You said I might come, said Molly, and that you would tell me all.
You know all, I think, said Cynthia heavily. Perhaps you dont know what excuses I have, but at any rate you know what a scrape I am in.
Ive been thinking a great deal, said Molly, timidly and doubtfully. And I cant help fancying if you told papa
Before she could go on, Cynthia had stood up.
No! said she. That I wont. Unless Im to leave here at once. And you know I have not another place to go towithout warning, I mean. I daresay my uncle would take me in; hes a relation, and would be bound to stand by me, in whatever disgrace I might be; or perhaps I might get a governesss situationa pretty governess I should be!
Pray, please, Cynthia, dont go off into such wild talking. I dont believe youve done so very wrong. You say you have not, and I believe you. That horrid man has managed to get you involved in some way; but I am sure papa could set it to rights, if you would only make a friend of him, and tell him all
No, Molly, said Cynthia, I cant, and theres an end of it. You may if you like; only, let me leave the house first; give me that much time.
You know I would never tell anything you wished me not to tell, Cynthia, said Molly, deeply hurt.
Would you not, darling? said Cynthia, taking her hand. Will you promise me that? quite a sacred promise?for it would be such a comfort to me to tell you all, now you know so much.
Yes! Ill promise not to tell. You should not have doubted me, said Molly, still a little sorrowfully.
Very well. I trust to you. I know I may.
But do think of telling papa, and getting him to help you, persevered Molly.
Never, said Cynthia resolutely, but more quietly than before. Do you think I forget what he said at the time of that wretched Mr. Coxe; how severe he was, and how long I was in disgrace, if indeed Im out of it now? I am one of those people, as mamma says sometimesI cannot live with persons who dont think well of me. It may be a weakness, or a sin,Im sure I dont know, and I dont care; but I really cannot be happy in the same house with any one who knows my faults, and thinks they are greater than my merits. Now, you know your father would do that. I have often told you that he (and you too, Molly,) have a higher standard than I had ever known. Oh, I couldnt bear it; if he were to know, he would be so angry with mehe would never get over it, and I have so liked him! I do so like him!
Well, never mind, dear; he shall not know, said Molly, for Cynthia was again becoming hystericalat least, well say no more about it now.
And youll never say any moreneverpromise me! said Cynthia, taking her hand eagerly.
Never, till you give me leave! Now do let me see if I cannot help you. Lie down on the bed, and Ill sit by you, and let us talk it over.
But Cynthia sat down again in the chair by the dressing-table.
When did it all begin? said Molly, after a long pause of silence.
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