"The engagement," he said, jerking
his thumb in the direction John had
taken. "I saw him with a yard-long
grin on his face, so I suppose you're
lo be married now."
"Listen, Hal!" I burst out excited
ly. "John and I hate each other, and
we are never going to be married
never, in spite of that wretched old
Mr. Ellersbie, yes, and papa and
Hal looked amazed. Then suddenly
he came up to me, and before I knew
what he was doing he had me in his
"Listen, Lizzie dear little cousin
Lizzie," he said, "I love you and only
you you, as long as I. live. I have
always loved you."
At thst instant I knew why I had
hated John" so much. It was because
I had, always loved Hal, to.
"Will you marry me, Lizzie?" he
I caught my breath. "I don't
know," I stammered. "What will
Mr. Ellersbie say?"
Hal said a terrible thing about Mr.
Ellersbie, involving his whole future
destiny after death. It was the worst
thing I ever heard.
"I beg your pardon, deafest," he
said penitently; "But I just had to.
I hate him. We must get rid of him."
"We can't He could ruin papa," I
answered. "He could make him into
a penniless beggar by simply raising
"But I'm going to marry you," said
Hal. "And I'm going to do it soon.
I'm going to marry you when John
"Marries Mary!" I cried.
"There! I ought not to have told
you. That was what made John so
miserable, to think that he had 'to
marry you when he and Mary loved
each other! And you know how 1
' f!5t about it all. Lizzzie, I'm going
' to see your father now!"
His eyes flashed with his deter
mination. I had never seen him look
, fin hatidsome. I stonned him as he
was leading me out of the boudoir. ,
"Hal," I said timidly, "do you kno-w
you you've forgotten something"
I felt myself blushing furiously. ' But
the next moment he knew. He had
been too excited even to remember
that! I knew then how much hfr
cared for me.
We went straight out of the room
and along the corridors until we
came to papa's room. Papa was seal
ed at his desk and mamma was near
him, looking as if she was going to
cry; and both were facing Mr. Ellers
bie, who stood with one hand up
raised in his hectoring way and was
reeling off a lecture to both of them,
at least a yard long every time he
opened his mouth. And it was all
"I don't see any way out of it, my
dear," said papa to mamma, who put
her handkerchief to her eyes.
"My daughter's happiness is tne
only thing in life that amounts to
anything at all," she'said, "Mr. El
lerbie, can't some other arrangement
"Yes, madam," said Mr. Ellersbie,
"stuffly. "It is possible to dispense
with my services, of course."
"There, that will do," said papa.
"Mr. Ellersbie insists and I wash my
hands of the whole affair. Let him
settle with Elsie."
"That'B just what I've come for,"" I
said, putting in my appearance. "I
told Mr. Ellersbie that I will never,
never marry John under any circum
stances whatever, and I meant it.
And I am going to marry Hal."
"But he is engaged engaged
to " Mr. Ellersbie began to bluster.
"No, he isn't," said Hal decisively.
"I am engaged to marry my Cousin
Lizzie and I mean to. And I don't
care if it brings uncle to beggary,"
he added defiantly.
"Nor I." I said. "You can do iust
what you please, Mr. Ellersbie and if
you don't feel satisfied with our de
cision, why, do your worst!"
Mr. Ellersbie looked at usr in de
spair, and then he surrendered.
"Very veil, very well,'" he said, in
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