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      He smiled grimly.Barker might take me to take care of her, she said; and I dont think Thomas, for all hes tall as a lamp-post, would be much use in a row. He looks as if hed break off if he bent too suddenly. Besides, there never is any row, is there? It always looks so quiet when we drive through. And those policemenwhat are they for? No. I wont have Barker or Thomas, and Ill go aloneif you wont come with me.

      "I have only a white lace frock that has seen some service," replied his sister, meekly. "I dare say I shall look like somebody's poor relation at such a place as Glenaveril."He looked with a sceptical eye at the Anglican priest's cassock and girdle. If Father Rodwell had been a Papist it would have been altogether a more satisfactory state of things; but an Anglicana man who might preach the beauty of holy poverty and a celibate life one year and marry[Pg 271] a rich widow the year aftera man bound only by his own wishes.

      What a slender, girlish form it was which the removal of the tweed jacket revealed! The slim waist and somewhat narrow shoulders betokened a delicacy of constitution. The throat was beautiful, milk white, the throat of Diana, and the head, now the hat was off, would also have done for Diana; a small classic head, with soft, brown hair drawn smoothly away from the low, white brow and rolled into a knot at the back. The features were as delicate as the complexion, in which there was no brilliancy of colouring, only a paleness as of ivory. The eyes were dark grey, with long, brown lashes, and their present expression was between anxiety and wondering interest. Lostwithiel was not such a coxcomb as to appropriate that look of interest. He saw that it was his house and not himself which inspired the feeling.

      Meanwhile, she and M. de Genlis had fallen in love with each other, and resolved to marry. As he had neither father nor mother, there was nobody whose consent he was absolutely bound to ask; but a powerful relation, M. de Puisieux, who was the head of his family, had already, with his consent, begun to negotiate his marriage with a rich young girl. Instead of telling M. de Puisieux the state of the case while there was still time to retire without difficulty, M. de Genlis said nothing, but proposed that they should at once marry secretly, to which neither Flicit nor her relations seem to have made any objection. She had no money, and had [367] refused all the marriages proposed to her; here was a man she did like, and who was in all respects unexceptionable, only that he was not well off. But his connections were so brilliant and influential that they could soon put that right, and it was agreed that the marriage should take place from the house of the Marquise de Sercey.



      Thats all very well, said Bill, shaking his head gravely; but whos to take the responsibility? She cant belong to all of yer!