Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/250

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234
A Study in Temptations.
 

She seemed sceptical. "Ah," she said, "but men are different."

"How do you know," he said, quickly.

"I cannot say how I know it," she answered, "because I must have known it ever since I was born."

"Let us talk of something else," said De Boys.

"You began this. Kisses and all such nonsense never come into my head. I—I always skip the love-making in novels." She uttered this astonishing falsehood with cloudless eyes.

"Oh!" said De Boys.

"Why do you say 'oh'? I suppose you don't believe me. I do not care; if you wish to quarrel, quarrel. I will not say another word." She turned away her head, but De Boys heard the tears in her voice.

"Jane," he said, "I told you a lie just now. I once kissed Lizzie Cass, but it was very long ago."

"When?" said Jane.

"At the hay-making. She stood in my way, and, somehow—well, you know how these things happen!"

"No, I don't!" she said, with indignation.

"She isn't at all pretty; and it was only her ear! Your ears are like pink shells. But, unhappily, they never get in the way."

"I should hope not," said Jane; "I want no kisses spared from Lizzie Casses!"

"Then, if I had not——"

"But you have," she said, "and that ends it."

"It was months ago," murmured De Boys, "and I have changed since then. Life looks differently."

"After all," said Jane, "you were very honest to