MOLLY BAWN. 283
sadly tho precious relic she has rescued from utter oblivion,
and from v/hich the diamond, soiled, but still brilliant, has
fallen into her palm, when Philip enters.
' Molly, what has happened ?' he asks, advancing to¬
wards her, shocked at her appearance, which evinces all the
deepest signs of woe. ' What has distressed you ?'
' You have,' cries she, with sudden vehement passion, all
her sorrow aird anger growing into quick life as she sees him.
' You are the cause of all my misery. Why do you come
near me ? You might at least have grace enough to spare
me the pain of seeing you.'
' I do not understand,' he says, his face very pale. ' In
how have I offended—I, who would rather be dead than
cause you any unhappiness ? Tell me how I have been so
' I hate you,' she says, with almost chUdish cruelty, sob¬
bing afresh. ' I wish you had died before I came to this
place. You have come between me and the only man I love.
Yes—smiting her hands together in a very agony of sorrow
—' he may doubt it if he will, but I do love him—and now
we are separated for ever. Even my ring'—with a sad
glance at it—' is broken, and so is—my heart.'
' You are alluding to—Luttrell ?' asks he—his earliest
suspicions at last confirmed—speaking with difficulty, so dry
his lips have grown,
' I am.'
' And how have I interfered between you and—him ?'
' Why did you .speak to me of love again last night,'
retorts she, ' when you must know how detestable a subject
it is to me ? He saw you put your arm around me; he saw
—ah! why did I not tell you then the truth (from which
through a mistaken feeling of pity I refrained), that your
mere touch sickened me ? Then you stooped, and he thought
•—you know Avhat he thought—and yet,' cries Molly, with a
gesture of aversion, ' how could he have thought it possible
that I should allow you of all men to—kiss me ?'
' Why speak of what I so well knovs?- ?' interrupts he
hoarsely, with bent head and averted eyes. ' You seldom
spare me. You are angered, and for what ? Because you
still hanker after a man who fiung you away—you, for whose
slightest wish I would risk my all. For a mere chimera,
a fancy, a fear only half-developed, he renounced you.'