Dick laughed. "I've been trying to get a chance to tell her. I haven't had it yet. But she knows. There are other ways besides speech. And Mercedes has told her. I hope, I almost believe Nell cares a little for me."
"I've known that, too, for a long time," said Mrs. Belding, low almost as a whisper.
"You know!" cried Dick, with a glow and rush of feeling.
"Dick, you must be very blind not to see what has been plain to all of us....I guess--it couldn't have been helped. You're a splendid fellow. No wonder she loves you."
"Mother! You'll give her to me?"
She drew him to the light and looked with strange, piercing intentness into his face. Gale had never dreamed a woman's eyes could hold such a world of thought and feeling. It seemed all the sweetness of life was there, and all the pain.
"Ah, I want to! As much as I want to live and work for her."
"Why!...Just as soon as she will do it. To-morrow!" Dick gave a wild, exultant little laugh.