Emily was reading by the window of her room when she heard it—reading Alic_eynell's strange poem, "Letter From A Girl To Her Own Old Age," and thrillin_ystically to its strange prophecies. Outside dusk was falling over the ol_ew Moon garden; and clear through the dusk came the two high notes and th_ong low one of Teddy's old whistle in Lofty John's bush—the old, old call b_hich he had so often summoned her in the twilights of long ago.
Emily's book fell unheeded to the floor. She stood up, mist-pale, her eye_ilating into darkness. Was Teddy there? He had not been expected till th_ext week, though Ilse was coming that night. Could she have been mistaken?
Could she have fancied it? Some chance robin call—
It came again. She knew as she had known at first that it was Teddy's whistle.
There was no sound like it in the world. And it had been so long since she ha_eard it. He was there—waiting for her—calling for her. Should she go? Sh_aughed under her breath. Go? She had no choice. She must go. Pride could no_old her back—bitter remembrance of the night she had waited for his call an_t had not come could not halt her hurrying footsteps. Fear—shame—all wer_orgotten in the mad ecstasy of the moment. Without giving herself time t_eflect that she was a Murray—only snatching a moment to look in the glass an_ssure herself that her ivory crepe dress was very becoming—how lucky it wa_hat she had happened to put on that dress!—she flew down the stairs an_hrough the garden. He was standing under the dark glamour of the old fir_here the path ran through Lofty John's bush—bareheaded, smiling.
Her hands were in his—her eyes were shining into his. Youth had come back—al_hat had once made magic made it again. Together once more after all thos_ong weary years of alienation and separation. There was no longer an_hyness—any stiffness—any sense or fear of change. They might have bee_hildren together again. But childhood had never known this wild, insurgen_weetness—this unconsidered surrender. Oh, she was his. By a word—a look—a_ntonation, he was still her master. What matter if, in some calmer mood, sh_ight not quite like it—to be helpless—dominated like this? What matter if to-
morrow she might wish she had not run so quickly, so eagerly, s_nhesitatingly to meet him? To-night nothing mattered except that Teddy ha_ome back.
Yet, outwardly, they did not meet as lovers—only as old, dear friends. Ther_as so much to talk of—so much to be silent over as they paced up and down th_arden walks, while the stars laughed through the dark a_hem—hinting—hinting—
Only one thing was not spoken of between them—the thing Emily had dreaded.
Teddy made no reference to the mystery of that vision in the London station.
It was as if it had never been. Yet Emily felt that it had drawn them togethe_gain after long misunderstanding. It was well not to speak of it—it was on_f those mystic things—one of the gods' secrets—that must not be spoken of.
Best forgotten now that its work was done. And yet—so unreasonable are w_ortals!—Emily felt a ridiculous disappointment that he didn't speak of it.
She didn't want him to speak of it. But if it had meant anything to him mus_e not have spoken of it?
"It's good to be here again," Teddy was saying. "Nothing seems changed here.
Time has stood still in this Garden of Eden. Look, Emily, how bright Vega o_he Lyre is. Our star. Have you forgotten it?"
Forgotten? How she had wished she _could_ forget.
"They wrote me you were going to marry Dean," said Teddy abruptly.
"I meant to—but I couldn't," said Emily.
"Why not?" asked Teddy as if he had a perfect right to ask it.
"Because I didn't love him," answered Emily, conceding his right.
Laughter—golden, delicious laughter that made you suddenly want to laugh too.
Laughter was so _safe_ —one could laugh without betraying anything. Ilse ha_ome—Ilse was running down the walk. Ilse in a yellow silk gown the colour o_er hair and a golden-brown hat the colour of her eyes, giving you th_ensation that a gorgeous golden rose was at large in the garden.
Emily almost welcomed her. The moment had grown too vital. Some things wer_errible if put into words. She drew away from Teddy almost primly—a Murray o_ew Moon once more.
"Darlings," said Ilse, throwing an arm around each of them. "Isn't i_ivine—all here together again? Oh, how much I love you! Let's forget we ar_ld and grown-up and wise and unhappy and be mad, crazy, happy kids again fo_ust one blissful summer."