170 MOLLY BAWN.
Cecil in her arms, she most unkindly lifts her from amongst
all her cosy cushions, and deposits her upon* the floor,
' There ! Now wiU you repent ? But come, Cecil, get up,
and prepare for your husband's reception. I will be your
maid to-night, if you wUl let me. What wiU you wear ?'
'Pale blue. It suits me best. See, that is my dress,*
Pointing to a light blue sUk, trimmed with white lace, that
Ues upon the bed, ' Will you really help me to dress ? But
you cannot do my hair ?'
' Try me,'
She does try, and proves so highly satisfactory that
Cecil is tempted to offer splendid wages if she wiU consent to
come and live with her.
The hafr is a marvel of artistic softness. Every fresh
jewel lends a grace; and when at length Cecil is attired in
her blue gown she is aU that anyone could possibly desire.
* Now, honestly, how do I look ?' she asks, turning round
to face Molly, ' Anything Uke a housemaid ?' With a
faint laugh that has something tremulous about it,
' I never saw you half so charming,' Molly answers
deliberately. ' Oh, Cecil! what will he say when he finds
out—when he discovers how you have deceived him ?'
'Anything he likes, my dear,' exclaims CecU gaily,
giving a last touch to the little soft fair locks near her
temples. ' He ought to be pleased. It would be a different
thing altogether, and a real grievance, if, being like the
housemaid, I had sent him a photo of Venus, He might
justly complain then; but now------There, I can do no
more,' says her ladyship with a sigh, half-pleased, half-fearful.
' If I weren't so shamefully nervous I would do very well.'
' I don't believe you are half as frightened for yourself at
this moment as I am for you. If I were in your shoes I
should faint. It is to me an awful ordeal.'
' I am so white too,' says Cecil impatiently. ' You
haven't—I suppose, Molly—but of course you haven't------'
' Rouge. After all Th6rese was right. When leaving
town she asked me should she get some; and when I
rejected the idea with scorn, said there was no knowing
when one might require it. Perhaps afterwards she did put
it in. Let us ring and ask her.'
' Never mind it. You are no comparison prettier with-