“Charmingly,” he said, laughing in spite of himself, for he felt in no laughing mood, “and now I tell you what it is, Belle, I am not going to stop here all the morning, and lunch, and that sort of thing. It does not look well, to say the least of it. The probability is that half the old women in Boisingham have got their eyes fixed on the hall door to see how long I stay. I shall go down to the office and come back at half-past two.”
“A very nice excuse to get rid of me,” she said, “but I daresay you are right, and I want to see about the garden. There, good-bye, and mind you are not late, for I want to have a nice drive round to the Castle. Not that there is much need to warn you to be in time when you are going to see Miss de la Molle, is there? Good-bye, good-bye.”
Theshadow of ruin
Mr. Quest walked to his vestry meeting with a smile upon his thin, gentlemanly-looking face, and rage and bitterness in his heart.
“I caught her that time,” he said to himself; “she can do a good deal in the way of deceit, but she can’t keep the blood out of her cheeks when she hears that fellow’s name. But she is a clever woman, Belle is —how well she managed that little business of the luncheon, and how well she fought her case when once she got me in a cleft stick about Edith and that money of hers, and made good terms too. Ah! that’s the worst of it, she has the whip hand of me there; if I could ruin her she could ruin me, and it’s no use cutting off one’s nose to spite your face. Well! my fine lady,” he went on with an ominous flash of his grey eyes, “I shall be even with you yet. Give you enough rope and you will hang yourself. You love this fellow, I know that, and it will go hard if I can’t make him break your heart for you. Bah! you don’t know the sort of stuff men are made of. If only I did not happen to be in love with you myself I should not care. If——Ah! here I am at the church.”
The human animal is a very complicated machine, and can conduct the working of an extraordinary number of different interests and sets of ideas, almost, if not entirely, simultaneously. For instance, Mr. Quest—seated at the right hand of the rector in the vestry room of the beautiful old Boisingham Church, and engaged in an animated and even warm discussion with the senior curate on the details of fourteenth century Church work, in which he clearly took a lively