Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/172

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reply from you will be sufficient. That I should be the person commissioned on this subject is extraordinary! and believe me, Madam, it is no less painful. A very few words, however, will put an end to the awkwardness and distress we may both be feeling.’ Anne spoke a word or two, but they were unintelligible. And before she could command herself; he added, ‘If you only tell me that the Admiral may address a Line to Sir Walter, it will be enough. Pronounce only the words, he may. I shall immediately follow him with your message.’ This was spoken, as with a fortitude which seemed to meet the message. ‘No, Sir,’ said Anne. ‘There is no message. You are misin—the Admiral is misinformed. I do justice to the kindness of his Intentions, but he is quite mistaken. There is no Truth in any such report.’ He was a moment silent. She turned her eyes towards him for the first time since his re-entering the room. His colour was varying, and he was looking at her with all the Power and Keenness, which she believed no other eyes than his possessed. ‘No Truth in any such report!’ he repeated. ‘No Truth in any part of it?’ ‘None.’ He had been standing by a chair, enjoying the relief of leaning on it, or of playing with it; he now sat down, drew it a little nearer to her, and looked, with an expression which had something more than penetration in it, something softer. Her Countenance did not discourage. It was a silent, but a very powerful Dialogue; on his side Supplication, on hers acceptance. Still, a little nearer, and a hand taken and pressed, and ‘Anne, my own dear Anne!’ bursting forth in all the fullness of exquisite feeling, and all Suspense and Indecision were over. They were re-united. They were restored to all that had been lost. They were carried back to the past, with only an increase of attachment and confidence, and only such a flutter of present Delight as made them little fit for the interruption of Mrs. Croft, when