come out into the
sunlight, and I will thank you properly."
In his agitation Peter let the remainder of the flowers fall. Then an
idea struck him, and he answered:
"Look! I can't; if you are really grateful for nothing at all, come in
here and help me to pick up these violets--a pest on their
She hesitated a little, then by degrees drew nearer, and, bending down,
began to find the flowers one by one. Peter had scattered them wide, so
that at first the pair were some way apart, but when only a few
remained, they drew close. Now there was but one violet left, and, both
stretching for it, their hands met. Margaret held the violet, and Peter
held Margaret's fingers. Thus linked they straightened themselves, and
as they rose their faces were very near together and oh! most sweet were
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