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      Esmeralda! Esmeralda! Such a beautiful girl! You never saw such hair, Trafford. Bronze, with dashes of gold in it, and all in a wave on her forehead. And when she smiles, its like sunlight! And she saved my life, Trafford! The cowardly brute fired from behind a bush, and would have hit me, as sure as fate! She flung herself in front of me. I swear to you its true, Trafford! And the bullet went through her hat! You laugh! I tell you theres a hole in her hat still; and it might have hit her! He shuddered, and clinched his hands furiously, Ill ask her for that hat[30] some dayIll ask her for that hat some day if I can pluck up courage. But all the cheek oozes out of me when Im near her; and when she turns those eyes of hers upon me, I havent got a word to say for myself. Saved my life! Bullet through her hat! Such hair! Such beautiful eyesThe men stood round, and lifted their glasses, and shouted: pair


      Was she, as she had desired to be, alone?


      Bergan shook his head, with a faint smile. "Very badly, I should say,if anything can be said to go badly, which is so entirely in the hands of Providence. I confess that I can make nothing of it."

      So carelessly does the world construe the deeper soul-conflicts that come under its observation!"Mayne. Both Mrs. Mayne and I are delighted to be of use to you. Order the station brougham, Dalton, immediately," to the man who answered his bell. "The carriage can hardly be ready in less than twenty minutes, so pray try to do justice to Mrs. Mayne's tea."


      The colonel got through a little duty talk with Mrs. Trequite, whose attention was frequently distracted by the necessity of explaining Mrs. Crowther's polite murmurs to the vicar on the other side of the table; and this duty done he gave himself up to watching Isola and her host. Why did she blush so when the man talked to her? Was it the bold admiration of those fishy eyes which annoyed her, or the man's manner altogether; or was it anything that he[Pg 122] said? Disney strained his ears to hear their conversation, if that could be called conversation which was for the most part monologue.

      Doctor Remy looked down upon the blind woman with a grave,almost a frowning, facewhich she could not see.

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      "Oh, come now, Colonel Disney," she pleaded, "you must take one of my lobster cromskys. I don't mind owning that I made them myself. It is an entre I learnt from the cook at my own home. My father was always particular about his table, and we had a professed cook. Please don't refuse a cromsky.""What do you mean?" asked Mr. Bergan, looking both surprised and puzzled.

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      "I shall be very anxious to know that you have escaped cold," he said, at the last moment. "I hope you won't think me a nuisance if I call to-morrow to inquire."

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      It was one of the hottest days there had been since they came to Rome. To cross the Piazza in front of St. Peter's was like plunging into a bath of molten gold; while to enter the great Basilica itself was like going into an ice-house. Father Rodwell was not with them upon this particular morning. They were a party of four, and a roomy landau had been engaged to take them to the Church of St. Paul beyond the walls, and thence to the tomb of Cecilia Metella. Isola and Allegra had made pilgrimages to the spot before to-day. It was a drive they both loved, a glimpse of the pastoral life outside the gates of the city, and a place for ever associated with the poet whose verse was written in their hearts.


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    • "I consider it positively insulting to me as a sister," exclaimed Allegra, bending down to kiss the too-transparent handsuch a hand as she had seen in many a picture of dying saint in the Roman galleries. "You are most unaffectionately rejoiced to get rid of me. I have evidently been a tyrannical nurse, and a dull companion, and you breathe more freely at the prospect of release."cordon
    • disorder
    • There was a little start of surprise and of pleasure; then Carice dropped her flowers on the nearest table, and gave Bergan two cordial hands. Not only was there a charming grace in the unstudied action, but also the pleasant heart-warmth, the frank recognition of kinship and its appropriate sympathies, which Bergan had so unaccountably missed from his uncle's manner, even while trying to persuade himself, either that it was there, or that its absence was no matter of surprise."capable
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    • She followed him and leaned her elbow on his shoulder.cke
    • CHAPTER I.caustic
    • She was struggling up to her feet, when Mrs. Lyte hurriedly entered, holding an open letter in her hand, and looking both frightened and bewildered. Perhaps nothing could have been better for either mother or daughter, at that moment, than to see the other's troubled face. In both countenances, there was a quick change of expression,something of sorrow and anxiety gone, something of loving sympathy in its place,as each uttered the eager inquiry;boundaries;
    • "My poor girl, I was wrongwrongwronga sinner against your truth and purity," he murmured low in her ear; and then he added laughingly, to Gwendolen, "Were we not fools to dispute about such a trifle?"outlook
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