2-20 A Mental Struggle.
" Mamma," she says in a low but terrible voice, full of a
violerrt determination, "I implore j'ou not to cry like that.
I wdll make up to you for all that I have done; only do
not cry! "
Her mother's tears seem still to be beating on her heart
In heavy mournful drops as she rapidly descends the stair¬
case. As one in a dream she hurries across the hall,
scarcely breathing as she moves. She has not dared to
give herself one moment to meditate upon what lies before
her, and always in the same motionless, breathless Avay
enters the drawing-room and goes straight up to the
hearthrug, wdiere Lore! Clanbrassil is staneling waiting for
Tbe lamps have not been lit, but the fire is wonderfully
brilliant, lighting up even the distant corners, that might
well be considered as objects for the gloom at this time of
the day, She lays her liantl in his without a word of
There is something probably a little strange, a little
touching about her that compels him to wonder. When
he has given utterance to the first usual courtesies, he
stands silently beside her, watching her anxiously, and
expecting (he scarcely knows why) some str.ange revelation
to pass her li}xs. Her very dunibness assails him, assuring
him that something has gone wrong with her, that some
cborel irr her sweet life-music has been falsely played. An
eager hope that she has come here to unburden her mind
to him, and seek consolation frcmi him, induces him to
wait patiently for her to speak. But he waits in vain.
And then the silence grows intolerable, and his patience
dies. Turning very sueldenly to her, he leans his olbow on
the chimncv-piece and looks down at box".
" What is it ? " he asks shortly.