MOLLY BAWN. 273
*" And still I am not 'appy ?" How could I be when
you did me out of that solitary dance you promised me ? I
really believed when I asked you with such pathos in the
early part of the evening to keep that one green spot in your
memory for me you would have done so.'
' Did I forget you ?' Remorsefully, ' Well, don't blame
me, Mr. Lowry would keep my card for me, and, as a
natural consequence, it was lost. After that how was it
possible for me to keep to my engagements ?'
'I think it was a delightful ball,' Molly says, with
perhaps a shade too much empressement. ' I never in all my
life enjoyed myself so well.'
'Lucky you,' says Cecil, 'Had I been allowed I should
perhaps have been happy too; but'—with a glance at
Stafford, who is looking the very personification of languid
indifference—' when people allow their tempers to get the
better of them------' Here she pauses, with an eloquent
' I hope you are not alluding to me,' says Lowry, who is
at her elbow, with a smile that awakes in Stafford a mUd
longing to strangle him.
' Oh, no !' Sweetly, ' How could you think it ? I am
not ungrateful; and I know how carefully you tried to
make my evening a pleasant one.'
' If I succeeded it is more than I dare hope for,' returns
he in a low tone, intended for her ears alone..
She smiles at him, and holds out her arm, that he may
re-fasten the eighth button of her glove that has mysteriously
come undone. He rather lingers over the doing of it. He
is, indeed, strangely awkward, and finds an unaccountable
difficulty in inducing the refractory button to go into its
' Shall we bivouac here for the remainder of the night,
or seek our beds ?' asks Sir Penthony, impatiently. ' I
honestly confess the charms of that eldest Miss Millbanks
has completely used me up. Too much of a good thing is
good for nothing—and she is tall. Do none of the rest of
you feel fatigue ? I know women's passion for conquest is
not easily satiated'—with a slight sneer—' but at five o'clock
in the morning one might surely call a truce.
They agree with him, and separate, even the tardiest
guest having disappeared by this time, with a last assurance