64 BRET harte's CHOICE BITS.
henslon, so that he fell to rubbing his beard almost
upon his very threshold.
Jinny ran into the hall, and seized her father with
a little cry of joy, " Father," said Jinny, in a
hurried whisper, " don't mind ^z'ot," indicating
Ranee with a toss of her yellow braids; " he's
going soon. And / think father, I've done him
wrong. But it's all over with John and me now.
Read that note, and see how he's insulted me."
Her lip quivered; but she went on, " It's Ridgeway
that he means, father; and I believe it was his
hand struck Ridgeway down, or that he knows who
did. But hush now; not a word."
She gave him a feverish kiss, and glided back
into the parlour, leaving Mr. Mc Closky perplexed
and irresolute, with the note in his hand. He
glanced at it hurriedly, and saw that it was couched
in almost the very words he had suggested. But
a sudden, apprehensive recollection came over him.
He listened; and with an exclamation of dismay
he seized his hat and ran out of the house, but too
late. At the same moment a quick nervous foot¬
step was heard upon the verandah ; the French
window flew open, and with a light laugh of greet¬
ing Ridgeway stepped into the room.
Jinny's finer ear first caught the step. Jinny's
swifter feelings had sounded the depths of hope, of
joy, of despair, before he entered the room. Jinny's