Delphin was quite confounded; but before he had had time to get his hat she put her head in at the door, still smiling, and cried, “You will drive over with me to-morrow?” and, without waiting for an answer, she nodded her head and disappeared.
Delphin had hardly recovered himself when he went for his ride to Sandsgaard, and he quite forgot about the flying salute over the garden wall, for there was no one to be seen either at the window or in front of the house. The fact was, his adventure had made such an impression on him that he did not take very much notice.
Fanny at first repelled his advances haughtily; but he accepted his fate with resignation. George Delphin was not the man to lose his time or his temper, in a hopeless pursuit. There are many respectable prizes in a lottery without aiming at the first. But now here was the chance of winning the great prize, the charming Fanny, the admiration of all. His heart swelled with pride, and if Jacob Worse could have seen the look with which he regarded the passers-by, it would certainly have reminded him of General Prim.
The next day at Sandsgaard, Fanny and Madeleine were together during the whole afternoon. Delphin could not manage to get an opportunity of talking to either separately. Just once he came upon Fanny in the morning-room at the piano, but she got up and went out hurriedly as he entered. As they drove home that evening scarcely a word passed between them. Fanny kept gazing the whole time over the fjord, of which they caught glimpses from time to time through the trees of the avenue. It was a still, peaceful autumn evening, and Delphin was in an excited mood. Each time he moved he felt the rustle of her silk dress, the folds of which nearly filled the carriage. Both sat quite silent to the end of the drive.
During the next few days Madeleine was again staying with her cousin, whom she found more gracious than ever. Delphin came even more frequently than before; but she did not meet him during her walks, a fact which she related to Fanny. Fanny said with a smile that Delphin was perfectly right, and his conduct was only proper, now that people had begun to talk about their frequent walks together.
Madeleine thought with regret upon how much there is to be careful of in this world; but a short time afterwards she met Mr. Delphin, and during the pleasant walk they had together he was most attentive, and in the best of spirits.
Fanny was now more beaming than ever. Whenever she saw her own and Madeleine’s reflection in the glass, which, to tell the truth, was very often the case, a smile of satisfaction would pass over her features. Without Madeleine having a suspicion, the roles had been changed, and the play was ready to begin, now that Fanny had made up her mind that the parts were in the right hands.
All the Miss Sparres, of whom there were five, rushed to the window.