Madame Zanidov was still looking at Lilla. "Yes," some one proposed. "Try her." "She doesn't wish it," Madame Zanidov remarked. But after a moment of hesitation Lilla held out her hand. Once more everybody became silent and intent. The music of Schumann softly intruded into this stillness. "Ah," the Russian murmured, "here is something different."
I learned why we were to be enemies to the end; for after smoking some time in silence, listening the while with smiling face to my uncle's questions concerning home questions which I answered clumsily, growing each moment more put out and annoyed; for it seemed to me that Garcia's smiles were pitying, and that he was comparing his grace with my awkwardness he rose, crossed over to Lilla, who was seated, took her hand in his as if it belonged to him of right, raised it to his lips, and then, with a smiling farewell to all present, he whispered a few words to my cousin, gave me his lips smiling the while a sharp meaning look from between his half-closed eyelids, and then his figure darkened for an instant the sunshine streaming in at the door, and he was gone.
That braced her up, and still, never ceasing her return stare she got colour again and seemed more like herself." "Did he stare too?" "More than ever. The weaker Lilla seemed, the stronger he became, just as if he were feeding on her strength. All at once she turned round, threw up her hands, and fell down in a faint.
I came here to implore your consent, for without it I knew 'twere vain to think or hope to make your Lilla mine. I came to plead to you, and armed with your blessing, plead my cause to her, and you ask me how Mr. Myrvin's intelligence can affect me. Speak, then, at once; in pity to that weakness which makes me feel as if my lasting happiness or misery depends upon your answer."
Shortly after I had taken my departure Senor Xeres had roused up from the short sleep into which he had sunk, to express his determination to recommence his journey, declaring that he had nothing now to lose; while, half an hour after, Lilla had seen through one of the verandahs the whole of the labourers glide silently away towards the forest, and then a silence as of death had fallen upon the hacienda.
"What did he go knocking her about for? Yah! Mas'r Harry, they're a rotten lot out here, and the country's a thousand times too good for them!" By degrees I got Tom cooled down, and into the house, and on returning I found Lilla standing watching for me at the window, but only to gaze at me with a strange, troubled look, half pain, half pleasure, and before I could speak she had fled.
Bluebell's return drive was far from a peaceful one. Lilla, it is true, abstained from remarks before the children; but there was no escaping her provokingly wicked glances, which argued ill for her future discretion.
"Would it, indeed?" "I am desperate," Lilla responded in low tones. After a while Madame Zanidov, with a compassionate austerity, responded: "Remember, then, that it is you who wished this." Their hands touched. In the rushing limousine, in this fluidity of lights and darkness, they were intent on the phenomenon that both believed to be a revelation of fate.
Hamilton, her countenance glowing with benevolent pleasure. "I shall, I trust, one day succeed in making my little Lilla happy, and thus add to the comfort of her parents. We are old friends, Mr. Grahame," she added, "and therefore I do not hesitate to express the pleasure you have given me by thus promising to think upon my advice.
Lady Arabella had followed Caswall, when he had recovered sufficiently to get up and walk though stumblingly in the direction of Castra Regis. When Mimi was quite alone with Lilla and the need for effort had ceased, she felt weak and trembled. In her own mind, she attributed it to a sudden change in the weather it was momentarily becoming apparent that a storm was coming on.