"God help me," said he mournfully, "my words do not touch her;" and, still holding her hand, he sank back on the pillows. Indeed, it was true that his words did not vibrate in her atmosphere. The storm-spirit raged there, and filled her heart with the thought that she was an outcast; and the holy words, "for His sake," were answered by the demon, who held possession, with a blasphemous defiance of the merciful God--
He thought of every softening influence of religion which over his own disciplined heart had power, but put them aside as useless. Then the still small voice whispered, and he spake--
"In your mother's name, whether she be dead or alive, I command you to stay here until I am able to speak to you."
She knelt down at the foot of the sofa, and shook it with her sobs. Her heart was touched, and he hardly dared to speak again. At length he said--
"I know you will not go--you could not--for her sake. You will not, will you?"
"No," whispered Ruth; and then there was a great blank in her heart. She had given up her chance. She was calm, in the utter absence of all hope.
"And now you will do what I tell you?" said he gently, but unconsciously to himself, in the tone of one who has found the hidden spell by which to rule spirits.
She slowly said, "Yes." But she was subdued.