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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 297 pages of information about The Actress in High Life.

“Why, he handed me your note,” said Lord Strathern.  “Perhaps he meant it for my eye alone; but it was such capital bait for the trap, that I read it aloud.  He then seemed to make up his mind to conceal nothing.  He told us of your artful delays, your slow-paced coach crawling up-hill; of your efforts to entertain Mrs. Shortridge’s company, and keep him employed as interpreter; your songs and your care to prolong the amusements of the evening; your affected fears at riding home in your old coach with your new postillion.  He described your supper-party, and repeated your entertaining conversation, your libel on Moodie, gone drunk to bed, and your satire on Sir Rowland and the rest of us; your well-acted terror of robbers, and your triumph over him when you thought the game was won.  If you had not been over-confident and too hasty, Mabel, we would have had L’Isle on the hip.”

“Was that all he told you?” asked Lady Mabel.

“Why?  Was there any thing more to tell?” inquired her father.

Lady Mabel drew a deep, long breath.  “Then he said nothing about my—­my singing—­’Constant my heart’ to him?”

“How!” exclaimed Lord Strathern.  “Did you sing ‘Constant my heart’ at him?”

“How could I help it, papa, it came in so pat to the purpose?”

“The devil it did!  It seems you did not mean to fail, by under acting your part.  It is lucky he forgot to mention it.  Was there any thing more?”

“And he said nothing about squeezing my hand in the coach,” asked she, hesitatingly, “when I showed so much fear of its overturning?”

“Squeezing your hand?”

“Or of his kissing it, after supper?”

“What!  Had he got on so far?  And pray, madam, what did you tell him?”

“Tell him!” said Lady Mabel.  “I was acting a part, you know, papa; so I told him his presumption had put Jenny Aiken quite out of countenance.”

“By Jove! you were acting your part with a vengeance!  Why not tell him, at once, never to kiss your hand when a third person was present?”

“How can you talk so, papa?  I meant no such thing.  But what account did he give of his leaving the house?”

“Merely that he hurried away when you unmasked the plot to him; hastened to Elvas to get his horse, and post off to Alcantara.”

“Then he said nothing of his leaping out of the window?”

“Did he leap out of the window?”

“Or of my trying to hold him back?”

“What!” exclaimed Lord Strathern, starting up.  “Did he escape by jumping out of the window, and you try to detain him?”

“The height was so great, I feared he would break his neck.”

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