"You have made me so happy!" and then, as he stood by her, he ventured to touch a loose piece of hair which had strayed on her forehead.
For some reason the movement reminded her of Provence. In an instant she sprang to her feet. "How dare you?" she said. "I told you not to touch me. That is what people call caressing. I hate it."
"I will never do it again."
Then, to his dismay, she burst into tears. He had never seen her in tears before.
"I won't have the diamonds," she said, passionately.
"Why did you talk about them? I ought to wear sackcloth and ashes for the rest of my life."
"Dear Cynthia, I did not mean to make you angry. Forgive me."
"Will you leave me, then, for to-day? I want to think. My head aches; I am not myself." She looked at him for once—appealingly.
"You are not angry with me? You have forgiven me?"
"Yes—only go. If I seem disagreeable, I am sorry." It is not so hard as one might think to be magnanimous to a beautiful woman. Edward rode home in high spirits.
When he had gone, Cynthia went to her own room and wrote a letter to Provence:
"From your note to-day I fear you have misconstrued some remarks of mine. It would be painful to me to point out where the mistake has arisen. Should I have said painful to both of us?