When Calls the Heart(81)

By: Janette Oke

"I will miss you all so very much," I said through my tears.

Kathleen needed one last hug. "Come back, Aunt Bethplease come back soon." I promised to try, and then was making my way to the boarding platform, struggling with my tears.


A hand was placed on my shoulder, and through the mist in my eyes I saw a red-coated chest and I looked up into the face of Wynn Delaney. His eyes looked troubled as they gazed deeply into mine.

"Elizabeth, I must see you."

"But my train-"

"I promise not to be long. There are still a few minutes."

His eyes seemed to plead and I could no longer bear to look at him. I lowered my gaze and nodded an agreement. He took my arm and steered me through the crowd and back into the station, while a confused redcap followed with my luggage.

"Dick," Wynn said to a man wearing a station man's uniform, "I need to borrow your office for a minute."

The man nodded. I was ushered into an office and the door closed behind me. Wynn turned me around to face him.

"Elizabeth," he said slowly, "I couldn't let you go this way. I've been miserable."

"Look, Wynn," I cut in rather hastily. "we were both wrong. It shouldn't have happened like that-but it did. You don't need to apologize."

1 went to turn away from him and escape back to the train, but he held me firmly.

"Elizabeth, look at me."

Reluctantly I raised my eyes. JIy tears spilled over and ran down my cheeks.

"Elizabeth, I must confess that I kissed you because I wanted to-not merely to save you from fainting again. But I didn't come here just to apologize.'

My eyes must have asked my question.

"I came here to ask you to forgive me, yes-but I also came to-to ask you not to go. I know it's selfish. and I know that I have no right, but I must at least tell you before you gobefore you decide- -that--I love voii. Elizabeth. I want you to stay. I want you to consider being my wife. I know that I have nothing to offer-t hat I--"

I don't know what other nonsense Wynn might have gone on declaring had I not stopped him. I was still mulling over the words, "I love you. I want you to be my wife." And with a glad little cry I threw myself into his arms.

"Oh, Wynn"' I sobbed, and my tears spilled freely on his red tunic until he lifted my face upward and began to kiss me.

When he stopped and looked at me, I was breathless and flushed with happiness.

"I still don't know where I'll be posted-"

"It doesn't matter. Can't you see? It really doesn't matter."

"I believe you. Somehow I believe you." And he kissed me again.

The next question that he asked me made my eyes shine even more.

"How would you like a honeymoon in those Rockies-by a mountain stream?"

"Oh, Wynn, I'd love it. I'd just love it! Could we?"

Then a sharp train whistle reached my ears and even as I listened I could tell that it was getting farther away.

"Oh, dear," I said and looked at Wynn in dismay.

"What is it?"

"I do believe that my train has just left without me."

Wynn smiled his slow, deliberate smile. "Isn't that a shame," he said with exaggerated alarm.

Then I began to laugh--a soft, merry, tremendously happy laugh.

"Do you know," I said, "that my poor old trunks have gone on east without me?"

He pulled me close and laughed with me, kissing the top of my head.

"I do hope that you have some belongings, Elizabeth."

"Just my two suitcases."

"We'll wire ahead and have your trunks sent backbecause I'm not letting you go after them. Trunks or no trunks, you're staying here-where you belong."

I had no objections.

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