|Publisher:||Creative Media Partners, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.66(d)|
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CHAPTER III. PAKTED. |MY WILLIAMS for it is best for the present to retain her assumed namerose the next morning with a certain feeling of relief in her mind. For weeks pastever since she found Sir Hugh Manners knew her secretshe had lived in continual dread lest he should betray his knowledge to his cousin George, whose honourable nature, she knew too well, would consider the fact of her marriage, doubtful though it might be, a bar to separate them for ever. She had not, however, always intended to deceive him. Again and again, during the earlier period of their acquaintance, and when she had seen George's admiration gradually ripening into love, she had contemplated telling him the truth. But soon her own feelings became too deeply involved for such self-sacrifice, and her mind, untutored in early life to a high standard of honour or morality, shrank from the very idea of separation ; and after Sir Hugh, in George's hearing, made his firstallusion to his previous acquaintance with her story, her strongest wish became the hope that, by appealing to his pity and generosity, she could bind him to secrecy, and thus be able to retain George's affection. She did not, however, even to herself defend her conduct. She knew it was very weak, and very wrong; but she knew also her life was so lonely and unhappy, and that George loved her so dearly, and wild visions of marrying him, and living hidden away with him for ever; wild hopes that perhaps, some day at least, she might be free, began to take possession of her heart, and though she had not admitted this to Sir Hugh, she unconsciously had betrayed it to him, and after he had parted with her it naturally recurredto his mind. " She means to marry him," said Sir Hugh to himself. " Well, deuce take it, after all Ge...