make you willing to leave father and mother, and wife and

Five spines and six beasts netcontrol2023-12-02 10:50:38 9 7699

"David!" she said, "I have found out something about myself which I never suspected before. If you want to see a cold-blooded wretch, look at me!"

make you willing to leave father and mother, and wife and

It was so gravely said, and so perfectly absurd, that I burst out laughing. She was far too seriously perplexed about herself to take the smallest notice of my merriment.

make you willing to leave father and mother, and wife and

"Do you know," she resumed, "that I actually hesitate to write to Engelman? David! I ought to be whipped at the cart's tail. I don't believe in Madame Fontaine."

make you willing to leave father and mother, and wife and

She little knew how that abrupt confession interested me. "Tell me why!" I said eagerly.

"That's the disgraceful part of it," she answered. "I can't tell you why. Madame Fontaine spoke charmingly--with perfect taste and feeling. And all the time some devilish spirit of distrust kept whispering to me, "Don't believe her; she has her motive!" Are you sure, David, it is only a little illness that makes her shut herself up in her room, and look so frightfully pale and haggard? Do you know anything about her affairs? Engelman is rich; Engelman has a position. Has she got into some difficulty since she refused him? and could he, by the barest possibility, be of any use in helping her out of it?"

I declare solemnly that the idea suggested by my aunt never occurred to me until she asked those questions. As a rejected suitor, Mr. Engelman could be of no possible use to the widow. But suppose he was her accepted husband? and suppose the note fell due before Minna was married? In that case, Mr. Engelman might unquestionably be of use--he might lend the money.

My aunt's sharp eyes were on me. "Out with it, David!" she cried. "You don't believe in her, either--and you know why."

"I know absolutely nothing," I rejoined; "I am guessing in the dark; and the event may prove that I am completely at fault. Don't ask me to degrade Madame Fontaine's character in your estimation, without an atom of proof to justify what I say. I have something to propose which I think will meet the difficulty."



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