Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/354

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338
A Study in Temptations.


had given me one or two good shakes. I am so wicked ! He has brought me up very badly — every- body says it!"

"Don't cry," said Mauden.

"I can't help it. . . . And I feel so ill. I haven't had any breakfast. I am not fit to be alone. My father was just the same : he killed himself; he never would think things over, and I am just like him; Wrath has always said so."

Mauden did not feel in a mood to gainsay Wrath's opinion. In fact, his reverence and admiration for Wrath's saintliness and long-suffering were increasing every moment.

"Suppose," he said, "we both go back to him and make a clean breast of it?"

"Oh, no!" said Sophia, "you mustn't come. I would not have Margaret know a word about it for the world."

"I must see you safely within the gates, at all events," said Mauden, with firmness. She had already turned and was walking at a rapid pace. Her fatigue was no longer apparent.

"You are not to come with me," she said, with her eyes fixed in the direction of The Cloisters.

"Pardon me," said De Boys, "but I must."

"I insist," said Miss Jenyns,"on returning alone. I will not be made ridiculous!"

He halted, took off his hat, and waited until she had advanced some yards in front of him. At this discreet distance, he followed.

"I will write to you," she called over her shoulder; "but I have made a great mistake. I shall be extremely ill after this"