“I think it’s all right!”
“I’m sure of it,” said I, inhaling the appetizing aroma—“but, pray, where did you get it?”
“A man sold it to me—he had a lot of them.”
“Hum!” said I, “probably poached.”
“I bought this for sixpence—out of the old shoe.”
“Sixpence?—then they certainly were poached. These are the Cambourne Woods, and everything upon them fish, flesh, or fowl, living or dead—belongs to the Lady Sophia Sefton of Cambourne.”
“Then—perhaps we had better not eat it,” said she, glancing at me over her shoulder—but, meeting my eye, she laughed. And so we presently sat down to supper and, poached though it may have been, that rabbit made a truly noble end, notwithstanding.
WHICH RELATES SOMEWHAT OF CHARMIAN BROWN
We were sitting in the moonlight.
“Now,” said Charmian, staring up at the luminous heaven, “let us talk.”
“Willingly,” I answered; “let us talk of stars.”
“No—let us talk of ourselves.”
“As you please.”
“Very well, you begin.”
“Well—I am a blacksmith.”
“Yes, you told me so before.”
“And I make horseshoes—”
“He is a blacksmith, and makes horseshoes!” said Charmian, nodding at the moon.
“And I live here, in this solitude, very contentedly; so that it is only reasonable to suppose that I shall continue to live here, and make horseshoes—though, really,” I broke off, letting my eyes wander from my companion’s upturned face back to the glowing sky, once more, “there is little I could tell you about so commonplace a person as myself that is likely to interest you.”
“No,” said Charmian, “evidently not!” Here my gaze came down to her face again so quickly that I fancied I detected the ghost of a smile upon her lips.
“Then,” said I, “by all means let us talk of something else.”
“Yes,” she agreed; “let us talk of the woman Charmian—Charmian —Brown.” A tress of hair had come loose, and hung low above her brow, and in its shadow her, eyes seemed more elusive, more mocking than ever, and, while our glances met, she put up a hand and began to, wind this glossy tress round and round her finger.
“Well?” said she.
“Well,” said I, “supposing you begin.”
“But is she likely to interest you?”
“I think so—yes.”
“Aren’t you sure, then?”
“Then why don’t you say so?”
“I thought you would take that for granted.”
“A woman should take nothing for granted, sir.”
“Then,” said I, “supposing you begin.”
“I’ve half a mind not to,” she retorted, curling the tress of hair again, and then, suddenly: “What do you think of Charmian Brown?”
“I think of her as little as I can.”