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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 171 pages of information about Vain Fortune.
course, in one of the suburbs.  The great expense will be the furnishing; we are going to do it on the hire system.  I daresay one can get very nice things in that way, but I do want to make the place look a little like Ashwood; that is why I’m asking you for these things.  I was always fond of playing in these old lumber-rooms, and these dim old pictures, which I don’t think any one knows anything of except myself, will remind me of Ashwood.  They will look very well, indeed, hanging round our little dining-room.  You are sure you don’t want them, do you?’

’No; I won’t want them.  I’m only too pleased to be able to give them to you.’

’You are very good, indeed you are.  Look at these old haymakers; I never saw but one little corner of this picture before; it was stowed away behind a lot of lumber, and I hadn’t the strength to pull it out....  I’m afraid you’ve got yourself rather dusty.’

‘Oh no; it will brush off.’

’I shall hang this picture over the fireplace; it will look very well there.  I daresay you don’t see anything in it, but I’d sooner have these pictures than those down-stairs.  I love the picture of the windmill on the first landing——­’

‘Then why not have it?  I’ll have it taken down at once.’

’No; I could not think of taking it.  How would the landing look without it?  I should miss it dreadfully when I came here—­for I daresay you will ask us to visit you occasionally, when you are lonely, won’t you?’

‘My dear Emily, whenever you like, I hope you will come here.’

’And you will come and stay with us in London?  Your room will be always ready; I’ll look after that.  We shall feel very offended, indeed, if you ever think of going to an hotel.  Of course, you mustn’t expect much; we shall only be able to keep one servant, but we shall try to make you comfortable, and, when you come, you’ll take me to the theatres, to see one of your own plays.’

’If my play’s being played, certainly.  But would it be right for me to pay you visits in London?’

’They would be very wicked people indeed who saw anything wrong in it; you are my cousin.  But why do you say such things?  You destroy all my pleasure, and I was so happy just now.’

‘I’m afraid, Emily, your happiness hangs on a very slender thread.’

She looked at him inquiringly, but feeling that it would be unwise to attempt an explanation, he said in a different tone—­

‘But, Emily, if you love Ashwood so well, why do you go away?’

’Why do I go away?  We have been here now some time....  I can’t live here always.’

‘Why not?  Why not let things go on just as they are?’

‘And live here with you, I and Julia?’

‘Yes; why not?’

‘We should bore you; you want to write your plays, you’d get tired of me.’

’Your being here would not prevent my writing my plays.  I have been thinking all the while of asking you to remain, but was afraid you would not care to live here.’

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