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weakshe would not acknowledge it to
herselfit could not be that she should be
unable boldly and truthfully to declare
that this man's presence was less than
nothing, was absolutely distasteful to her.
She didn't believe in falling in love. She
believed in strong and passionate attachments,
the result of time, and grounded
upon bases solid enough to support such
a structure; she could not, would not admit
the possibility of a sentiment where there
was but little knowledge, and could be
neither esteem nor admiration. It degraded
her in her own eyes to think that she should
submit to this young man's attentions with
any tolerance, considering their relative
positions, and the light in which he, of
course, regarded her. And yet there was
the fact; argue, deny it, as she might, it
remained none the less a fact; she took
the keenest interest in all that concerned
him; the very sharpness with which she
reproved his follies showed it; had she
been quite indifferent, she would have been
less severe.

In the mean time Mrs. Rouse had got to
think better of her heated resolution. To
complain of her son's language to Mrs.
Cartaret would be entirely useless, she
knew; she would be pooh-poohed, and put
off with some very unsatisfactory apology,
which was far from the complete triumph
she had made up her mind she would
obtain. She would bide her time, until
she obtained proof, which she felt certain
would not be long wanting, of his designs,
if not of his actual misconduct, towards
this new intruder in the establishment,
whom Mrs. Rouse had now determined to
evict. Mrs. Cartaret was getting a great
deal too thick with her; all this parlez-vous-ing,
and writing of her mistress's letters,
inspired Mrs. Rouse with a mortal hatred
and mistrust of the girl, who certainly did
nothing to conciliate her. She must be
got rid of; about that there was no sort
of doubt; and if she could be caught
tripping it would be a very short way of
cutting the knot of this difficulty. So
Mrs. Rouse said nothing to Mrs. Cartaret
that evening. And before she laid her
virtuous head upon its pillow, her reticence
was rewarded in a way that surpassed her
fondest hopes.

Some hunting squires dined with
Lowndes Cartaret that evening, and he
drank more wine than usual. He had
not seen Maud since he had walked out
of the boudoir in a rage, after venting
some portion of it upon Mrs. Rouse. His
passion for the girl, and his anger at her
treatment of him, were both inflamed by
the wine he had taken; so that when his
guests left him, he was in a restless,
irritable frame of mind and body, walking up
and down the library for nearly an hour,
feeling unable to sleep, unable to resolve on
any plan of action, while a thousand wild
schemes presented themselves to his
imagination. At last it occurred to him that
he would not keep up the men-servants
any longer, but go to his own room. He
rang the bell, and without taking a candle
(it was a fancy of his never to carry one
about the house; he could find his way
anywhere in the dark, and in his own room
there was a fire), he went slowly and
heavily up-stairs. At the top of the landing
ran a corridor, which he had to traverse,
and half-way down which was the
door of his mother's room. Just as he
entered this corridor, the door opened, and
Maud with her candle came out. He stood
still, and she came quickly towards him
so quickly, that with the light held just
before her eyes, she did not see him. He
opened his arms, and she literally ran into
them. Her candle fell clattering to the
groundthere was a stifled cry, and before
the indignant girl could free herself, and
break away, her face was covered with
burning kisses.

And at the other end of the passage
stood Mrs. Rouse, with a candle in her
hand, looking on.

Just Published, Price One Shilling,
With Illustrations by S. L. Fildes.
London: CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, Piccadilly.

Just published, price 5s. 6d., bound in green cloth,
of the New Series of
To be had of all Booksellers.