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      Norman hesitated and looked from her to Trafford and Lady Ada; then he went to the piano as he would have gone to the scaffold if Esmeralda had bidden him, and he sat down and played and sung one of the songs he sung in MacGraths saloon that night Esmeralda had listened outside; and Esmeralda, her face flushed, her eyes sparkling, stood beside himbent over him, indeedand beat time with her hand.

      [252]Would to God you had never gone there, he said.

      The following afternoon, at the hour appointed, he drove the mail phaeton up to the door, and Esmeralda, who had been quite ready five minutes before the time, clapped her hands, and uttered an exclamation of delight as she saw the pair of splendid horses.

      Esmeralda leaned back with her eyes closed. She could hear her husbands footsteps as he paced restlessly on the terrace below. Her husbands! A wave of bitterness swept over her as she thought of the misery that hung like a dark cloud over her life. At that moment, doubtless, he was thinking of Lady Ada; perhaps wishing that he had not married for money! She clasped her hands tightly and pressed her lips together to keep back the tears that threatened to rise. She heard the door open, but thinking it was Barker, did not turn her head. Then she became conscious that the footsteps were heavier than those of Barker, and, looking up, she saw that it was Trafford. In her surprise and amazement she did not move, but sat and gazed at him.


      Its a habit they have, he said. They dont mean to be servile; in fact, theyre rather an independent crew, but they just do it out of politeness, and because they have known us all their lives.


      I amI am! he assented. It is my only failing, and I have suffered from it since my birth. We will go wherever you please.He stood still as a stone, and almost as cold. Esmeralda, who had been to him the embodiment of purity and honor, loved Norman, and had brought dishonor upon her husband. It was not only her wounded pride at the discovery that he had married her for her money which had kept them apart, but an illicit and dishonorable love for another man.


      He winced.