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audited by the Internal Revenue Service in the last two

source:Cashier's Netedit:hottime:2023-12-04 11:32:28

"You may put it as you please," said her brother. "I have no power of detaining you. Whatever influence I have I think it right to use. I am altogether opposed to this marriage, believing it to be an absurd infatuation. I think that he is of the same opinion."

audited by the Internal Revenue Service in the last two

"That I believe to be his feeling," he continued, taking no notice of her assertion. "He is as perfectly aware as I am that you two are not adapted to live happily together on an income of a few hundreds a year. Some time ago it was agreed between you that it was so. You both were quite of one mind, and I was given to understand that the engagement was at an end. It was so much at an end that he made an arrangement for marrying another woman. But your feelings are stronger than his, and you allowed them to get the better of you. Then you enticed him back from the purpose on which you had both decided."

audited by the Internal Revenue Service in the last two

"Enticed!" said she. "I did nothing of the kind!"

audited by the Internal Revenue Service in the last two

"Would he have changed his mind if you had not enticed him?" "I did nothing of the kind. I offered to remain just as we are." "That is all very well. Of course he could not accept such an offer. Thinking as I do, it is my duty to keep you apart as long as I can. If you contrive to marry him in opposition to my efforts, the misery of both of you must be on your head. I tell you fairly that I do not believe he wishes anything of the kind."

"I am quite sure he does," said Imogene.

"Very well. Do you leave him alone; stay down here, and see what will come of it. I quite agree that such a banishment, as you call it, is not a happy prospect for you -- but it is happier than that of a marriage with Frank Houston. Give that up, and then you can go back to London and begin the world again."

Begin the world again! She knew what that meant. She was to throw herself into the market, and look for such other husband as Providence might send her. She had tried that before, and had convinced herself that Providence could never send her any that could be acceptable. The one man had taken possession of her, and there never could be a second. She had not known her own strength -- or her own weakness as the case might be -- when she had agreed to surrender the man she loved because there had been an alteration in their prospects of an income. She had struggled with herself, had attempted to amuse herself with the world, had told herself that somebody would come who would banish that image from her thoughts and heart. She had bade herself to submit to the separation for his welfare. Then she had endeavoured to quiet herself by declaring to herself that the man was no hero -- was unworthy of so much thinking. But it had all been of no avail. Gertrude Tringle had been a festering sore to her. Frank, whether a hero or only a commonplace man, was -- as she owned to herself -- hero enough for her. Then came the opening for a renewal of the engagement. Frank had been candid with her, and had told her everything. The Tringle money would not be forthcoming on his behalf. Then -- not resolving to entice him back again -- she had done so. The word was odious to her, and was rejected with disdain when used against her by her brother -- but, when alone, she acknowledged to herself that it was true. She had enticed her lover back again -- to his great detriment. Yes; she certainly had enticed him back. She certainly was about to sacrifice him because of her love. "If I could only die, and there be an end of it!" she exclaimed to herself.

Though Tregothnan Hall, as the Docimers' house was called, was not open to Frank Houston, there was the post running always. He had written to her half a dozen times since she had been in Cornwall, and had always spoken of their engagement as an affair at last irrevocably fixed. She, too, had written little notes, tender and loving, but still tinged by that tone of despondency which had become common to her. "As for naming a day," she said once, "suppose we fix the first of January, ten years hence. Mudbury's opposition will be worn out by old age, and you will have become thoroughly sick of the pleasures of London." But joined to this there would be a few jokes and then some little word of warmest, most enduring, most trusting love. "Don't believe me if I say that I am not happy in knowing that I am altogether your own." Then there would come a simple "I" as a signature, and after that some further badinage respecting her "Cerberus", as she called her brother.

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