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Who can account for the impulses of the heart, which come, say some of
the learned, from heaven, and others, from hell? At least it is no
affair of ours, so let us wish them happiness, and, after they are
married, a large and healthy family. Meanwhile, dear Betty, are you
making ready for your voyage to Spain?"
"I don't know," answered Betty gloomily. "I am not sure that I trust you
and your fine words. If you want to marry me, as you swear, and be sure
I look for nothing less, why cannot it be before we start, and how am I
to know that you will do so when we get there?"
"You ask many questions, Betty, all of which I have answered before. I
have told you that I cannot marry you here because of that permission
which is necessary on account of the difference in our ranks. Here,
where your place is known, it is not to be had; there, where you will
pass as a great English lady--as of course you are by birth--I can
obtain it in an hour. But if you have any doubts, although it cuts me
to the heart to say it, it would be best that we should part at once. I
will take no wife who does not trust me fully and alone. Say then, cruel
Betty, do you wish to leave me?"
"You know I don't; you know it would kill me," she answered in a voice
that was thick with passion, "you know I worship the ground you tread on,
and hate every woman you go near, yes, even my cousin who has been so
good to me, and whom I love. I will take the risk and come with you,
believing you to be an honest gentleman, who would not deceive a girl
who trusts him; and if you do, may God deal with you as I shall, for I
am no toy to be broken and thrown away, as you would find out. Yes, I
will take the risk because you have made me love you so that I cannot
live without you."
"Betty, your words fill me with rapture, showing me that I have not
misread your noble mind; but speak a little lower--there are echoes in
this hole. Now for the plans, for time is short, and you may be missed.
When I am about to sail I will invite Mistress Margaret and yourself to
come aboard my ship."
"Why not invite me without my cousin Margaret?" asked Betty.
"Because it would excite suspicion which we must avoid--do not interrupt
me. I will invite you both or get you there upon some other pretext, and
then I will arrange that she shall be brought ashore again and you taken
on. Leave it all to me, only swear that you will obey any instructions I
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