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make him more set on the marriage than ever. Anthony hates nothing so much as injustice.

• There is no injustice in the matter if Windsor was mixed up in the plot for catching him,' retorted Sir Richard. But I don't say that I shall stick to it, if I can make sure that all is at an end between his girl and Anthony Lady Bertram went on knitting her cotton squares, and the old butler thought that the world must be coming to an end because, though the sun was shining and my lady was quite well, she did not take her daily drive in the great barouche and pair.

CHAPTER VII.

MR. WINDSOR was sitting in his study when Mr. Bertram was announced. He rose and bowed stiffly, and Anthony felt that here also his path was not to be made smooth for him.

*You can scarcely wonder,' he said, with nervous hesitation, that I should require some explanation of your letter to Sir Richard.'

"My letter, Mr. Bertram, was merely a reply to one I received from Sir Richard, and I think that its drift was plain enough.'

Surely you will admit,' said Anthony, that a man of my age is entitled to act for himself, and that my suit cannot be accepted or rejected without reference to me. I am not, as you seem to believe, wholly dependent on Sir Richard, and the income

my

which was assigned to me at the time of

former marriage can be settled on your daughter.

'A separate establishment would also be necessary,' said Mr. Windsor ; “you must be aware that your second wife will never be received at Bertram's Chase.'

· And Sir Richard will never part with Thomasina,' said Anthony.

* Probably not, Mr. Bertram. I mention this as one of the objections to the match. My daughter's consent was of course given subject to my approval, and she was the first to express a wish to withdraw it. I now earnestly wish that the matter should not be re-opened.'

• At least,' said Anthony, 'I must decline to consider myself released from the engagement until I hear from your daughter's own lips that such is her wish.'

• Very well,” said Mr. Windsor after a

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pause; I will ask whether she is able to see you.' He returned in a few minutes, and informed Anthony that he would find Miss Windsor in the drawing-room.

Mary had at first protested that she could not see him, but she was too reasonable to resist the conviction that Anthony might feel aggrieved if his request was denied, and she took pains to subdue all traces of agitation and to sit with her back to the light, that her lover might not see that her eyelids were red and swollen with tears. She could not look up or make any attempt to leave the sofa on which he found her sitting.

'I refuse to believe, unless you tell me so, that all is at an end between us,' said Anthony

· Yes, Mr. Bertram ; I made a great mistake. I should not have answered as I did if you had not taken me by surprise.'

* You said that you loved me,' said An

thony, clinging to that admission with all the tenacity of his nature.

Do not be too hard on me,' said Mary, raising her eyes for the first time to Anthony's face.

Heaven knows how little I meant to be hard on you. I longed to make your life happy, and I have only troubled your peace and broken up your home for nothing.'

It had scarcely been for nothing, Mary thought, as a faint smile played round her trembling lips. Her life would never again be as it had been when those words of love were still unspoken.

'I shall go away and hide myself somewhere,' said Anthony.

You need not do that, Mr. Bertram. The plan is not quite settled yet, but I am certainly going from home in a very few days. My sisters are going to school. Give my love to Thomasina, and perhaps some

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