She rose up. Dr. Oleander grasped her hand in an outburst of enthusiastic gratitude.
“Blanche, you’re a brick—a trump—a jewel beyond price! I don’t know how to thank you. You’re a woman of genius—a wife for a Talleyrand!”
“Thanks. Let me be able to return the compliment. I ask no more. Let me see how cleverly you will carry off pretty Mollie. I never want to see her under this roof again.”
THE SPIDER AND THE FLY.
The April day had been very long, and very, very dull in the handsome Walraven Fifth Avenue palace. Long and lamentable, as the warning cry of the banshee, wailed the dreary blast. Ceaselessly, dismally beat the rain against the glass. The icy breath of the frozen North was in the wind, curdling your blood and turning your skin to goose-flesh; and the sky was of lead, and the streets were slippery and sloppy, and the New York pavements altogether a delusion and a snare.
All through this bad, black April day, Mollie Dane had wandered through the house, upstairs and down-stairs, like an uneasy ghost.
Some evil spirit of unrest surely possessed her. She could settle nowhere. She threw herself on a sofa in her pretty bedroom, and tried to beguile the forlorn hours with the latest novel, in vain. She yawned horribly over the pages and flung it from her in disgust.
She wandered down to the drawing-room and tried the grand piano, whose tones were as the music of the spheres. Still in vain. The listless fingers fell aimlessly on the ivory keys.
She strove to sleep, but the nervous restlessness that possessed her only drove her to the verge of feverish madness in the effort. The girl was possessed of a waking nightmare not to be shaken off.
“What is it?” cried Mollie, impatiently, to herself. “What the mischief’s the matter with me? I never felt like this before. It can’t be remorse for some unacted crime, I never committed murder that I know of. It can’t be dyspepsia, for I’ve got the digestive powers of an anaconda. It can’t be the weather, for I’ve struggled through one or two other rainy days in my life-time; and it can’t be anxiety for to-night to come, for I’m not apt to get into a gale about trifles. Perhaps it’s a presentiment of evil to come. I’ve heard of such things. It’s either that or a fit of the blue-devils!”