"I reckon I love you," Bill said. "I reckon my affection for you began to growin' that first day we met, with you all shocked and discombobulated, with leaves and dirt and such on your dress. Despite your dishevelment, I knew that underneath, you were the most beautiful girl in the world."
"Don't mock me!"
"I'd never do that."
Marie bent her shoulders forward and hugged herself. "I don't want your pity."
Bill sat for a long time, looking down at the hatful of fire. Finally he lifted his head and gazed at Marie. He swallowed, then spoke, his voice steady, but with a marked gentleness. "I bear you no pity. Only the devotion of a revived man who's heart was tore out when you left. It was bruised and battered when your pa told me he was marryin' you to the farmer, but it shattered in pieces when you left with Alderson. I thought never to see you again."
Marie turned her head aside, unwilling to see the hurt in his eyes. "Going with him was my great folly," she said, her tone bitter. "He bore me no love, as he had led me to believe."
"He's nothing but a confidence man, a very practiced confidence man."
Have you ever been seriously betrayed? How did you feel about it?