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CHAPTER XXIII.

LAWYER SALMON MEETS DEFEAT.


The day on which Doane and the two sweet friends visited Ouida was a fateful one. On that same day Lawyer Salmon had a most eventful conversation with his daughter Marie. They also met near Ouida's place.

"My dear child," said he, "it is foolish for you to pine your young life away in grief over Milton."

"Father," said she, "it is easy for you to speak thus, but I cannot root out of my soul the love and faith therein enshrined."

"He has forgotten you."

"I will not believe it," said she stoutly.

"How long," persisted the father, "has it been since you have heard from him?"

"About six months, but he may be ill. There must be some cause," said Marie, fighting every inch of ground.

"Stuff and nonsense," said he, "why don't you admit to yourself the truth. He has abandoned you. I always thought you had more pride than to throw yourself into the arms of a man who seems so utterly to have forgotten you."

"Father," said Marie, a tremor in her voice, "you wrong Milton. I fear you do not love me, or you would not so wound me."

"There, daughter, you are unjust to me. You may deem me hard, cold, unromantic, but I know these Royles.