THE PAGAN CHILD. 65
pale face was the only one that met his, self-pos¬
sessed and self-reliant, when he stood before them.
An angry flush suffused even the pink roots of
Ranee's beard as he rose to his feet. An ominous
fire sprang into Ridgeway's eyes, and a spasm of
hate and scorn passed over the lower part of his
face and left the mouth and jaw immobile and
Yet he was the first to speak. " I owe you an
apology," he said to Jinny, with a suave scorn that
brought the indignant blood back to her cheek,
" for this intrusion ; but I ask no pardon for with¬
drawing from the only spot where that man dare
confront me with safety."
With an exclamation of rage. Ranee sprang
towards him. But as quickly Jinny stood between
them, erect and menacing. "There must be no
quarrel here," she said to Ranee. " While I protect
your right as my guest, don't oblige me to remind
you of mine as your hostess." She turned with a
half-deprecatory air to Ridgeway; but he was gone.
So was her father. Only Ranee remained, with a
look of ill-concealed triumph on his face.
Without looking at him she passed towards the
door. When she reached it she turned. " You
asked me a question an hour ago. Come to me in
the garden at nine o'clock to-night and I will answer
you. But promise me first to keep away from