10 MOLLY BAWN.
possibly be worse things in this world than a perpetual near¬
ness to 'only Molly Massereene.'
' So you did come,' she goes on, withdrawing her fingers
slowly but positively, and with a faint uplifting of her
straight brows, ' after all. I was so afraid you wouldn't, you
were so long. John—we all thought you had thrown us over.'
To have Beauty declare herself overjoyed at the mere
fact of j'our presence is, under any circumstances, intoxicat¬
ing. To have such an avowal made beneath the romantic
light of a summer moon is maddening.
' You cared .?' says Luttrell, in hopeful doubt.
' Cared !' with a low gay laugh. ' I should think I did
care. I quite longed for you to come. If you only knew as
well as I do the terrible, never-ending dullness of this place,
vou would understand how one could lonsr for the coming of
Try as he will he cannot convince himself that the termina¬
tion of this sentence is as satisfactory as its commencement,
'When the evening wore on,' with a little depressed
shake of her head, ' and still you made no sign, and I began
to feel sure it was all too good to be true, and that you were
about to disappoint me, and plead some hateful excuse by
the morning post, I almost hated you, and was never in such
a rage in my life. But,' again holding out her hand to him
with a charming smile, ' I forgive you now.'
'Then forgive me one thing more—my ignorance,' says
Luttrell, retaining the fingers this time with much-increased
firmnes.s. ' And tell me who you ai'e.'
' Don't you know, really ? You never heard of me from
John or------- What a fall to my pride! and when in my
secret heart I had almost flattered myself that------'
* Oh, nothing—only------ By the by, now you have con¬
fessed yourself ignorant of my existence, what did bring you
down to this uninteresting village?' All this with the most
'A desire,' says Luttrell, smiling in spite of himself, 'to
Bee again your—what shall I say ?'-—hesitating—' father ?'
' Nonsense,' says Molly quickly, with a little frown,
* How eould you think John my father ? When he looks so
young too. I hope you are not stupid; we shall never get
ou if you are. How could he be my father ?'