Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/246

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II.

Which contains some serious vanity.

Jane had started from her home with her hair in a plait, but the wind, her quick walking, and her natural impatience of restraint, had shaken it free, and it now hung, neither curled nor crimped, yet far from straight, in one lively, glimmering mass below her waist. Her gown was of white cotton, and was so clean that it still smelt of the ironing-board, and so outgrown that it did not reach her ankles by an inch,—perhaps more. The ankles, however, were innocent, and did not fear the light of day. A wide-brimmed hat concealed the upper part of her face, and only left visible the tip of a lift-upward nose, a round chin and a finely-cut, but still childish mouth. Her cheeks and throat, though delicate in grain, were well browned, and while by no means rustic in mien, she looked what indeed she was—a daughter of the sun and rain. Jane was not beautiful; or rather, there was too much strangeness in her beauty, to make her seem so at first sight: reddish hair and a dusky face make an odd combination. There was an atmosphere of strength and sweetness about her which swept over the heart-sick De Boys like a mountain breeze; he drew a long breath, and wondered at the change in the weather.

"It is time to go home," he said. She swallowed

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