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Beverly of Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon

Part 6 out of 6

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life! Oh, it is like a fairy tale!"

"Ah, but it was not altogether a trick, dear one. There was no assurance
that I could regain the throne--not until the very last. Without it I
should have been the beggar instead of the prince. We would have lived
in a hovel, after all. Fortune was with me, I deceived you for months,
Beverly--my Beverly, but it was for the best. In defense of my honor and
dignity, however, I must tell you that the princess has known for many
days that I am Dantan. I told her the truth when Christobal came that
day with the news. It was all well enough for me to pass myself off as a
vagabond, but it would have been unpardonable to foist him upon her as
the prince."

"And she has known for a week?" cried Beverly in deep chagrin.

"And the whole court has known."

"I alone was blind?"

"As blind as the proverb. Thank God, I won your love as a vagabond. I
can treasure it as the richest of my princely possessions. You have not
said that you will go to my castle with me, dear."

She leaned forward unsteadily and he took her in his eager arms. Their
lips met and their eyes closed in the ecstasy of bliss. After a long
time she lifted her lids and her eyes of gray looked solemnly into his
dark ones.

"I have much to ask you about, many explanations to demand, sir," she
said threateningly.

"By the rose that shields my heart, you shall have the truth," he
laughed back at her." I am still your servant. My enlistment is
endless. I shall always serve your highness."

"Your highness!" she murmured reflectively. Then a joyous smile of
realization broke over her face. "Isn't it wonderful?"

"Do you think your brothers will let me come to Washington, now?" he
asked teasingly.

"It does seem different, doesn't it?" she murmured, with a strange
little smile, "You _will_ come for me?"

"To the ends of the earth, your highness."

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