Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/155

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The Sinner's Comedy.

He laughed uneasily. "I never can hide anything from you. I suppose—there is—something."

"Tell me then." Her voice was singularly rich and well-modulated.

"Do you remember——" he began, and then stopped. "Well?"

"Of course you remember that the Middlehursts are my neighbours. Did I ever mention—Mrs. Prentice? She is Lady Middlehurst's daughter."

"I don't think you mentioned her," she said, drily; "the name doesn't sound familiar. Prentice, Prentice. No, you certainly never told me anything about an old lady named Prentice."

"I wonder whether you would like her; but—she's young."

"Young?" said Anna.

"Well, she's twenty-two, or so."

"I was nineteen when you met me! Is she pretty?"

"In a way, yes. In fact, I suppose—decidedly." He pressed his temples.

"Dark, or fair?"

"Neither one nor the other. There is nothing extreme about her."

"I understand. Tepid! What sort of figure?"

"She is tall and statuesque," said Sir Richard. "I always feel that she ought to have been called Diana. Can you imagine her now?"

The corners of her mouth just curved. "I think I can."

"The fact is—can't you guess?"

"Why should I trouble to make guesses when you