Cynthia went upstairs to Molly; she was inclined to tell her about Mr. Henderson, but she found it impossible to introduce the subject naturally, so she left it to time to reveal the future as gradually as it might. Molly was tired with a bad night; and her father, in his flying visit to his darling before going out, had advised her to stay upstairs for the greater part of the morning, and to keep quiet in her own room till after her early dinner; so Time had not a fair chance of telling her what he had in store in his budget. Mrs. Gibson sent an apology to Molly for not paying her her usual morning visit, and told Cynthia to give Mr. Henderson’s probable coming as a reason for her occupation downstairs. But Cynthia did no such thing. She kissed Molly, and sate silently by her, holding her hand; till at length she jumped up, and said, “You shall be left alone now, little one. I want you to be very well and very bright this afternoon; so rest now.” And Cynthia left her, and went to her own room, locked the door, and began to think.

Some one was thinking about her at the same time, and it was not Mr. Henderson. Roger had heard from Mr. Gibson that Cynthia had come home, and he was resolving to go to her at once, and make one strong, manly attempt to overcome the obstacles whatever they might be—and of their nature he was not fully aware—that she had conjured up against the continuance of their relation to each other. He left his father—he left them all—and went off into the woods, to be alone until the time came when he might mount his horse and ride over to put his fate to the touch. He was as careful as ever not to interfere with the morning hours that were tabooed to him of old; but waiting was very hard work when he knew that she was so near, and the time so close at hand.

Yet he rode slowly, compelling himself to quietness and patience, when he was once really on the way to her.

“Mrs. Gibson at home? Miss Kirkpatrick?” he asked of the servant, Maria, who opened the door. She was confused; but he did not notice it.

“I think so—I’m not sure! Will you walk up into the drawing-room, sir? Miss Gibson is there, I know.”

So he went upstairs, all his nerves on the strain for the coming interview with Cynthia. It was either a relief or a disappointment, he was not sure which, to find only Molly in the room:—Molly, half-lying on the couch in the bow-window which commanded the garden; draped in soft white drapery, very white herself, and a laced half-handkerchief tied over her head, to save her from any ill effects of the air that blew in through the open window. He was so ready to speak to Cynthia that he hardly knew what to say to any one else.

“I’m afraid you are not so well,” he said to Molly, who sat up to receive him, and who suddenly began to tremble with emotion.

“I’m a little tired, that’s all,” said she; and then she was quite silent, hoping that he might go, and yet somehow wishing him to stay. But he took a chair and placed it near her, opposite to the window. He thought that surely Maria would tell Miss Kirkpatrick that she was wanted, and that at any moment he might hear her light quick footstep on the stairs. He felt he ought to talk, but he could not think of anything to say. The pink flush came out on Molly’s cheeks; once or twice she was on the point of speaking, but again she thought better of it; and the pauses between their faint disjointed remarks became longer and longer. Suddenly, in one of these pauses, the merry murmur of distant happy voices in the garden came nearer and nearer; Molly looked more and more uneasy and flushed, and in spite of herself kept watching Roger’s face. He could see over her into the garden. A sudden deep colour overspread him, as if his heart had sent its blood out coursing at full gallop. Cynthia and Mr. Henderson had come in sight; he, eagerly talking to her as he bent forward to look into her face; she, her looks half averted in pretty shyness, was evidently coquetting about some flowers, which she either would not give, or would not take. Just then, for the lovers had emerged from the shrubbery into comparatively public life, Maria was seen approaching; apparently she had feminine tact enough to induce Cynthia to leave her present admirer, and to go a few steps to meet her and receive the whispered message that Mr. Roger Hamley was there, and wished to speak

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