Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/435

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A Bundle of Life.

"That was a year ago!"

"In March," he said, "it was a perfect night."

" Oh, no! it rained."

"A perfect night," he repeated, moving nearer, "and you never guessed how much I loved you: how much you were to me; how much I loved you! How beautiful, how very beautiful——" He kissed her.

Lady Mallinger started away in a sudden panic. "I did not mean to say so much," she said. " I did not mean—but hark!" She put her finger to her lips and flew across the room into a large chair with wide arms. These concealed her from Teresa Warcop who now entered. She was evidently much agitated in spite of her quiet manner. "I am so glad to find you alone," she said to Wiche, "because I must speak to you. But first let me say, in justice to myself, that I am not a mischief-maker. If I ever seem meddlesome it is only because I am so interested in my friends that I cannot remain silent when speech would be of service to them."

"You have too much heart," said Wiche.

"I cannot bear to see a man deceived, trifled with, made a jest for chattering vixens!" said Teresa, passionately.

"The worst of it is that he rarely shows gratitude if one endeavours to enlighten him."

"A thankless task, I know," said Teresa; "but if we only do our duty for the sake of being thanked, we are miserable creatures....O Sidney! never trust a woman! At least, never trust blue eyes! Oh! when I think of it, I lose all patience, almost all charity. That such a man should be duped by such a woman!