But will you take me back?"
"Blake!...You know what it means?"
"I don't care. I'm sick of--of--I'll show you a Mormon who'll be true to you!"
"But, Blake--how terribly you might suffer for that!"
"Maybe. Aren't you suffering now?"
"God knows indeed I am!"
"Miss Withersteen, it's a liberty on my part to speak so, but I know you pretty well--know you'll never give in. I wouldn't if I were you. And I--I must--Something makes me tell you the worst is yet to come. That's all. I absolutely can't say more. Will you take me back--let me ride for you--show everybody what I mean?"
"Blake, it makes me happy to hear you. How my riders hurt me when they quit!" Jane felt the hot tears well to her eyes and splash down upon her hands. "I thought so much of them--tried so hard to be good to them. And not one was true. You've made it easy to forgive. Perhaps many of them really feel as you do, but dare not return to me. Still, Blake, I hesitate to take you back. Yet I want you so much."
"Do it, then. If you're going to make your life a lesson to Mormon women, let me make mine a lesson to the men. Right is right. I believe in you, and here's my life to prove it."
"You hint it may mean your life!" said Jane, breathless and low.
"We won't speak of that. I want to come back. I want to do what every rider aches in his secret heart to do for you....Miss Withersteen, I hoped it'd not be necessary to tell you that my mother on her deathbed told me to have courage. She knew how the thing galled me--she told me to come back....Will you take me?"
"God bless you, Blake! Yes, I'll take you back. And will you--will you accept gold from me?"
"I just gave Judkins a bag of gold. I'll give you one. If you will not take it you must not come back. You might ride for me a few months-- weeks--days till the storm breaks. Then you'd have nothing, and be in disgrace with your people. We'll forearm you against poverty, and me against endless regret. I'll give you gold which you can hide--till some future time."
"Well, if it pleases you," replied Blake. "But you know I never thought of pay. Now, Miss Withersteen, one thing more. I want to see this man Lassiter. Is he here?"
"Yes, but, Blake--what--Need you see him? Why?" asked Jane, instantly worried. "I can speak to him--tell him about you."