Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/71

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Some Emotions and a Moral.

"Oh, Cynthia," he said, "you know it has not been dull."

"Then why are you going?" she said.

"Because I dare not stay."

She hesitated, looked down, and blushed. She was about to take a bold step. She really did not want him to go. She moved nearer to him, so near that a lock of her hair, loosened by the wind, blew across his face.

"What shall I do when you have gone ?" she said.

He could scarcely trust himself to speak. "You would not care?"

"How could I help—caring?"

"It was so nice of him," she said to herself when she was going to sleep that night," not to try and kiss me. Men don't understand, as a rule, that a woman likes to get used to them by degrees. It is rather amusing to be engaged, for a change. He makes love very prettily, and yet is always a man."

It was Cynthia's wish that the engagement should be kept secret. "It is so uncomfortable to have the outside world in one's confidence," she said. He urged in vain that her father at least was not the outside world." The only thing that can possibly concern papa," she answered, "are your prospects. When you have settled everything with Dobbs, it will be time to speak to him." She did not add that unless everything was settled with Dobbs, and in her way, the necessity for interviewing her father on the subject of a formal betrothal would never arise—such candour was far removed from her method of gaining a point. At first he told her decidedly that nothing on earth would