272 MOLLY BAWIv",
think me, I have not yet fallen so low as to let one man kiss
me while professing to keep faith with another,'
' You say this—after------'
' I do. And who is there shall dare give me the lie ?
Beware, Tedcastle ; you have gone far enough already. Do
not go too far. You have chosen to insult me. Be it so.
I forgive you. But for the future, let me see, and hear, and
know as little of you as may be possible.'
' IMolly, if what you now------'
' Stand back, sir,' cries she, with an air of majesty and
with an imperious gesture raising one white arm, that
gleams like snow in the dark night, to wave him to one
side. ' From henceforth remember —I am deaf when you
address me !'
She sweeps past him into the house, without further
glance or word, leaving him, half-mad with doubt and self-
reproach, to pace the gardens until far into the morning.
When he does re-enter the ball-room he finds it almost
deserted. Nearly all the guests have taken their departm-e.
Dancing is growing half-hearted; conversation is having
gr-eater sway with those that still remain.
The first person he sees—with Phihp beside her—is
Molly, radiairt, sparkling, even more than usually gay. Two
crimsoir spots burn upon either cheek, making her large eyes
seem larger, and bright as gleaming stars.
Even as Lirttrell with concentrated bitterness stands
transfixed at some little distance from her, realising how
small a thing to her is this rupture between them, that
is threatening to break his heart, she, looking up, sees him.
Turning to her companion, she whispers something to
him in a low tone, and then she laughs—a soft rippling
laugh, full of mirth and music.
' There go the chimes again,' says Mr. Potts, who has
just come up, alluding to Molly's little cruel outburst of
merriment. ' I never saw Miss Massereene in such good
form as she is in to-night. Oh !'—with a suppressed yawn
—' " what a day we're 'aving ! " I wish it were all to come
' Plantagenet, you grow daily more dissipated,' says
Cecil Stafford severely. ' A little boy like you should be in
your bed hours ago ; instead of which you have been aUowed
to sit up until half-past four, and------'