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    Software name: appdown
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      Barker was waiting for her, and being still full of the rustic charms of Deepdale, was eager to talk. Esmeralda let her chatter on, scarcely hearing a word, then sent her away as soon as possible. A strange feeling of loneliness took possession of her; and yet it was not strange, for until to-night she had always had friends near her. To-night she was utterly alone. The Marchioness of Trafford, the future Duchess of Belfayre, with a jewel-box crammed with gems, with a million of money to do as she pleased with, was, with it all, one of the unhappiest women in all England!

      Lilias, suspecting nothing of the truth, remained with her for a little while, then went away to send Barker."Captain Kincaid, by the goodness of the heart!"

      "Oh, but there are women of whom no man can ever deserve that!" There his manner was all at once so personal that she dared not be silent, but fell to generalizing, with many a stammer, that a woman ought to be very slow to give her trust if, once giving it, she would not rather die than doubt.

      Then she is here! said Norman, with a short breath of relief. Mr. Howard, I must see herI must see her at once. There has been a hideous mistake!

      Norman, like most strong and healthy young men, was a heavy sleeper. Trafford used to declare that nothing short of an earthquake, or the announcement of breakfast and the prospect of something to eat would waken Norman. Usually Traffords man knocked at Normans door, and never by any chance getting an answer, entered after a respectful interval. On this morning he did not wait after knocking, but went into the room and said rather louder than usual: Half past eight, my lord. This being repeated half a dozen times without any perceptible effect, the man gently shook Norman by the shoulder, and at last the blue eyes opened with an amazed expression, which invariably gave place to one of disgust, and the yawning question: Oh, is that you? Getting-up time already? This morning he looked more disgusted and yawned more widely than ordinary, for he had sat up smoking until late, or rather, early, thinking of Lilias, and Esmeraldas wonderful goodness to him, and he felt as if he could very willingly have knocked the awakeners head off.

      Madame suddenly looked older, but quickly brightened again as Flora spoke on: "Don't you believe the truth is, now and then, the most effective lie? I've sometimes inferred you did."


      Just so, he said; and Im thinking that your disappearance, Esmeralda, must have caused some stir and excitement even amongst that flutter-headed crowd. They must be looking for you.



      Norman was almost frightened, and seeing it, Esmeralda controlled herself and forced a laugh.No, dont, she said; or, if you do, you must let me pay for them. Im very rich, you know. She laughed easily.