"I think the situation most lovely."
"Not to-night, Tabbie," she said; and Tabitha saw in this refusal only the coquetry of a lovely woman, who wanted to show the great ladies and squire's wives how poor and common diamonds are by the side of youth and beauty.
"Captain Hulbert is sure to be off again before long," she told herself, "so every evening they can spend together is of importance. I'm sure he is inclined to fall in love with her already.""There was no seeming in it, Isola. I was knocked over at once, like a pigeon out of a trap. I had been in love with you three weeks—three centuries it seemed—before I could screw up my courage so far as to think of proposing for you. And then if Hazelrigg hadn't helped me with your father, I don't suppose I should ever have broken the ice. But when he—the colonel—showed himself so frank and willing—and the way was all made smooth for me from a domestic point of view—and when I saw that kind little look in your eyes, and the shy little smile—yes, you are smiling so now—I took heart of grace, and stormed the citadel. Do you remember the evening I asked you to be my wife, Isola; that starlit night when I had been dining with your people, and you and Gwendolen, and Hazelrigg and I went out upon the terrace to look at the stars, and the river, and the twinkling lights of the boats down by the quay, and the diligence driving over the bridge, deep, deep down in the valley below us? Do you remember how I lured you away from the other two, and how we stood under the vine-leaves in the berceau, and I found the words somehow—feeblest, stupidest words, I'm afraid—to make you know that all the happiness of my life to come depended upon winning you for my wife?"
God help the crusader's wife of those rough days if she had turned from the path of virtue during his exile. There would be a short shrift and a bloody shroud for such a sinner!
He would not leave until they had all promised to take tea on board the yacht on the following afternoon, an engagement which was kept by Allegra and the colonel; but not by Isola, whose headache was worse after the little dinner-party; nor by the curate, who had parish business to detain him on shore. 11选5种神奇的35组合:"You have such an excellent nurse, Mrs. Disney, that I consider my position almost a sinecure," he said, smiling at the faithful Tabitha, who stood waiting for his instructions, and who never forgot the minutest detail.
[Pg 300]CHAPTER XV.
"This quiet life suited her wonderfully well for the first month or so, but we are no longer making any headway. You had better try a gayer place—a little more life and movement."
Colonel Disney took the thing on his plate, and sat frowning at it, while a bustle at the door and a marked rise in the temperature indicated the entrance of the pièce de resistance, in the shape of a well-kept saddle of mutton.。
"Yes, she is good, no doubt."。
Many days and nights of delirium followed the physician's visit, a period in which the patient was watched at every hour of the day and night; and one of the most constant watchers through all that dreary time was Martin Disney. It was in vain that Allegra and the nurses urged him to consider his own health. He would consent only to leave the sick-room for briefest intervals of rest. Day after day, night after night, he sat in the same chair—an old-fashioned armchair, with projecting sides, which almost hid him from the patient—beside the bed. He was never in the way of the[Pg 130] nurse. He was always helpful when a man's help was needed. He was so quiet that it was impossible to object to his presence. He sat there like a statue of patience. No moan escaped his pallid lips; no tear stole down his haggard cheek. He sat and watched and waited for the issue, which was to make him happy, or desolate for ever.。
"Dull! dull in this land of beauty!" cried Allegra. "I have never known a dull hour since I came here; though, of course," with a shy glance at her lover, "I have naturally thought sometimes of absent friends, and wished they were with me to revel in the loveliness of these woods and hills."。
"What an ungallant speech!" she answered, smiling at him with unexpected gaiety. "I have been fretting at your long, long absence, and you reproach me for my deteriorated appearance. Never mind, Martin, you will see how rosy and bright I shall get now our parting has come to an end."。