Dawn eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 560 pages of information about Dawn.

“You are strangely scrupulous for a woman in your position.”

“I have always tried to behave like an honourable woman, Lady Bellamy, and I do not feel inclined to do otherwise now.”

“Perhaps you will think differently when it comes to the point.  But in the meanwhile remember, that people who will not help themselves, cannot expect to be helped.”

“Once and for all, Lady Bellamy, understand me.  I fight for my own hand with the weapons which Nature and fortune have given me, and by myself I will stand or fall.  I will join in no schemes to separate Arthur from this woman.  If I cannot win him for myself by myself, I will at any rate lose him fairly.  I will respect what you have told me, but I will do no more.”

Lady Bellamy smiled as she answered—­

“I really admire your courage.  It is quite quixotic.  Hush, here come the gentlemen.”

CHAPTER XLV

A few days after the dinner at the Quinta Carr, the Bellamys’ visit to Madeira drew to a close.  On the evening before their departure, Arthur volunteered to take Lady Bellamy down to the parade to hear the band play.  After they had walked about a while under the shade of the magnolia-trees, which were starred all over with creamy cups of bloom, and sufficiently inspected the gay throng of Portuguese inhabitants and English visitors, made gayer still by the amazingly gorgeous uniforms of the officials, Arthur spied two chairs in a comparatively quiet corner, and suggested that they should sit down.

“Lady Bellamy,” he said, after hesitating a while, “you are a woman of the world, and I believe a friend of my own.  I want to ask your advice about something.”

“It is entirely at your service, Mr. Heigham.”

“Well, really it is very awkward——­”

“Shall I turn my head so as not to see your blushes?”

“Don’t laugh at me, Lady Bellamy.  Of course you will say nothing of this.”

“If you doubt my discretion, Mr. Heigham, do not choose me as a confidante.  You are going, unless I am mistaken, to speak to me about Mrs. Carr.”

“Yes, it is about her.  But how did you know that?  You always seem to be able to read one’s thoughts before one speaks.  Do you know, sometimes I think that she has taken a fancy to me, do you see, and I wanted to ask you what you thought about it.”

“Well, supposing that she had, most young men, Mr. Heigham, would not talk of such a thing in a tone befitting a great catastrophe.  But, if I am not entering too deeply into particulars, what makes you think so?”

“Well, really, I don’t exactly know.  She sometimes gives me a general idea.”

“Oh, then, there has been nothing tangible.”

“Well, yes, once she took my hand, or I took hers, I don’t know which; but I don’t think much of that, because it’s the sort of thing that’s always happening, don’t you know, and nine times out of ten means nothing at all.  But why I ask you about it is that, if there is anything of the sort, I had better cut and run out of this, because it would not be fair to stop, either to her, or to Angela, or myself.  It would be dangerous, you see, playing with such a woman as Mildred.”

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Dawn from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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