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      "Serve un right," said Ticehurst.

      In a few minutes after this was effected, Richard's quick eye was suddenly attracted by an appearance on the beach."What! Margaret Holgrave?never"said Calverley, with such a look and tone, that the yeoman started, and felt convinced, that what he had heard whispered about the esquire's liking for Margaret was true: "but, however," added Calverley, in a moment recovering his self-possession, "do not despair, Byles. My lord tells me I shall replace old Luke as steward in a few months, and if I do, there is not a vassal I should be more inclined to favour than you; for I see, Byles, there is little chance of your doing good unless you have a friend; for you are known to the baron as an idle fellow, and not over-scrupulous of telling a falsehood. Nay, my man, don't start, I tell you the truth."

      She had said too much, and knew it the moment she had said it. But the mists had congealed, and she felt obliged, as she would have expressed it, say, to Mrs Fyson, to speak her mind. She did not really speak her mind; she spoke what some perfectly groundless jealousy dictated to her.

      Then his mouth stole downwards and groped for hers. Their lips fluttered together like moths. Then suddenly she put her arms round his neck, and strained his head to her, and kissed him and kissed him, with queer little sobs in her throat....

      "Nonsense," said Reuben, resenting her manner."Going!both of you!" he cried.


      "It is I, Phil Wingfield," replied one of the castle servitors: "my lady was took suddenly ill, and is delivered; and I am going to Winchcombe for a priest to baptize the child."



      Mr Silverdale got up off the hearthrug where he had been sitting nursing his knees with miraculous celerity. She behind her hidden eyes heard{208} him and knew, she felt she knew, that in another moment would come the touch of his hands on hers as he took them, and bade her look at him. Perhaps he would say, Look at me, my darling; perhaps his delicious joking ways would even at this sublimest of moments still assert themselves and he would say Peep-o! But whatever he did would be delicious, would be perfect. But no touch came on her hands, and there was a long, an awful moment of dead silence, while behind poor Alices hands the dazzle died out of her vision. Before it was broken, she perceived that beyond a shadow of doubt he did not mean her, and both were tongue-tied, he in the shame of having provoked a passion he had no use for, she in the shame of having revealed the passion he had not invited. She had come to the wrong house: she was an unbidden guest who must be directed outside the front-door again.