'__________,' I said, 'I must tell you that I'm as unhappy as you ever wanted me to be. I've discovered who has been paying for my education. Now I know I shall never be rich, or important. I cannot tell you any more. It isn't my secret, but another person's.' I stopped, considering what to say next.
'Go on,' said , looking interested.
'I thought it was you,. ..' And you encouraged me in my mistake!'
'Why should I be kind to anybody after all I’ve suffered!' cried angrily.
'Yes, you're right,' I said quickly, to calm her. 'But you also encouraged your relations to think I would inherit some of your fortune.'
'Why shouldn't I?' she cried wildly.
'But and his son are different. They aren't selfish or greedy, they're generous and honest. I want you to know that.'
She looked carefully at me. 'What do you want for them?'
'I'm asking for money,' I replied, my cheeks red. 'I would like you to help my friend become a partner in his company. I started paying for this myself two years ago - and I want to keep it a secret from him - but now I find I can't continue the payments. I can't explain why. It's part of the other person's secret.'
looked at the fire, and then at me again.
'What else?' she asked.
Turning to , I tried to control my trembling voice. 'You know I love you ,' I said. 'I have loved you long and dearly.' She shook her head.
'I know, I know I have no hope of ever marrying you, But I have loved you ever since I first saw you in this house. It was cruel of to encourage me to hope, but I don't think she meant to be unkind.'
'What you say,' said very calmly, 'doesn't touch my heart. I can't feel love as you do. And I've warned you of this. Haven't I?'
'Yes,' I answered miserably, 'but I couldn't believe it.'
'It's the way I've been brought up.'
' , Bentley Drummle is in town here. You go riding with him, don't you? Is he having dinner with you tonight?'
'It is all true,' she answered, a little surprised.
'You cannot love him, !' I cried.
'Didn't you listen? I can never love anyone!' And then she added, 'But why not tell you the truth? I'm going to marry him.'
I covered my face with my hands. After a moment I lifted my head and cried, 'Don't throw yourself away on an animal like him! Even if you won't marry me, there must be others who love you. Any of them would be a thousand times better than Drummle!'
'I can't marry a man who expects me to love him. So Drummle will do well enough as my husband. You will soon forget me.'
'Never, ! You are part of myself...