Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/268

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252
A Study in 'Temptations.
 

Unobserved, he had been watching her for some indefinite space of time.

"Pardon me," he said, lifting his hat, "but I fear you do not see that the bough is broken."

"No," she said, with a baffling smile, "I only saw the honeysuckle!"

He looked at her, knit his brows, bit his lips, and then laughed. "So you only saw the honeysuckle," he said; "your point of view is magnificent!" He had not intended to speak so familiarly, but she reminded him so strangely, yet with so little reason, of a certain Jane Shannon he knew of, that he felt they were already well acquainted. The lady, however, unaware of her resemblance to Jane Shannon, gave him a severe look.

"I never thought I could meet any one," she said; "I did not know that there was any one in Whetstone to meet. Besides, this is not the high-road." There was a note of haughtiness in her tone, and her large black eyes wandered, apparently by chance, to a large notice which faced them both—"Trespassers will be Prosecuted."

"I am a stranger here," said the youth, flushing; "they told me at the station that I could get to The Cloisters by crossing these fields. I saw you were in danger, so I spoke."

He took off his hat and turned ever so slightly to go on. When a man is at most pains to conceal his admiration for a woman, he can be most sure that she appreciates his struggle to her finger-tips. The lady instinctively pushed back her hat, and gave him a longer, perhaps a kinder, glance; he remained.

She had a face of such spiritual liveliness that its