"Emily mustn't be disturbed," she said.
"She is with Mr. Mirabel in the rose garden. I saw them talking together--evidently feeling the deepest interest in what they were saying to each other. Don't interrupt them--you will only be in the way."
Cecilia at once protested against this last assertion. "She is trying to make mischief, Mr. Morris--don't believe her. I am sure they will be glad to see you, if you join them in the garden."
Francine rose, and left the room. She turned, and looked at Alban as she opened the door. "Try it," she said--"and you will find I am right."
"Francine sometimes talks in a very ill-natured way," Cecilia gently remarked. "Do you think she means it, Mr. Morris?'
"I had better not offer an opinion," Alban replied.
"I can't speak impartially; I dislike Miss de Sor."
There was a pause. Alban's sense of self-respect forbade him to try the experiment which Francine had maliciously suggested. His thoughts--less easy to restrain--wandered in the direction of the garden. The attempt to make him jealous had failed; but he was conscious, at the same time, that Emily had disappointed him. After what they had said to each other in the park, she ought to have remembered that women are at the mercy of appearances. If Mirabel had something of importance to say to her, she might have avoided exposing herself to Francine's spiteful misconstruction: it would have been easy to arrange with Cecilia that a third person should be present at the interview.