He shook his head sadly and reproachfully.' I thought you had been thinking about it these three weeks. Do you want to turn it over in your mind for five years? You have given me more than time enough. My poor girl,' he added, in a moment,' you are not sincere.'
Catherine colored from brow to chin, and her eyes filled with tears.' Oh, how can you say that?' she murmured.
'Why, you must take me or leave me,' said Morris, very reasonably.' You can't please your father and me both; you must choose between us.'
'I have chosen you,' she said, passionately.
'Then marry me next week!'
She stood gazing at him.' Isn't there any other way?'
'None that I know of for arriving at the same result. If there is, I should be happy to hear of it.'
Catherine could think of nothing of the kind, and Morris's luminosity seemed almost pitiless. The only thing she could think of was that her father might, after all, come round; and she articulated, with an awkward sense of her helplessness in doing so, a wish that this miracle might happen.
'Do you think it is in the least degree likely?' Morris asked.' It would be, if he could only know you.'
'He can know me if he will. What is to prevent it?'
'His ideas, his reasons,' said Catherine.' They are so - so terribly strong.' She trembled with the recollection of them yet.
'Strong!' cried Morris.' I would rather you should think them weak.'
'Oh, nothing about my father is weak,' said the girl.
Morris turned away, walking to the window, where he stood looking out.' You are terribly afraid of him,' he remarked at last.
She felt no impulse to deny it, because she had no shame in it; for, ifit was no honor to herself, at least it was an honor to him.' I suppose I must be,' she said, simply.
'Then you don't love me - not as I love you. If you fear your father more than you love me, then your love is not what I hoped it was.'
'Ah, my friend!' she said, going to him.
'Do I fear anything?' he demanded, turning round on her.' For your sake what am I not ready to face?'
'You are noble - you are brave!' she answered, stopping short at a distance that was almost respectful.
'Small good it does me, if you are so timid.'
'I don't think I am - really,' said Catherine.
'I don't know what you mean by' really.' It is really enough to make us miserable.'
'I should be strong enough to wait - to wait a long time.'
'And suppose after a long time your father should hate me worse than ever?'
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