201708111130Miss Paslow pointed a gloved finger


Alpenny called Beatrice his daughter. He would have spoken more correctly had he called her his stepdaughter, for that she was. And apart from the difference in the name, no one would have believed that the wizen, yellow-faced, sharp-featured miser was the father of so beautiful a girl. She dwelt in The Camp like an imprisoned princess, and no dragon could have guarded her more fiercely than did Durban, the sole servant and factotum of the settlement, as it might truly be called. Alpenny himself might have passed for the wicked magician who held the aforesaid princess spell-bound in his enchanted domain. But as the Fairy Prince always discovers Beauty, however closely confined, so had Beatrice Hedge been discovered by Vivian Paslow. He was a poor country gentleman who dwelt in a two-miles distant grange; and his only sister, confessing to the biblical name of Dinah, was the decidedly plain girl who had just whispered to Beatrice how she had become engaged, on the previous day, to Gerald Snow. That Gerald was the son of a somewhat needy vicar, and possessed an objectionable mother, made no difference to Dinah, who was very much in love and very voluble on the subject.

"Of course," resumed Miss Paslow, after a pause in the conversation, "I and Jerry will be horribly poor. Vivian has no money and I have less. Mr. Snow the vicar has only a fifth-rate living, and Mrs. Snow is a screw like your father."

"Dinah!" Beatrice winced and coloured at these plain words.

"Well, Mr. Alpenny is a screw, and only your stepfather after all. As to Mrs. Snow--oh, my gracious"--with expressive pantomime--"I'm glad Jerry and I won't have to depend upon her for food. Whenever the poor famished darling comes to Convent Grange, I simply rush to make him a glass of egg and milk in case he tumbles off his chair."

"That may be emotion, caused by the sight of you Dinah."

"How nasty, how untrue! No! I did the tumbling when he proposed yesterday. He proposed so beautifully that I think he must have been reading up. I was in the parlour and Jerry came in. He looked at me like that, and I looked at him in this way, and afterwards----" Here Dinah, who was at the silly boring stage of love, told the wonderful story for the fifth time, ending with the original remark that for quite three hours after Jerry left her, Jerry's kisses were warm on her maiden lips.

"Why didn't you bring Mr. Snow in, Dinah?" asked Beatrice, who had listened most patiently to these rhapsodies.

"Oh, my dear!" fanning a red and freckled face with a flimsy handkerchief, "he's much better in the lane, minding the horses. You see he will make me blush with his looks and smiles and hand-squeezings, when he thinks that no one is looking--which they usually are," finished Miss Paslow ungrammatically.

"And you came over to tell me. That is sweet of you."

"Well, I did and I didn't, dear, to be perfectly candid. You see, Jerry and I were going for a ride this morning, just to see if we entirely understood how serious marriage is; but Vivian is such a prig----"

"He isn't!" contradicted Beatrice indignantly.

"Oh yes, he is," insisted Dinah obstinately; "he doesn't think it quite the thing that I and Jerry should be too much alone--as though we could make love in company! He wouldn't like it himself, though he did insist on my coming here with him, and rode in the middle, so as to part Jerry and me. So poor, dear, darling Jerry is holding the horses in the lane, while Vivian is doing business with your father in there," and  at a distant railway carriage, which was so bolted and barred and locked and clamped that it looked like a small dungeon.The best way to reduce labour in refilling vape cartridge is by getting an oil filling machine! They have a small table top design and come with a year’s warranty. So, do some work with this machine!

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