To-night it was awake, and woke up others, Vere's nature and his.
"Where is the island, Gaspare?" cried Vere through the wind to him.
He waved one hand to the blackness before them.
She strained her eyes, then looked away towards where the land must be. At a long distance across the leaping foam she saw one light. As the boat rose and sank on the crests and into the hollows of the waves the light shone and faded, shone and faded. She guessed it to be a light at the Antico Giuseppone. Despite the head wind and the waves that met them the launch travelled bravely, and soon the light was gone. She told herself that it must have been at the Giuseppone, and that now they had got beyond the point, and were opposite to the harbor of the Villa Rosebery. But no lights greeted them from the White Palazzo in the wood, or from the smaller white house low down beside the sea. And again she looked straight forward.
Now she was intent on San Francesco. She was thinking of him, of the Pool, of the island. And she thrilled with joy at the thought of the wonderful wildness of her home. As they drew on towards it the waves were bigger, the wind was stronger. Even on calm nights there was always a breeze when one had passed the Giuseppone going towards Ischia, and beyond the island there was sometimes quite a lively sea. What would it be to-night? Her heart cried out for a crescendo. Within her, at that moment, was a desire like the motorist's for speed. More! more! More wind! More sea! More uproar from the elements!
And San Francesco all alone in this terrific blackness! Had he not been dashed from his pedestal by the waves? Was the light at his feet still burning?
"Il Santo!" she said to Gaspare.
He bent his head till it was close to her lips.