Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/332

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XII.

IN WHICH A LADY SPEAKS HER MIND.

When Warbeck dropped his cousin's hand, he gave a half-sigh. He never shook hands with either men or women when he could possibly avoid it: he regarded the act as a sign of friendship or affection

not one to

be heedlessly given. This idiosyncrasy had made him many enemies, but enemies so created are not to be greatly feared. Jane's hand was one of her charms; it was white, delicate in shape, and, what was more, firm, and, what was more than all, very womanly. It seemed made to bestow blessings. Warbeck was extremely sensitive to moral atmosphere: some people made him choke, others gave him new life. He was, therefore, quick to appreciate the young girl's grace and purity, and to appreciate her was to remember his vow. So he half-sighed.

Jane was already what she had promised to be when De Boys left Brentmore

a girl of singular beauty. She had all the brilliance without the self-consciousness of Sophia Jenyns,and for that reason she was, perhaps, less striking at first sight. Sophia never permitted herself to escape attention. Jane did not care whether she was noticed or ignored; she knew that she was far from plain (for the pretty girl who is ignorant of her own comeliness does not exist), but

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