MOLLY BAWN. 159
How instinctively in grief or joy one turns to it, to hide
from prying eyes one's inmost thoughts, one's hopes, and
To-night there are two sad hearts at Herst; Marcia's,
perhaps, the saddest, for it is full of that most maddening,
most intolerable of all pains, jealousy.
For hours she sits by her casement, pondering on the
cruelty of her fate, while the unsympathetic moon pours its
white rays upon her,
' Already his love is dead,' she murmurs, leaning naked
arms upon the window-sill, and turning her lustrous southern
eyes up to the skies above her, ' Already, In two short
months. And how have I fallen short ? how have I lost
him ? By over-loving, perhaps, WhUe she! who does not
value it, has gained my all,'
A little groan escapes her, and she lets her dark head
sink upon her outstretched arms. For there is something in
Philip's eyes as they rest ou Molly, something undefined,
hardly formed, but surely there, that betrays to Marcia the
secret feeling, of which he himself is scarcely yet aware.
One hardly knows how it is, but Molly, with a glance, a
gesture, three little words pointed by a smUe from the liquid
eyes, can draw him to her side. And when a man of his
cold, reserved nature truly loves, be sure it is a passion that
will last him his life,
Tedcastle, too, is thoroughly unhappy to-night. His
honest, unprying mind, made sharp by ' love's conffict,' has
seen through PhUip's infatuation, and over his last cigar
before turning in (a cigar that to-night has somehow lost half
its soothing properties), makes out with a sinking of the
heart what it all means.
He thinks, too, yet upbraids himself for so thinking, that
Miss Massereene must see Philip Shadwell, heir to Herst
and 20,000Z. a year, is a better catch than Teddy Luttrell,
with only his great love for her, and a paltry 6001. a year.
Is it not selfish of him to seek to keep her from what is
BO evidently to her advantage ? Perhaps he ought to throw
up his engagement, and passing out of her life, leave her to
reap the ' good the gods provide ?'
In vain he tries to argue himself into this heroic frame of
mind. The more he tries, the more obnoxious grows the
idea. He cannot, he will not give her up.