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THE Colonel took his wife's arm, drawing her close to him, leaning over her little figure: he could hold her closer in this way, and take her strength more completely into his own than if she had taken his arm in the ordinary fashion. But she gave him but an uncertain support for the first time in their life. The group made up of those two figures linked into one, making but one shadow, tottered as they set out. And she made no reply to his look, to the urgent clasp of his arm on hers, until they had passed out of the village street, and gained the quiet and stillness of the avenue within the gates. Then Elizabeth unprecedented action! -detached herself almost with impatience. "You hurt me, Henry," she said quickly, with a sharp intolerance in her tone. This brought the painful excitement of the morning to a climax; for when had she complained before?

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"My dear!" he cried, with a tone of compunction and horror, “I— hurt you?" as if he had been accused of high treason and brutal cruelty combined.

This accent of amazed contrition brought Mrs Hayward to herself. "Oh no, Henry," she said, "you did not hurt me at all. I am not fit to speak to any good Christian. I am a wretched creature, full of envy, and malice, and all uncharitableness. Let me alone a little till I come to myself."

The Colonel gave her a piteous look. "As long as you please, my dear," he said, then added apologetically, "I can't help feeling very anxious. There is more in this than meets the eye-there is more in it than I realised: there is the -the young lady, Elizabeth."

In spite of herself his wife looked at him with a momentary scorn which was almost fierce. "Do you mean to say that this is


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