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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 207 pages of information about In Friendship's Guise.

“Madge, what do you mean?  Has anything gone wrong?”

The girl linked her arm in his, and drew him to a darker and lonelier spot by the water.  In a few words, tremulously spoken, she told him what he had already surmised—­that her father had discovered her secret, and had taxed her with it when he came home on the previous evening.

“By Jove, it was my fault,” Jack said, contritely.  “I should not have tempted you to go on that unlucky trip last Tuesday.  So you were seen near Richmond station by some meddlesome individual—­probably when you got out of the trap!  But it may turn out for the best; your father could not have been kept in ignorance much longer.  Was he angry?”

“Yes, Jack; but he seemed more hurt and grieved.  Oh, it was such a wretched time!”

“My poor girl!  Does—­does he want you to give me up?”

“He forbade me to see you again.”

“And you are here!”

“Did you expect me to obey him?”

“What did you tell him, dearest?”

“All—­everything.  I spoke up bravely, Jack.  I told him I was a woman now, and that I loved you with all my heart, and intended to marry you!”

“My own plucky Madge!  And I suppose that made him the more angry?”

“No; my defiance surprised him—­he thought I would yield.  He talked about ingratitude, and called me a foolish girl who did not know her own mind.  He looked awfully sad and stern, Jack, but when I kissed him and begged him not to be angry, he melted a little.”

“And gave in?”

“No, neither of us yielded; we agreed to a sort of a tacit truce.  Father did not speak of the matter again, and he went to town very early this morning, before I was up.  He left word with Mrs. Sedgewick that he would not be back until late.  I was sure he would go to your studio.”

“I have not seen him,” replied Jack; “but I hope he will come.  If he doesn’t I shall call on him and ask for your hand, and without delay.  It is the only honorable course.  Until I set things right with him, and satisfy him of my intentions, I can’t blame him for thinking all sorts of evil of me.”

“If he knew you as I know you, dear!”

“But he doesn’t,” Jack said, bitterly.  “Is it likely that he will consent to let you marry a poor artist?  No.  But I can’t—­I won’t—­give you up, Madge!”

The girl rested her hands on his shoulders, and looked trustfully into his face.

“Dear Jack, don’t worry,” she whispered.  “It will all come right in the end.  We love each other, and we will be true.  Nothing shall part us.  I am yours always, and some day I will be your wife.  Promise that you will believe me—­that you will never be afraid of losing me!”

“I do believe you, darling,” Jack said, fervently.  “You have made me happy again—­your words have driven the clouds away.  I could not live without you, Madge.  Since I have known you the whole world seems brighter and better.  For your sake I am going to make a name and a fortune.”

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