MOLLY BAWN. 271
' You are wonderfully innocent.' With a sneer. ' Do
you think, then, my sight failed me ?'
' Still I do not understand,' she says, drawing herself up,
with a little proud gesture, ' AVhat is it to me whether
you or all the world saw me with Philip ? Explain your,
' I will.' In a low voice, almo,st choked with passion
and despair. ' You will understand when I tell you I saw
him with his arms around you~you submitting—you------■
And then—I saw him—kiss you ! That I should live to
say it of you !'
' Did you see him kiss me %' Still calmly. ' Your eye¬
sight is invaluable.'
' Ah ! you no longer deny it ? In your inmost heart no
doubt you are laughing at me, poor fool that I have been.
How many other times have you kissed him, I wonder,
when I was not by to see ?'
' Whatever faults you may have had, I acquitted you of
brutality,' says she, in a low, carefully suppressed tone.
' You never loved me. In that one matter at least you
were honest: you never professed aflection. And yet I
was mad enough to think that after a time I should gain the
love of a flirt—a coquette.'
' You were mad to care for the love of " a flirt—a
' I have been blind all these past weeks,' goes on he un¬
heeding, ' determined not to see (what all the rest of the
world, no doubt, too plainly saw) what there was between
you and Shadwell. But I am blind no longer. I am glad
—yes, thankful,' cries the young man, throwing out one
hand, as though desirous of proving by action the truth of
his sad falsehood—'thankful I have found you out at last—■
before it was too late.'
' I am thankful too; but for another reason. I feel
grateful that your suspicions have caused you to break off
our engagement. And now that it is broken—irremediably
so—let me tell you that for once your priceless sight has
played you false. I admit that Philip placed his arm around
me (but not unrebuked, as you would have it) ; I admit he
stooped to kiss me; but,' cries Molly with sudden passion
that leaves her pale as an early snowdrop, ' I do izot admit
he kissed me. Deceitful, worthless, flirt, coquette, as you