MOLLY BAWN. 285
Pacing up and down her room the night before, with
widely opened eyes, gazing upon the solemn blackness that
surrouiads her, all the wrongs and slights she has endured
come to her with startling distinctness. No sense of weari¬
ness, no thought of a necessity for sleep disturbs her reverie
or breaks in upon the monotonous misery of her musings.
She is past all that. Already her death has come to her—a
death to her hope, and joy, and peace—even to that poor
calm that goes so far to deceive the outer world.
0 the cold, quiet night, when speech is not and sleep has
forgotten us; when all the doubts, and fears, and jealousies
that in the blessed daylight slumber, rise up to torture us !
when even the half-suspected sneer, the covert neglect that
some hours ago were but as faintest pinpricks, now gall and
madden as a poisoned thrust!
A wild thirst for revenge grows within her breast as one
by one she calls to mind all the many injuries she has re¬
ceived. Strangely enough—and unlike a woman—her anger
is concentrated on Philip, rather than on the one he loves,
instinct telling her he is not beloved in return.
She broods upon her wrongs until, as the first bright
streak of yellow day illumes the room, flinging its glories
profusely upon the wall and ceiling, pretty nicknacks that
return its greeting, and angry, unthankful creature alike, a
thought comes to her that promises to amply satisfy her
vengeful craving. As she ponders on it a curious light
breaks upon her face—a smile, half-triumph, half-despair.
Now, standing before her grandfather's room, with a
folded letter crushed within her palm, and a heart that beats
almost to suffocation, she hears him bid her enter.
Fatigued by the unusual exertions of a ball, Mr. Amherst
is seated at his table in a lounging-chair, clad in his dressing-
gown, and looking older, feebler than is his wont.
He merely glances at his visitor as she approaches with¬
out comment of any description.
' I have had something on my mind for some time,
grandpapa,' begins Marcia, who is pale and worn, through
agitation and the effects of a long aud hopeless vigil. ' I
think it only right to let you know. I have suppressed it
aU this time, because I feared distressing you, but now—
pow—will you read this ?'