"Hay," said Kate, the weariness of long years of suffering in her
the cracked and lined lips drooping pitifully as she began to weep.
They'd seen so much, they two -- Kate, the beatings and whisperings of
scandal and the ignominy of obscurity; Hay, increasing acclaim as an
ambassador and foreign diplomat that would culminate, at the century's
turn, with the Secretary of State-ship -- to each other, though, they
were still the youthful, strapping lad running thither and yon to
execute Lincoln's directives, and the long-necked, whippet-thin society
babe who inspired everyone she met to raptures of acclaim over her
encyclopedic knowledge and immaculate comportment.
Hay pressed a wad of folded banknotes into Kate's trembling, chapped
fingers. Her dark eyes flashed, momentarily, the old fire, before her
head drooped imperceptibly and a faint, wry awareness of her diminished
station in life, and her acknowledgement thereof, passed her features.