A Young Girl's Wooing eBook

Edward Payson Roe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 431 pages of information about A Young Girl's Wooing.

“I don’t understand her yet,” he admitted; and he again assured himself that it was not necessary that he should.  She had not merely drifted away from him, but had deliberately chosen that others should guide and help in the new development.  The thing for him to do now was to secure the girl of his heart, who was not shrouded in mystery.  It was evident that Mr. Arnault had been an urgent suitor, and that she was not already engaged to him proved, as he believed, that she had been under the influence of a restraint readily explained by her more than manner toward himself.  “She will have to choose between us soon,” he thought.  “She understands us both, and her heart will soon give its final verdict, if it has not already done so.”

Miss Wildmere’s heart would have slight voice in the verdict.  Indeed, it never had been permitted to say very much, and was approaching the condition of a mute.  She had her preference, however, and still hoped to be able to follow it.  She smiled upon Graydon almost as sweetly as ever during the next two days, but he felt that she had grown more elusive.  She lured him on unmistakably, but permitted no near approach.  With consummate art, she increased the spell of her fascinations, and added to the glamour which dazzled him.  He might look his admiration, and, more, he might compliment indefinitely; but when he spoke too plainly, or sought stronger indications of her regard, she was on the wing instantly, and he was too fine in his perceptions to push matters against her will.  One thing appeared hopeful to him—­she seemed possessed by a carefully veiled jealousy of Madge.  In his downright earnestness, he determined to give her no cause for this, and treated Madge much as he did Mrs. Muir, allowing for difference in age and relation.  He determined that Miss Wildmere should discover no ambiguity in his course or intentions.  If thoughts of him had kept her waiting through years, he would justify those thoughts by all the means in his power.  Casting about with a lover’s ingenuity for an explanation of her tantalizing allurement, yet elusiveness, it occurred to him that she was unwilling to yield readily and easily, from very fear that he might surmise the cause of her freedom—­that she had given him her love before it had been asked.  Therefore, it was not impossible that she now proposed for him a somewhat thorny probation as an open suitor.  She would not appear to be easily won, and perhaps she thought that, since this was to be the last wooing she could enjoy, she would make the most of it.  He also resolved to make the most of this phase of life, and to enjoy to the utmost all of her shy witchery, her airy, hovering nearness to the thought uppermost in his mind, as if she were both fascinated by it and afraid.  He little dreamed that her feminine grace and finesse were but the practical carrying out of her father’s suggestion, to “keep him well in hand.”

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A Young Girl's Wooing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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