Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/199

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The Sinner's Comedy.

At dinner that evening she was dazzling. Sir Richard was there.

In the drawing-room, afterwards, Mrs. Molle and Carlotta sat by the fireplace and discussed bronchitis. Digby was confined to his room with neuralgia—and an adverse criticism. Sir Richard saw his chance. There was a window-seat some distance from the fire. Would Emily sit there and watch the stars? He knew a little about astronomy.

"This is our last night here—for some time," he said, in a low voice, "it is never so nice at Hurst Place."

"This is certainly very pleasant," said Emily. "What is the name of that star?"

"Do you remember what you promised?"

"I have promised ever so many things, haven't I? I hope I shall be able to keep some of them."

"You must keep one."

"That wasn't a promise—exactly. And I forget. What was it about?"

"You do not forget."

"Do take care! They will see you. You are hurting my hand. I suppose I do remember. How you tease! Besides—I was in fun."

"I was not."

"Well, what do you want me to do?"

"I want you to marry me."

"Marriage is so dull, Richard. There would be no more Herrick. . . . We are so happy as we are. Why spoil it? Men are never satisfied!"

"Yes, they are. If it were not for that Molle person and Carlotta! Shall we ever be alone together—ever able to talk except five yards apart, with our