Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/420

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III.

Felicia Gorm was a young girl about seventeen, with large blue eyes, small regular features, and rosy cheeks; to-day she was even rosier than usual.

"Mama would be so grateful if you would talk to Mr. Van Huyster," she said to Saville; "he is asking so many questions about England, and no one can answer him."

When Rookes had left them, Felicia tried to look disinterested. "Have you ever noticed," she said, "how easily he blushes.... It does not mean anything—although Mama says that men only blush nowadays to be mistaken for Christians! I am sure that is not the case with Captain Rookes.... Do you like him?"

"We are half-cousins!"

The young girl sat down by her side. "Dear Lady Mallinger," she said, "I am dreadfully unhappy. But I am so fond of you; I am sure you will help me."

"Indeed, I will. What is troubling you?"

"Where shall I begin? Mama sent for me this morning. I felt it was to be a serious conversation because she wore her coronet brooch. She told me that if Mr. Wiche asked me to marry him, I was to say yes. Think of it! It seems they have arranged it all between them; they think he is growing too democratic, and now he has refused a Baronetcy he has

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