Coventry read this sentence by sentence, still looking up, nearly every sentence, at her to whom it was addressed.
The letter pleaded on his knee, the pale face pleaded a few yards off; he sat between the two bleeding lovers, their sole barrier and bane.
His heart began to fail him. The mountain of crime looked high. Now remorse stung him deeper than ever; jealousy spurred him harder than ever; a storm arose within his breast, a tempest of conflicting passion, as grand and wild as ever distracted the heart; as grand and wild as any poet has ever tried to describe, and, half succeeding, won immortal fame.
"See what I can do?" whispered conscience. "With one bound I can give her the letter, and bring the color back to that cheek and joy to that heart. She will adore me for it, she will be my true and tender friend till death. She will weep upon my neck and bless me."
"Ay," whispered jealousy, "and then she will marry Henry Little."
"And am I sure to succeed if I persist in crime? Deserve her hatred and contempt, and is it certain they will not both fall on me?"
"The fault began with them. He supplanted me--she jilted me. I hate him--I love her. I can't give her up now; I have gone too far. What is intercepting a letter? I have been too near murder to stop at that."
"But her pale face! her pale face!"