‘It is queer how she thinks of him!’ reflected Martin.

‘The blinding snow and bitter cold are nothing to her, I believe. Yet she is but a “chitty-faced creature,” as my mother would say. I could find in it my heart to wish I had a cloak to wrap her in.’

Thus meditating to himself, he neglected to answer Miss Helstone.

‘You have seen him?’


‘Oh! You promised you would.’

‘I mean to do better by you than that. Didn’t I say I don’t care to see him?’

‘But now it will be so long before I get to know anything certain about him, and I am sick of waiting. Martin, do see him, and give him Caroline Helstone’s regards, and say she wished to know how he was, and if anything could be done for his comfort.’

‘I won’t.’

‘You are changed. You were so friendly last night.’

‘Come! We must not stand in this wood—it is too cold.’

‘But, before I go, promise me to come again tomorrow with news.’

‘No such thing. I am much too delicate to make and keep such appointments in the winter season. If you knew what a pain I had in my chest this morning, and how I went without breakfast, and was knocked down besides, you’d feel the impropriety of bringing me here in the snow. Come, I say.’

‘Are you really delicate, Martin?’

‘Don’t I look so?’

‘You have rosy cheeks.’

‘That’s hectic. Will you come—or won’t you?’


‘With me. I was a fool not to bring a cloak. I would have made you cosy.’

‘You are going home! My nearest road lies in the opposite direction.’

‘Put your arm through mine. I’ll take care of you.’

‘But the wall, the hedge! It is such hard work climbing, and you are too slender and young to help me without hurting yourself.’

‘You shall go through the gate.’


‘But! but! Will you trust me or not?’

She looked into his face.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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