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ought to know?" He spoke with ineffable tenderness.

He was bending over her, holding her, her heart beat against his heart; she would have answered had she been able. But when her words came they were no answer to his.

"Darling, how strange you are! There is certainly nothing you ought to know. Let me go and get my things off. How strange that you should doubt me, that you should rather believe that dreadful woman. I have never seen her since you were down here last, nor heard from her. …"

Her cheeks flamed and were hidden against his coat, she hated her own disingenuousness. It had been difficult to tell him, now it was impossible. "Let me go."

He released her and she went over to the looking-glass, adjusted her veil. She had burnt her boats, now there was nothing for it but denial and more denial. Thoughts went in and out of her aching head like forked lightning. He would never know. Peter would arrange, Peter would manage. It was a dreadful thing she had done, dreadful. But she had been driven to it. If the time would come over again … but time never does come over again. She must play her part and play it boldly. She was trembling inside, but outwardly he saw her preening herself before the glass as she talked to him.