MOLLY BAWN. 167
'You can,* replies Miss Massereene in a lugubrious
voice; though, in spite of her pain, she can with difficulty
repress an inclination to laugh, so dismal is his manner.
'Oh ! you can'
' Tell me what. There is nothing,—Speak, MoUy.*
' Well—I'm not exactly weeping,' says Miss Massereene,
slowly withdrawing one hand from her face, so as to let the
best eye rest upon him; ' it is hardly mental anguish I'm
enduring. But if you can get this awful thing that is in
my eye out of it I shaU be intensely gi'ateful,'
' Is that all ?' asks Philip, much relieved.
' And plenty too, I think. Here, do try if you can see
' Poor eye! *—pathetically—' how inflamed it is! Let
me see—there—don't blink—I won't be able to get at it if
you do. Now, turn your eye to the right. No. Now to
the left. Yes, there it is,' excitedly, 'No, it isn't,' dis¬
appointedly, ' Now let me look below; it must be there.*
Just at this deUcate moment who should turn the corner
but Luttrell ! Oh ! those unlucky corners that will occur
in life, bringing people upon the scene, without a word of
warning, at the very time when they are least wanted !
Luttrell, coming briskly onwards in search of his lady¬
love, sees, marks, and comes to a dead stop. And this is
what he sees,
Molly in Philip's—well, if not exactly in his embrace,
something very near it; Philip looking with wUd anxiety
into the very depths of Molly's lovely eyes, while the lovely
eyes look back at PhUip full of deep entreaty. Tableau !
It is too much. Luttrell, stung cruelly, turns as if to
withdraw, but after a step or two finds himself unable to
carry out the dignified intention, and pauses irresolutely.
His back being turned, however, he is not in at the closing
act, when Philip produces triumphantly on the tip of hia
finger such a mere atom of matter as makes one wonder
how it could ever have caused so much annoyance.
'Are you better now?' he asks anxiously, yet with
' I—am—thank you,* Blinking thoughtfully, as though
not yet assured of the reUef, ' I am so much obliged to
you. And—yes—I am better. Quite well, I think. What
should I have done without you ?'