"Not so, Esther. He would have despatched a letter when he found he could not return, and told me so; because I have not received such a letter, I know he can come, and will."
"I hope so," she said, very softly.
Something in the utterance attracted his attention; it might have been the tone, it might have been the wish. The smallest bird cannot light upon the greatest tree without sending a shock to its most distant fibre; every mind is at times no less sensitive to the most trifling words.
"You wish him to come, Esther?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, lifting her eyes to his.
"Why? Can you tell me?" he persisted.
"Because"--she hesitated, then began again--"because the young man is--" The stop was full.
"Our master. Is that the word?"