254 'AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.'
stance of one,' says LUian, ' and yet you meanly kept
it from me.'
' Kept what ? '—innocently, though he has the
grace to colour hotly.
' Don't be deceitful, Cyril, whatever you are. I say
it was downright unkind to leave me in ignorance of
the fact that all this time there was a real, unmistak¬
able, bond fide lover near me, close to me, at my vei^
elboiu, as one might say.'
' I know I am happy enough to be at your elbow just
now,' says Cyril, humbly, ' but to confess the truth I
never yet dared to permit myself to look upon you
openly with lover's eyes. I am still at a loss to know
how you discovered the aU-absorbing passion that I—
that anyone fortunate enough to know you—must
feel for you.'
' Don't be a goose,' says Miss Chesney, with im¬
measurable scorn. ' Don't you think I have wit enough
to see you are head over ears in love with that charm¬
ing, beautiful creature down there in the Cottage ? I
don't wonder at that, I only wonder why you did not
teU me of it when we were such good friends.'
' Are you quite sure I had anything to tell you ?'
' Quite ; I have eyes and I have ears. Did I not
see how you looked at her, and how she blushed all up
to the roots of her soft hair when you did so ? and
when you were placing me in the carriage she said
" Oh, Cyril! " and what was the meaning of that,
jSIaster Chetwoode, eh ? She is the prettiest woman I
ever saw,' says Lilian, enthusiastically. ' To see her
is indeed to love her. I hope you love her properly,
with all your heart ? '
' I do,' says Cyril, simply; ' I sometimes think,
Lilian, it cannot be for one's happiness to love as
' Oh, this is delightful,' cries Lilian, clapping her
hands ; ' I am glad you are in earnest about it; and I
am glad you are both so good-looking. I don't think