2b2 MOLLY BAWN.
quickly suppressed sigh—'it may perhaps compel you to
think of me now and then.'
' I have neither wish nor desire ever to think of you
again,' returns she. still in the same cold, even tone, pushing
the ring stiU closer to him with her first finger. There is
something of contempt in the action. A ray from the
dancing sun outside falls through the glass on to the
diamonds, making them flash and sparkle in their gold
' That admits of no answer,' says Luttrell, with low but
passionate bitterness; and, taking up the ring, he flings it
Ughtly into the very heart of the glowing fire.
With a sudden loss of self-restraint MoUy makes a
movement forward as though to prevent him; but too late—
already the greedy flames have closed upon it.
Not all the agitation, not all his angry words of the
night before, have aft'ected her so keenly as this last act.
She bursts into a very storm of tears.
'Oh! what have you done?' cries she. 'You have
destroyed it; you have burned it—my pretty ring!'
She clasps her hands together and gazes with straining
eyes into the crael fire. Something within her heart feels
broken. Surely some string has snapped. The ring, in
spite of all, was a last Unk between them; and now too it
' Molly !' says he, taking a step towards her, and holding
out his hands, softened, vanquished by her tears, ready to
throw himself once more an abject slave at her feet.
' Do not speak to me,' returns she, still sobbing bitterly,
' Have you not done enough ? I wish you would leave me
to myself. Go away. There is nothing more that you
Feeling abashed, he scarcely knows why, he silently quits
Then down upon her knees before the fire faUs Molly,
and with the poker strives with all her might to discover
some traces of her lost treasure. So dUigent is her search
that after a little while the ring, blackened, disfigured, altered
almost beyond recognition, lies within her hand. StiU it is
her ring, however changed, and some small ray of comfort
gladdens her heart.
She is still, however, weeping bitterly, and examining