|Chapter 11: The Corruption of Beauty|
As he began a taut account of what had happened to Covenant, Linden's attention slipped away to the Unbeliever's wracked and failing body.
She could feel the poison seeping past the useless constriction of his shirt sleeve. Death gnawed like leprosy at the sinews of his life. He absolutely could not last until dawn.
Her mother had begged to die; but he wanted to live. He had exchanged himself for Joan, had smiled as if the prospect were a benison; yet his every act showed that he wanted to live. Perhaps he was mad; perhaps his talk about a Despiser was paranoia rather than truth. But the conclusions he drew from it were ones she could not refute. She had learned in Crystal Stonedown that she shared them.
Now he was dying.
She had to help him. She was a doctor. Surely she could do something about his illness. Impossible that her strange acuity could not cut both ways. With an inward whimper, she abandoned resistance, bared her heart.