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“She is as honest as any woman in England, and as pure

time:2023-12-01 16:51:46 source:Harvest and abandonment author:law read:724次

He seemed hurt, and walked away in silence to the foot of the stairs, where he paused.

“She is as honest as any woman in England, and as pure

"You do not understand," said he. "I am not a swindler, and I guard myself; that is all. It may weary you or not, Mr. Cassilis, I do not care a rush; I speak for my own satisfaction, and not for your amusement. You had better go upstairs and court the girl; for my part, I stay here."

“She is as honest as any woman in England, and as pure

"And I stay with you," I returned. "Do you think I would steal a march, even with your permission?"

“She is as honest as any woman in England, and as pure

"Frank," he said, smiling, "it's a pity you are an ass, for you have the makings of a man. I think I must be FEY to-day; you cannot irritate me even when you try. Do you know," he continued softly, "I think we are the two most miserable men in England, you and I? we have got on to thirty without wife or child, or so much as a shop to look after - poor, pitiful, lost devils, both! And now we clash about a girl! As if there were not several millions in the United Kingdom! Ah, Frank, Frank, the one who loses this throw, be it you or me, he has my pity! It were better for him - how does the Bible say? - that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the depth of the sea. Let us take a drink," he concluded suddenly, but without any levity of tone.

I was touched by his words, and consented. He sat down on the table in the dining-room, and held up the glass of sherry to his eye.

"If you beat me, Frank," he said, "I shall take to drink. What will you do, if it goes the other way?"

"Well," said he, "here is a toast in the meantime: 'ITALIA IRREDENTA!'"

The remainder of the day was passed in the same dreadful tedium and suspense. I laid the table for dinner, while Northmour and Clara prepared the meal together in the kitchen. I could hear their talk as I went to and fro, and was surprised to find it ran all the time upon myself. Northmour again bracketed us together, and rallied Clara on a choice of husbands; but he continued to speak of me with some feeling, and uttered nothing to my prejudice unless he included himself in the condemnation. This awakened a sense of gratitude in my heart, which combined with the immediateness of our peril to fill my eyes with tears. After all, I thought - and perhaps the thought was laughably vain - we were here three very noble human beings to perish in defence of a thieving banker.


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