13 MOLLY BAWN.
exclaims John, rising. ' And see how time flies; it is almost
half-past ten. Really we grow lazier every day. I shudder
to think at what hour I shall get my breakfast by the time
I am an old man.'
(Poor John ! )
' Why, you are as old as the hills this moment,' says
Molly, drawing down his kind face, that bears such a strong
resemblance to her own, to bestow upon it a soft sweet kiss.
' You are not to grow any older—mind that; you are to
keei^ on looking just as you look now for ever, or I will not
forgive you. Now go away and make yourself charming for
your Lady Barton.'
' Oh, / don't spend three hours before my looking-glass,'
jays John, ' whenever I go anywhere.' He is smoothing her
beautiful hair with loving fingers as he speaks. ' But I think
I will utter one word of warning, Ted, before I leave you
to her tender mercies for the day. Don't give in to her.
If J'OU do she will lead you an awful life. At first she
bullied me until I hardly dared to call my soul my own;
but when I found Letitia I plucked up spirit (you know a
worm will turn), and ventured to defy her, and since that
existence has been bearable.'
' Letitia, come to my defence,' says Molly in a tragic
tone, stretching out her arms to her sister-in-law, who has
been busy pacifying her youngest hope. As he has at last,
however, declared himself content with five lumps of sugar
and eight sweet biscuits, she finds time to look up and smile
brightly at Molly.
' Letitia, my dear, don't perjure yourself,' says John.
' You know I speak the truth. A last word, Luttrell,' He
is standing behind his sister as he speaks, and taking her
arms he puts her in a chair, and j^lacing her elbows on the
table, so that her pretty face sinks into her hands, goes on :
'The moment you see her take this attitude run—don't
pause to think, or speculate—run ! Because it always
means mischief; you may know then that she has quite
made up her mind. I speak from experience. Good-bye,
children. I hope you will enjoy each other's society. I
shall be bu.sy until I leave, so you probably won't see me
As Letitia follows him from the room, filolly tui'us her
eyes on Luttrell.