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little one when he is gone !" When Dolores took sudden fancies to go into the town and wander through the old streets she had detested before, Marcelline knew what it all meant, she had no need to glance at the blushing face when by chance they met the young Englishman in his antiquarian researches. He would join them with a smile, and send them home laden with the prettiest sweetmeats from the confectioner's, or ornaments and pictures from the big shops -anything he thought the pretty simple little maid fancied. Her innocent pleasure smiling out through clear eyes was delicious to him who had seen so much that was artificial in the world. It was a real pleasure to him to hear the spontaneous utterance of her every thought, although there was not much depth or indication of imagination in them. She was glad, she was sorry; this pleased, that vexed her.
There was no disguise, no reticence, no shadow of insincerity about her. Marcelline had no longer to keep Argus eyes opened against the admiring glances of the young officers or students. Dolores never saw them, never saw anything or anyone but her Englishman, her beau Seigneur. At last, when the good woman noted how feverish and restless her charge had become, and that she thought of nothing in the world but the painting hour, and was fretful and silent when Sir Guy had gone, she took a determination.
“I am going out this afternoon, Mademoiselle,” she said one day, coming down the garden in her best gown and Sunday cap.
“Let me go too, Marcelline."
“Why not p" pouted Dolores. “Where are you going ?"
“First into the church—it is the day of the Virgin, you know, and the altar is all beautiful with white flowers placed by the good sisters and the school children.”
“But I should like to see it too, Marcelline.”
“Ah, if it were only that, petite, but Madame Lefèvre, the wife of the marchand de vins, has asked me to go and see her, and your Mamma would not permit me to take you there."
“Then let me stop in the church until you return-no harm could come to me there, and it is so dull here."
"Be reasonable, my child. For once let poor Marcelline have a little holiday to her
“Then go-go!” cried Dolores, turning away in a pet; and Marcelline went out, and by way of precaution took the key with her. She bent her steps first to the church, where, conscience-stricken, she said a devout prayer to the Virgin; then, instead of going to visit Madame Lefèvre, she went down to the quay, and asked at the Hôtel d'Angleterre for Sir Guy. He was not in, the waiter said, but she could speak with Monsieur's valet if she pleased.
Whilst Marcelline hesitated, Sir Guy came in, and, greeting her cordially, invited her to go up to his room.
“Monsieur will pardon the liberty I take,” Marcelline began, feeling very ner. vous and uncomfortable.
No liberty at all, the young man declared; in what way could he serve her ? Secretly he thought to himself she had come to get some more money out of him.
“Monsieur will remember," said Marcelline, fidgeting about, “that, when he desired to paint Mademoiselle, he told me three sittings would suffice to complete the picture.”
It was quite true, Sir Guy assented. Monsieur would pardon her ; but to-day he had made his twelfth visit.
Facts are stubborn things. Marcelline's statement was perfectly true, and the young man, not being able to deny it, remained silent.
“Is it not so, Monsieur ?"
“That you should not come any more, Monsieur.”
Sir Guy started, and a shade of vexation 'crossed his brow.
“Monsieur does not lack honour; he would not harm an innocent child ?”
“God forbid l” cried the young man. " What do you take me for ?”
“Monsieur does not understand me. I do not fear he wouldwrong the little one, butą but-Monsieur is a great Seigneur, and