SECRET THOUGHTS OOZE OUT
Molly found Cynthia in the drawing-room, standing in the bow-window, looking out on the garden. She started as Molly came up to her.
‘Oh, Molly,’ said she, putting her arms out towards her, ’I am always so glad to have you with me!’
It was outbursts of affection such as these that always called Molly back, if she had been ever so unconsciously wavering in her allegiance to Cynthia. She had been wishing downstairs that Cynthia would be less reserved, and not have so many secrets; but now it seemed almost like treason to have wanted her to be anything but what she was. Never had any one more than Cynthia the power spoken of by Goldsmith when he wrote,—
He threw off his friends like a huntsman his pack, For he knew when he liked he could whistle them back.’
’Do you know, I think you’ll be glad to hear what I’ve got to tell you?’ said Molly. ’I think you would really like to go to London; should not you?’
‘Yes, but it is of no use liking,’ said Cynthia. ’Don’t you begin about it, Molly, for the thing is settled; and I can’t tell you why, but I can’t go.’
’It is only the money, dear. And papa has been so kind about it. He wants you to go; he thinks you ought to keep up relationships; and he is going to give you ten pounds.’
‘How kind he is!’ said Cynthia. ’But I ought not to take it. I wish I had known you years ago; I should have been different to what I am.’
’Never mind that! We like you as you are; we don’t want you different. You’ll really hurt papa if you don’t take it. Why do you hesitate? Do you think Roger won’t like it?’
’Roger! No, I was not thinking about him! Why should he care? I shall be there and back again before he even hears about it.’
‘Then you will go?’ said Molly.
Cynthia thought for a minute or two. ‘Yes, I will,’ said she, at length. ’I daresay it’s not wise, but it will be pleasant, and I’ll go. Where is Mr. Gibson? I want to thank him. Oh, how kind he is! Molly, you’re a lucky girl!’
‘I?’ said Molly, quite startled at being told this; for she had been feeling as if so many things were going wrong, almost as if they would never go right again.
‘There he is!’ said Cynthia. ‘I hear him in the hall!’ And down she flew, and laying her hands on Mr. Gibson’s arm, she thanked him with such warm impulsiveness, and in so pretty and caressing a manner, that something of his old feeling of personal liking for her returned, and he forgot for a time the causes of disapproval he had against her.
‘There, there!’ said he, ’that’s enough, my dear! It is quite right you should keep up with your relations; there’s nothing more to be said about it.’
‘I do think your father is the most charming man I know,’ said Cynthia, on her return to Molly; ’and it’s that which always makes me so afraid of losing his good opinion, and fret go when I think he is displeased with me. And now let us think all about this London visit. It will be delightful, won’t it? I can make ten pounds go ever so far; and in some ways it will be such a comfort to get out of Hollingford.’