Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/198

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The Sinner's Comedy.

"He thinks I have. It comes to the same thing. Oh dear!"

"My dear Emily, this is too ridiculous."

"It's dreadful. But what can I do? I was never so worried in my life. We are going to Egypt. Egypt is newer than Paris. And a quiet wedding—just in my going-away dress. Do you think that a pale shade of grey trimmed with sable tails———"

"Why can't you be honest and admit that you are in love with him?"

"Well, he is very nice. You should hear him read Herrick. He feels every word of it, and it is not as though he were a man who had been in love a hundred times. I am the only one. Just think—out of all the women he has met. We must be happy."

"You can't command the future," said Carlotta, stonily.

"Let me think I can," said Emily, "that's half the battle," and (she was spending a few days with Carlotta) she went out of the room singing.

Nevertheless when she found herself in her own bedroom, with the door locked, she cried. She herself could have given no cause for her tears: that was the worst of it. It was an unsatisfactory misery in every sense — without beginning, or middle, or end, or reason, or hope. She paused once in her weeping to wonder what she could wear down to dinner. There was the velvet with point de Flandres. Sacheverell hated velvet, but Sacheverell was not there to see. The sobbing continued. To be loved was better than loving—much better. She would marry Sir Richard, who worshipped her, andforget——— There was no one to forget.