"Not even then. Are you content at last? Promise me not to be rude to Mr. Mirabel again."
"No--for my sake. I don't like to see you place yourself at a disadvantage toward another man; I don't like you to disappoint me."
The happiness of hearing her say those words transfigured him--the manly beauty of his earlier and happier years seemed to have returned to Alban. He took her hand--he was too agitated to speak.
"You are forgetting Mr. Mirabel," she reminded him gently.
"I will be all that is civil and kind to Mr. Mirabel; I will like him and admire him as you do. Oh, Emily, are you a little, only a very little, fond of me?"
Her fair cheek was very near to him. The softly-rising color on it said, Answer me here--and he answered.
On Monday, Mirabel made his appearance--and the demon of discord returned with him.
Alban had employed the earlier part of the day in making a sketch in the park--intended as a little present for Emily. Presenting himself in the drawing-room, when his work was completed, he found Cecilia and Francine alone. He asked where Emily was.