Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/251

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A Study in Temptations.

own it. But as for Lizzie Cass, I always said she was a bold minx. She ought to be ashamed of herself!"

"Undoubtedly I was to blame. I ought not to have done it. I should have had more self-respect."

"Oh, well," said Jane, "it is a girl's part to behave herself. But whenever there is kissing, either at the hay-making or at any other time, I have noticed that it is always some girl who starts it."

"That," said De Boys, " may be true. But you are not like other girls."

"De Boys," she said, faintly; "please don't think I am better than I am. I deceived you just now; I did not mean——"

His face grew hard, his voice cold, his eye was dismayed. " Do you mean," he said, " that you have told me a lie? What was it about?"

"Oh, forgive me," she said, half crying; "I cannot think what made me say it. But it was not the truth—I do not always skip the love-making in novels."

He stalked on with darkened brows.

"You lied to me," he said; "it is the principle I am thinking of. I never thought you could lie—even for a good purpose."

"Jane put her lips together. "It was a little one," she murmured.

"Ah, but now I know you are at least capable of deceiving me, how can I ever trust you so absolutely again?" His voice had a mournful cadence.

"I don't know," she said; " but—look at me."

To look at her were fatal, and he knew it. He stared undaunted and with resolution right in front of him.