The Maid of Maiden Lane eBook

Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about The Maid of Maiden Lane.

“Of course.  I would scorn to do a dishonourable or unhandsome thing.  But is it not very strange Willie Seabright should write to me at this time?  How contradictory life is!  I had also a letter from Mr. Van Ariens by the same mail, and I shall answer them both this evening.”  Then she laughed a little, and added, “I must take care and not make the mistake an American girl made, under much the same circumstances.”

“What was it?” inquired Annie languidly.

“She misdirected her letters and thus sent ‘No’ to the man whom of all others, she wished to marry.”

As Mary spoke a soft brightness seemed to pervade Annie’s brain cells, and she could hardly restrain the exclamation of sudden enlightenment that rose to her lips.  She raised herself slightly, and in so doing, her eyes fell upon the tall figure of Hyde standing clearly out in the intense, white sunshine of the Broads; and perhaps her soul may have whispered to his soul, for he turned his face to the house, and lifted the little red fishing cap from his head.  The action stimulated to the utmost Annie’s intuitive powers.

“Mary,” she said, “what a strange incident!  Did you know the girl?”

“I saw her once in Philadelphia.  Mr. Van Ariens told me about her.  She is the friend of his sister the Marquise de Tounnerre.”

“How did Mr. Van Ariens know of such an event?”

“I suppose the Marquise told him of it.”

“I am interested.  Is she pretty?  Who, and what is her father?  Did she lose her lover through the mistake?”

“You are more interested in this American girl, than in me.  I think you might ask a little concerning my love affair with Captain Seabright.”

“I always ask you about Mr. Van Ariens.  A girl cannot have two lovers,”

“But if one is gone away?”

“Then he has gone away; and that is the end of him.  He must not trouble the one who has come to stay, eh, Mary?”

“You are right, Annie.  But one’s first lover has always a charm above reason; and Willie Seabright was once very dear to me.”

“I am sorry for that unfortunate American girl.”

“So am I. She is a great beauty.  Her name is Cornelia Moran; and her father is a famous physician in New York.”

“And this beauty had two lovers?”

“Yes; an Englishman of noble birth; and an American.  They both loved her, and she loved the Englishman.  They must have both asked her hand on the same day, and she must have answered both letters in the same hour; and the letter she intended for the man she loved, went to the man she did not love.  Presumably, the man she loved got the refusal she intended for the other, for he never sought her society again; and Mr. Van Ariens told me she nearly died in consequence.  I know not as to this part of the story; when I saw her in Philadelphia, she had no more of fragility than gave delicacy to all her charms.”

“And what became of the two lovers, Mary?”

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The Maid of Maiden Lane from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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