Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/425

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A Bundle of Life.

"I believe they get very tired of it," said Felicia.

"I am sure they are not half so happy as we are."

"Are we happy?" said Lilian.

"Of course we are," replied the young girl.

"What a strange question!"

"Perhaps it is strange. I feel tired."

"And you look pale," said Felicia. "Let me fetch you my scent-bottle." She ran lightly across the lawn and up the Terrace steps without perceiving Saville, who was returning from another direction.

He came close to Lady Mallinger and looked into her face.

"You do not look well," he said.

"I am well enough."

"Did that poor little thing bore you?"

"Not at all."

"Why are you so curt?"

"Am I?"

"Have I offended you?"

"Oh, no," said Lady Mallinger. "But you know quite well what Felicia has been talking about. You have acted abominably."

"What have I done?" asked Rookes. "Is it a crime to pay a few silly compliments to a child. She is hardly more. You are surely not jealous? You know you are the only woman I really care for. A man may love various women for various reasons at all times of his life, but he can only love once, one way. Each experience is totally different, and absolutely new; only one, however, can be quite satisfactory. Now to love you is my second nature; it is part of my constitution. If you do not trust me, why did you encourage me?"