'And the children have some toys.'
'I didn't know - you ever sent them anything!' she murmured, much moved. 'I almost wish you had not - yes, I almost wish it!'
'Tessy - don't you love me ever so little now?'
'I'm grateful,' she reluctantly
admitted. 'But I fear I do not--' The sudden vision of his passion for herself as a factor in this result so distressed
her that, beginning with one slow tear, and then following with another, she wept outright.
'Don't cry, dear, dear one! Now sit down here, and wait till I come.' She passively sat down amid the leaves he had heaped
, and shivered slightly. 'Are you cold?' he asked.
'Not very - a little.'
He touched her with his fingers, which sank into her as into down. 'You have only that puffy
muslin dress on - how's that?'
'It's my best summer one. 'Twas very warm when I started, and I didn't know I was going to ride, and that it would be night.'
'Nights grow chilly
in September. Let me see.' He pulled off a light overcoat that he had worn, and put it round her tenderly
. 'That's it - now you'll feel warmer,' he continued. 'Now, my pretty, rest there; I shall soon be back again.'