'AIRY FAIRY LILIAN.' 261
side the door, raises herself on her elbow and says pet¬
tishly, and with the most flagrant injustice,
' Of course I can stay here all by myself in the dark,
if there is no one to take me down.'
' I wish I understood you,' says Guy, irritably,
coming back into the room. ' Do you mean you wish
me to carry you down ? I am quite willing to do so,
though I wish with all my heart your cousin were here
to take my place. It would e-vidently be much plea¬
santer for all parties. Nevertheless, if you deign to
accept my aid'—^proudly—'I shall neither trip nor
drop you, I promise.'
There is a superciliousness in his manner that vexes
Lilian; but having an innate horror of solitude, go
down she will; so she says cuttingly,
'You are graciousness itself! you give me plainly
to understand how irksome is this duty to you. I too
wish Archie were here, for many reasons, but as it is------'
she pauses abruptly; and Guy, stooping, raises her
quietly, tenderly, in his arms, and with the angry scowl
upon his face and the hauteur still within his usually
kind blue eyes, begins his march downstairs.
It is rather a long march to commence, with a young
woman however slender in one's arms. Ffrst comes the
corridor which is of a goodly length, and after it the end¬
less picture-gallery. Almost as they enter the latter,
a little nail half hidden in the doorway catches in
Lilian's gown, and dragging it roughly, somehow hurts
her foot. The pain she suffers causes her to give way
to a sharp cry, whereupon Guy stops short full of
' You are in pain ?' he says, gazing eagerly into the
face so close to his o-wn.
' My foot,' she answers, her eyes wet with tears;
' something dragged it—oh, how it hurts! And you
promised me to be so careful, and now------but I dare
say you are glad I am punished,' she winds up vehe¬
mently, and then bursts out crying, partly through