SOME women - hard, beautiful women - know a way
Of looking up at a man, so gentle and gay,
A magical child-like look that seems to say:
Let us be happy together for an hour, a day,
A night, or forever. Let us yield to the charm.
Lee looked at Wayne and put her hand on his arm,
Under the broadcloth and linen she felt his muscles like steel,
Feeling, she said to herself, as a man's arm ought to feel.
And she glanced at her own hand there, so slim and cool
With its single cabochon emerald, like a deep green pool.
"Shall we go first," she asked him, "or let them all go ahead?"
And so they spoke of leading. . . and being led.
And then she told him a story, heard she didn't know when,
Of an arctic expedition, from which two men
Had got lost and while they were off and away
They met a dog, starving like them and astray. . .
A clever heroic creature, who in the end
Guided them back, and they loved that dog like a friend;
Loved him and worried about him all the way back. . .
What would he do when he met the head of the pack,
The leader of dogs, the old dog, cruel and stern,
Who brooked no rival. How could this new dog learn. . .
Himself a leader and used to his own wild way,
How could he learn to be one of the pack and obey?
Would he not fight for mastery. . . hopeless. . .they caught their breath.
Were they not leading this friend they loved to death?
And now the crisis was on them. . . they saw camp now,
Two men in a fragile boat and a dog standing up in the prow.
They pushed the boat as near as they could to the bank,
And someone to help them land shoved out a plank,
The new dog leaped on the plank, and the old dog, bristling and proud
Made one step to meet him in front of the crowd,
And they looked at each other a moment, and the old dog lay on his back,
And the new dog stepped ashore. . . the head of the pack.
"A very interesting story. Why did you tell it to me?"
Asked Wayne, with his black eyes on her.
"Why do you think?" asked Lee.