The Shepherd’s Story of the Bond of Friendship 12

Then his hand trembled in mine, and he became pale as a corpse. I saw it, I understood the cause, and I believe my hand trembled too. I bent towards him, I kissed his forehead, and whispered, “I have never spoken of this to her, and perhaps she does not love me. Brother, think of this; I have seen her daily, she has grown up beside me, and has become a part of my soul.”

 

“And she shall be thine,” he exclaimed; “thine! I may not wrong thee, nor will I do so. I also love her, but tomorrow I depart. In a year we will see each other again, but then you will be married; shall it not be so? I have a little gold of my own, it shall be yours. You must and shall take it.”

 

We wandered silently homeward across the mountains. It was late in the evening when we reached my mother’s door. Anastasia held the lamp as we entered; my mother was not there. She looked at Aphtanides with a sweet but mournful expression on her face. “To-morrow you are going to leave us,” she said. “I am very sorry.”

 

“Sorry!” he exclaimed, and his voice was troubled with a grief as deep as my own. I could not speak; but he seized her hand and said, “Our brother yonder loves you, and is he not dear to you? His very silence now proves his affection.”

 

 

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