me with hope; she asked how far it was to the farm. "Five miles!" she repeated. "And five miles back again, unless the farmer lends us a cart. My dear Selina, you might as well ask me to walk to the North Pole. You have got rid of one of us, Mr. Governor," she added pleasantly; "and the other, if you only walk fast enough, you will leave behind you on the road. If I believed in luck-- which I don't--I should call you a fortunate man."
But companionable Selina would not hear of a separation.
She asked, in her most irresistible manner, if I objected to driving instead of walking. Her heart's dearest wish, she said, was to make her bosom friend and myself better acquainted with each other. To conclude, she reminded me that there was a cab-stand in the next street.
Perhaps I might have been influenced by my distrust of Mrs. Tenbruggen, or perhaps by my anxiety to protect Eunice. It struck me that I might warn the defenseless girl to be on her guard with Mrs. Tenbruggen to better purpose if Eunice was in a position to recognize her in any future emergency that might occur. To my mind, this dangerous woman was doubly formidable--and for a good reason; she was the bosom friend of that innocent and unweary person, Miss Jillgall.
So I amiably consented to forego my walk, yielding to the superior attractions of Mrs. Tenbruggen's company. On that day the sunshine was tempered by a delightful breeze. If we had been in the biggest and worst-governed city on the civilized earth, we should have found no public vehicle, open to the air, which could offer accommodation to three people. Being only in a country town, we had a light four-wheeled chaise at our disposal, as a matter of course.
No wise man expects to be mercifully treated, when he is shut into a carriage with a mature single lady, inflamed by curiosity. I was not unprepared for Miss Jillgall when she alluded, for the second time, to the sad events which had happened in the house on the previous day--and especially to the destruction by Mr. Gracedieu of the portrait of his wife.
"Why didn't he destroy something else?" she pleaded piteously. "It is such a disappointment to Me. I never liked that picture, myself. Of course I ought to have admired the portrait of the wife of my benefactor. But no --that disagreeable painted face was too much for me. I should have felt inexpressibly relieved if I could have