"Insolent! My dear Colonel Disney, I admire the lady in question more than any other woman within twenty miles. Surely it is not insolent to admire a pretty woman?"Allegra was full of animation during the homeward walk. A stranger of any kind must needs be a God-send, as affording a subject for conversation; but such a stranger as Lostwithiel's brother afforded a theme of strongest interest. She had heard so much about Lord Lostwithiel and all his works and ways—the pity of it that he did not marry; the still greater pity that he did not live at the Mount, and give shooting parties and spend money in the neighbourhood. She had heard in a less exalted key of his lordship's younger brother, who had fought under Beresford in Egypt, and who had only lately left the navy. What more natural than that such a man should sail his brother's yacht?
"Indeed, no, dear. Your letters had only one fault. They were never half long enough; but I knew how busy you were, and I thought it was so good of you never to miss a mail."
"Dearest, why will you harbour such ghastly thoughts?"
"He is rather worse than mamma.""Oh no, no, no!" she cried piteously. "Never! never! I can die, I am prepared to die; but I can never tell him—I cannot, I dare not."
"Why did you write that word?" she asked.
That weighed upon her gentle dust."
"He was mistaken. My luggage is safe enough. I shall have it again in a few days. I only want clothes to wear for a day or two. Kindly do what I ask."He glanced at the girlish figure, the pale delicate face, and told himself that his new acquaintance could scarcely be more than nineteen or twenty. He had met Major Disney, a man who looked about forty—a lucky fellow to have caught such a pretty bird as this.
He walked further than the Angler's Nest. He walked up to the hill where he and Isola had sat in the summer sunshine on the day after his home-coming. He roamed about that wild height for two hours, and the church clock struck one while he was in the lane leading down to Trelasco.
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"Grey! A dowager's colour, a soured spinster's colour—a Quaker's no colour. I detest grey."
"Till the lady for whose sake I came shall take it into her head to leave the place. I have been thinking, Allegra," putting his arm through hers, and pacing up and down the terrace, with the bright expanse of sea in front of them, and at their back the great curtain of hills encircling and defending them from the wintry world—"I have been thinking that Venice would be a charming place for you and me to spend next summer in—if—if—you meant six months instead of twelve for my probation—as I really think you must have done. We could be married on the first of June—such a pretty date for a wedding! So easy to remember! You would want to be married in Trelasco Church, of course; on our native soil. The church in which my great-grandfather was married, and in which I and all my race were christened! We could have the yacht at Marseilles ready to carry us off on our travels, through the delicious summer days and nights, all along this lovely coast, and away by Naples to the Adriatic. Allegra, why should we wait for the winter, the dreary winter, to begin our life journey? Let us begin it in the time of roses.""But to send you home in his own carriage."详情
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