Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/416

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A Bundle of Life

"Yes," said the Captain, "but we are not like other people. I love you too well to ask you to marry me and so drag you down to a miserable shabby-genteel existence."

"I do not mind being poor, Saville," said Lady Mallinger, eagerly."Before my marriage, Papa only allowed me sixty pounds a year for my clothes, and every one said how well I managed. That, I know, was as a girl, and, of course, a married woman has to dress more—in a sense—but a handsome mantle goes a long way. Lady Twacorbie has worn that satin and lace thing at least four seasons: she has had the sleeves altered, and it has been re-lined with a different colour, but it is the same cloak! And I am tired of marrying for money: it is not as though I had not tried it. No one can say that I gave the least trouble when they married me to Charles—although I never did admire red hair, and he was the worst dancer in his regiment. I know he was most civil to poor Papa, but after all he was not rich as they thought him, and it would have been wiser, perhaps, if I had remained single a little longer. But you, Saville, I could be poor with you: you are so sympathetic, and you wrote me such a beautiful letter when Charles died. I am sure, too, that he would have been pleased with that lovely wreath! And—and I cannot forget the old days when we made toffee together in the schoolroom at home. Do you remember?"

Saville tried to look as though the toffee episode had for him thoughts too deep for utterance. He flung cautious glances about the scene and then hastily pressed her hand.