164 MOLLY BAWN.
cousin) if he would not come down until the very morning
of the wedding. Need I say he grasped at this proposition
also ? I was dressed and ready for my wedding by the time
he arrived, and shook hands with him with my veU down.
You may be sure I had secured a very thick one.'
' Do you mean to teU me,' says Molly, rising in her
excitement, ' that he never asked you to raise your veU ?'
' Never, my dear. I assure you the " best man " he
brought down with bim was by far the most curious of the
two. But then, you must remember. Sir Penthony had
seen my picture,' Here Cecil goes off into a hearty burst of
laughter, ' If you had seen that maid once, my dear, you
would not have been ambitious of a second view,'
' StUl, I never heard of anything so cold, so unnatural,
says Miss Massereene, in high disgust, ' I declare I would
have broken off with him then and there, had it been me,'
' Not if you lived with my cousin AmeUa, feeUng your¬
self a dependent on her bounty. She was a startling instance
of how a woman can woi-ry and torment. The very thought
of her makes my heart sore in my body and chUls my blood
to this day. I rejoice to say she is no more,'
' Well, you got married ?'
• Yes, in Amelia's drawing-room, I had a Uttle gold
band put on my third finger, I had a cold shake-hands from
my husband, a sympathetic one from his groomsman, and
then found myself once more alone, with a title and plenty
of money, and—that's all.'
' What was his friend's name 1 *
' Talbot Lo^\Ty, He lives about three mUes from here,
and'—with an airy laugh—' is rather too fond of me,'
' What a strange story !' says Molly regarding her wist¬
fully, ' Do you never Vi ish you had married someone you
' I never do,' gaily, ' Don't look to me for sentiment,
Molly, because I am utterly devoid of it, I know I suffer
in your estimation by this confession, but it is the simple
truth. I don't wish for anything. And yet'—pausing
suddenly—' I do. I have been wishing for something ever
since that old person downstairs tried to take me aback thia
morning, and failed so egregiously,'
' And your wish is------'
' That I could make my husband faU madly, wUdly in