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Red Hair
written by "Glyn, Elinor, 1864-1943"
... to make him regret his decision. When I hear him imploring me to marry him, I shall regain a little of my self-respect! And as for marriage, I shall have nothing to do with the horrid affair! Oh, dear, no! I shall go away free and be a happy adventuress. I have read the Trois Mousquetaires and Vingt Ans Après—mademoiselle had them—and I remember milady had only three days to get round her jailer, starting with his hating her; whereas Mr. Carruthers does not hate me, so that counts against my only having one evening. I shall do my best! Thursday night. I was down in the library, innocently reading a book, when Mr. Carruthers came in. He looked even better in evening dress, but he appeared ill-tempered, and no doubt found the situation unpleasant. "Is not this a beautiful house?" I said, in a velvet voice, to break the awkward silence, and show him I did not share his unease. "You had not seen it before, for ages, had you?" "Not since I was a boy," he answered, trying to be polite. "My aunt quarrelled with my father—she was the direct heiress of all this—and married her cousin, my father's younger brother—but you know the family history, of course——" "Yes." "They hated each other, she and my father." "Mrs. Carruthers hated all her relations," I said, demurely. "Myself among them?" "Yes," I said, slowly, and bent forward so that the lamplight should fall upon my hair. "She said you were too much like herself in character for you ever to be friends." "Is that a compliment?" he asked, and there was a twinkle in his eye. "We must speak no ill of the dead," I said, evasively. He looked slightly annoyed—as much as these diplomats ever let themselves look anything. "You are right," he said. "Let her rest in peace." There was silence for a moment. "What are you going to do with your life now?" he asked, presently. It was a bald question. "I shall ...

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