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hearing and reading has taught me as much as the majority of other girls know whom you are acquainted with."
This was rather a random assertion, the which I should have found it very difficult, or rather impossible, to prove, if required to do so.
"Indeed!" replied the aggravating Charles, making an amused grimace, as he bent forward and smoothed his horse's mane.
"Well, you will see," I went on, provokingly; "wait till the Ladies Riphon come, and you will find there is not the difference between us you imagine. Of course, I shall not be as elegant and accomplished, or anything else in these ways, as they are, for I have not been abroad, or had London and Paris masters; but you will find I am not more silly or simple than they are, for all that, Master Charley."
I looked at him in gay defiance, hoping, almost expecting, he would propitiate my wounded vanity by some polite rejoinder. But he did not; there came a pained expression into his face that contracted his brow and tightened his lips, and that was all.
"Do you rank me among your simple ones,
Mr. Beechley?" questioned Monica, glancing mischievously at him.
We were now proceeding rapidly, and Charles's answer, if he made any, was not heard.
Captain George bowed coldly and stiffly at parting; he had not yet forgiven my discourteous behaviour, nor did I wish him to do if a renewal of attention to myself was to be the result. Thus concluded our delightful picnic.
EXTRACTS FROM SARIANN'S DIARY.
IT perplexeth me greatly what could have occurred 'twixt Charles and Ennis the other day at the picnic. Did he, poor, hasty fellow, make her an offer of marriage, and was rejected? Albeit the manner of neither favours this supposition. Verily, had it been so, Charles would for a surety have gone from Riversdale that same evening or following morning, not to return, perchance, for months.
At home, the same evening, I did gently question of him whether he and Ennis had quarrelled.
"Quarrelled?" quoth he. "Oh, dear no! What puts such an idea into your wise little head, Sariann? Enny and I are as good friends as we ever were, whatever that may be," he added, gloomily, and as though to himself.
This abrupt reply shut the matter up more closely than before. I saw he did not like to be questioned; and, poor fellow, when in certain moods he is not to be trifled with. Thereupon I took the hint, and said no more.
How perfect in delight to me would have been that same picnic but for the two shadows which came down upon it!-to wit, the suddenly unsociable, irritable temper of my poor brother, and George Bell's undisguised preference for the society of beauteous Ennis. Ah, what wonder! What chance has any woman in her presence?
Dear, noble-hearted child, she discovered my secret. I saw that. How she effected the same I ken not. She did, however; and yet, despite her own fancy for him (aye, I feel sure she doth like him: what damsel could help liking good-natured, handsome George Bell?), she was, in her pretty, impulsive way, even too marked in her apparent indifference, her almost objection to the poor fellow's kind, manly attentions. And this was for me, unless she loves my brother, and, girl-like, will neither acknowledge, or by look or sign betray, unto living being she doth so. How
beit, I think she does not; and poor Charles! I fear me his exceeding affection for her is his greatest enemy, seeing that it excites in his heart an over-anxiety for her welfare, which renders him dictatorial to her, and exacting, from which the sweet thing's bright, tenderly nurtured spirit shrinks with a commingling of winsome indignation, rebellion, and fear.
Would he were more pious, more Godserving! Ah me, that he had always been so! What life-long sorrow might it not have saved him and us! And now, were his rugged nature softened by intercourse of soul with our gentle, compassionate Saviour, how infinitely more forbearing, more sympathetic, would he not be towards his fellow - creatures! how vastly more lovable and pleasing, more especially unto her over whom his poor, longing heart hovereth night and day, day and night!
Until I know Charles better (better !—how strange does it sound for a sister but few years younger than himself to thus speak of an only and fondly loved brother!), and until some light has penetrated the hidden recesses of that