always tried to stay fairly neutral publicly on controversial
"Ay, sister," Anne said, coming a little back to earth, "and from the first. I found a letter near the sun-dial--I guessed--I loved you--and could do naught else but guard you. Many a day have I watched within the rose-garden--many a day--and night--God pardon me--and night. When I knew a letter was hid, 'twas my wont to linger near, knowing that my presence would keep others away. And when you approached--or he--I slipped aside and waited beyond the rose hedge--that if I heard a step, I might make some sound of warning. Sister, I was your sentinel, and being so, knelt while on my guard, and prayed."
"My sentinel!" Clorinda cried. "And knowing all, you so guarded me night and day, and prayed God's pity on my poor madness and girl's frenzy!" And she gazed at her in amaze, and with humblest, burning tears.
"For my own poor self as well as for you, sister, did I pray God's pity as I knelt," said Anne. "For long I knew it not--being so ignorant--but alas! I loved him too!--I loved him too! I have loved no man other all my days. He was unworthy any woman's love-- and I was too lowly for him to cast a glance on; but I was a woman, and God made us so."
Clorinda clutched her pallid hand.
"Dear God," she cried, "you loved him!"
Anne moved upon her pillow, drawing weakly, slowly near until her white lips were close upon her sister's ear.
"The night," she panted--"the night you bore him--in your arms--"
Then did the other woman give a shuddering start and lift her head, staring with a frozen face.