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(Reading time: 8 - 16 minutes)
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The Mountain Girl
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The Mountain Girl - 07 - Emma Payne Erskine - Web Novel

IN WHICH FRALE GOES DOWN TO FARINGTON IN HIS OWN WAY

  

Frale felt himself exalted by the oath he had sworn to Cassandra, as if those words had lifted the burden from his heart, and taken away the stain. As he walked away in his disguise, it seemed to him that he had acted under an irresistible spell cast upon him by this Englishman, who was to bide so near Cassandra—to be seen by her every day—to be admired by her, while he, who had the first right, must hide himself away from her, shielding himself in that man's clothes. Fine as they seemed to him, they only abashed him and filled him with a sense of obligation to a man he dreaded.

  

Like a child, realizing his danger only when it was close upon him, his old recklessness returned, and he moved down the path with his head held high, looking neither to the right nor to the left, planning how he might be rid of these clothes and evade his pursuers unaided. The men, climbing toward him as he descended, hearing his footsteps above them, parted and stood watching, only half screened by the thick-leaved shrubs, not ten feet from him on either side; but so elated was he, and eager in his plans, that he passed them by, unseeing, and thus Thryng's efforts saved him in spite of himself; for so amazed were they at the presence of such a traveller in such a place that they allowed him to pass unchallenged until he was too far below them to make speech possible. Later, when they found David seated on his rock, they assumed the young man to be a friend, and thought no further of it.

  

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