“Dear Guy, you must never love any one more than me,” was a frequent rejoinder as she received his many tender caresses.
One day, when seated upon the lower end of the balcony, Fanny laid her hand lovingly upon her brother’s shoulder and looking into his face, exclaimed:
“Guy, I have often wondered about you.”
“About me, pet,” returned the latter, “what can it be about me that is really worthy of so much attention from a young lady fair? Already I feel as of some importance.”
Guy Trevelyan was now a handsome man of twenty-seven. The effeminate blush of youth had given place to an open and engaging animation that made him doubly attractive. Turning his gaze upon his sister, he added:
“Come, little one, tell me this great wonder. I must not be kept in suspense. Cannot Maude assist you? If so, I rely upon her in the present dilemma,” said Guy, turning in playful appeal to Maude Bereford.
“Your surmise is groundless, mon frere,” returned Fanny, in childish glee, “Maude is entirely in the dark, (pardon the vulgarism.)”
“I will pardon you in everything, provided you gratify my curiosity,” said the other.
“Fanny, it is unjust to treat Guy in this way,” said Maude, by way of intercession.
“Two against one,” cried Fanny, with a demure smile upon her face. “The majority has it. I am placed in a difficult position,” said she, turning to her friend, adding, “Maude only for your suggestion I might have been able to extricate myself. Well, I shall try my best to maintain peace by compliance to your united wishes.”
“By telling us one of the seven wonders,” interrupted Maude.
“Yes,” said Fanny, “I have often wondered why it was that Guy could remain so long in the companionship of Mary Douglas or Lady Rosamond and come back heart whole to Trevelyan Hall.”
Captain Trevelyan had received a home thrust, yet he betrayed no feeling and showed no reason for suspicion, at least in the eyes of his sister and her companion. A quiet laugh greeted the remark. Guy Trevelyan had not the keen glances of the secretary levelled at him now, else the puzzling expression that rested awhile upon his face would instantly have been detected.
“That is the great wonder,” said the brother, drawing his sister nearer to his side, adding: “Well, my little sister, until you have become weary of your brother’s keeping he is anxious to claim the gracious liberty of possessing the love of one devoted heart. What says la belle Fanny?”
“Oh, Guy,” cried Maude, “she was afraid that you may possibly have charitable intentions towards some fair one and wishes to make the test.”
“Why, Maude,” exclaimed Fanny, “you are really in earnest; I shall begin to think, from the stand you have taken in the matter, that Guy had better beware, else ere long he will not be able to make such avowals to his sister.”