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A Mere Chance, Vol. 1 of 3
A Novel

written by "Cambridge, Ada, 1844-1926"
...ill ever put it to. You'll see he will tell Rachel all about it to-night. He will beg her to help him with her exquisite taste, and so on. Oh, I know his ways. But he means nothing." "He has already told Rachel," said Mrs. Hardy, laughing. "And, what is more, he is going to bring the designs to show her, and he says he is really going to put the work in hand at once." "If so," said Mrs. Reade, gazing into the fire meditatively, "it looks as[43] if he had been proposing to settle himself—though I shall not believe it till I see it. But then he must have made his plans before he ever saw Rachel. It must be Sarah Brownlow he is thinking of, mamma." "Sarah Brownlow passed him this afternoon, Beatrice, and he hardly noticed her. While as for Rachel—well, I only wish you had been there to see the way he looked at her, and the way he said good-bye. My impression is that he thinks it is time to settle—as indeed it is, goodness knows—and so has begun with his house; and that he is looking about for a mistress for it, and that something in Rachel has struck him. I am certain he is struck with Rachel." Mrs. Reade gazed into the fire gravely,[44] while she pondered over this solemn announcement. "It is possible," she said presently. "It is quite possible. All the men are saying that she is the prettiest girl in Melbourne just now. An elderly club man, who has seen much of the world, is very likely to admire that kind of childish, simple creature. If it should be so," she continued, musingly, "I wonder how Rachel will take it." "Rachel," said Mrs. Hardy, with sudden energy, "is not so simple as she seems. You mark my words, she will be as keen to make a good marriage as anybody as soon as she gets the chance." "Do you think so?" her daughter responded, looking up with her bright,[45] quick eyes. "Now that is not at all my notion of her." "Nor was it mine at first, but I am getting new ...

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