MOLLY BAWN. 287
—you, after all tbe care—the trouble—you bestowed upon
him. My conscience compelled me to tell you all.'
' And you, Marcia'—with an odd smile she is puzzled to
explain—'you have never deceived me, have you? All
your pretty speeches and tender cares have been quite
' Dear grandpapa—yes.*
' You have not wished me dead, or spoken, or thought
evilly of the old tyrant at Herst, who has so often crossed
and thwarted you ?'
'Never, dear—how could I—when I remember------'
' Ay, quite so. When one remembers! And gratitude
is so common a thing. WiU you oblige me by sending a
line to Mr. Buscarlet asking him to come to me without
' You are going to alter your will ?' she asked faintly,
shocked at the speedy success of her scheme.
' Yes.' Coolly, ' I am going to cut Philip out of it.'
' Grandpapa, do not be too hard on him,' she says,
putting her hand across her throat, and almost gasping.
' He is young. Young men sometimes------'
' I was once a young man myself, you seem to forget,
and I know all about it. Why did you give me that letter ?'
he asks grimly. ' Are you chicken-hearted, now you have
done the deed, like all women ? It is too late for remorse to
be of use; you have done it. Let it be your portion to
remember how you have wilfully ruined his prospects,'
A choking sigh escapes her as she quits the room. Truly
she has bought her revenge dearly. Not the poorest trace
of sweetness lingers in it.
By this time it will be perceived that the house is in a
secret turmoil. Everyone is at daggers drawn with every¬
one else. Molly and Lady Stafford have as yet exchanged
no confidences, though keenly desirous of doing so, each
having noticed with the liveliest surmisings the depression
of the other,
Mr, Potts alone, who is above suspicion (being one of
those cheerful people who never see anything—no matter
how closely under their noses—until it is brought before
them in the broadest language), continues blissfully uncon¬
scious of tho confusion that reigns around, and savours his