No Name/Between the Scenes 7/II

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No Name by Wilkie Collins
Between the Scenes 7/II

II.

From George Bartram to Miss Garth.

"Paris, April 13th.

"DEAR MISS GARTH—I have just written, with a heavy heart, to my uncle, and I think I owe it to your kind interest in me not to omit writing next to you.

"You will feel for my disappointment, I am sure, when I tell you, in the fewest and plainest words, that Miss Vanstone has refused me.

"My vanity may have grievously misled me, but I confess I expected a very different result. My vanity may be misleading me still; for I must acknowledge to you privately that I think Miss Vanstone was sorry to refuse me. The reason she gave for her decision—no doubt a sufficient reason in her estimation—did not at the time, and does not now, seem sufficient to me. Sh e spoke in the sweetest and kindest manner, but she firmly declared that 'her family misfortunes' left her no honorable alternative—but to think of my own interests as I had not thought of them myself—and gratefully to decline accepting my offer.

"She was so painfully agitated that I could not venture to plead my own cause as I might otherwise have pleaded it. At the first attempt I made to touch the personal question, she entreated me to spare her, and abruptly left the room. I am still ignorant whether I am to interpret the 'family misfortunes' which have set up this barrier between us, as meaning the misfortune for which her parents alone are to blame, or the misfortune of her having such a woman as Mrs. Noel Vanstone for her sister. In whichever of these circumstances the obstacle lies, it is no obstacle in my estimation. Can nothing remove it? Is there no hope? Forgive me for asking these questions. I cannot bear up against my bitter disappointment. Neither she, nor you, nor any one but myself, can know how I love her.

"Ever most truly yours,

"GEORGE BARTRAM.

"P. S.—I shall leave for England in a day or two, passing through London on my way to St. Crux. There are family reasons, connected with the hateful subject of money, which make me look forward with anything but pleasure to my next interview with my uncle. If you address your letter to Long's Hotel, it will be sure to reach me."