A Young Girl's Wooing eBook

Edward Payson Roe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 342 pages of information about A Young Girl's Wooing.
and the natural inference that her hand was still free because of his hold upon her heart.  This belief filled him with gratitude, and inspired him, as she intended it should, with generous thoughts and impulses toward her.  What if she did prefer to maintain a little longer the delicate half reserve that precedes a positive engagement?  It only insured that the cup of happiness should be sipped and enjoyed more leisurely.  She had seen too much of life, and enjoyed too many of its pleasures, to act with precipitation now.  She understood him, and yet loved him well enough to be jealous of one whom she believed that he regarded as a sister.  With amusement he thought:  “She is not even that to me now.  Hanged if I know what she is to me beyond a pretty, vexatious puzzle!”

Miss Wildmere’s strategy had accomplished one thing, however.  Believing that he was absolved by Madge’s course from everything beyond cordial politeness, he had resolved to carry out her rival’s wishes.  It was no great cross to forego Madge’s society, and if Miss Wildmere saw that he was not consoling himself during the hours she spent with Arnault, she would shorten them in his behalf.

After reaching a certain point he suggested:  “Instead of scaling that rocky height after the rest of the party, suppose we follow this grassy wood-road to parts unknown.  It will be easier for you than climbing, and you are better society than a crowd.”

She assented smilingly, and Madge did not see Graydon again until they met at dinner.

She was pale, and looked weary.  “Oh,” she thought, “perhaps my hopes are already vain!  They have been alone all the morning.  He may have spoken; he looks so happy and content that he must have spoken and received the answer he craved.  If so, I shall soon join the Waylands in my native village, for I can’t keep up much longer without a little hope.”

“You are tired, Madge,” he said, not unkindly.

“A little,” she replied, carelessly.  “A short nap this afternoon will insure my being ready for the hop to-night.”

CHAPTER XV

PERPLEXED AND BEGUILED

Madge was so discouraged that she contented herself with a manner of listless apathy during dinner, and then retired to her room.  Graydon was giving her so little thought that there was slight occasion for disguise, and less incentive for effort to interest him.

“The struggle promises to be short and decisive,” she moaned.  “Perhaps it has been already decided.  I had no chance after all.  He came here fully committed in his own thoughts to Miss Wildmere.  I have merely lost my old place in his affection, and have had and shall have no opportunity to win his love.  If this is to be my fate it is well to discover it so speedily, and not after weeks of torturing hope and fear.  I’ll learn the truth with absolute certainty as soon as possible, and then find a pretext to join the Waylands.”

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