A light that was dazzling as sunshine came into the beautiful face.
"Oh, Lily," she cried, "can it be true? Do not mock me with false hopes; my life seems to tremble in the balance."
"He is not cruel," said Lillian. "I am sorry for him. If you see him I feel sure he will release you. See what he says."
Beatrice opened the letter; it contained but a few penciled lines. She did not give them to Lillian to read.
"Beatrice," wrote Hugh Fernely, "you must tell me with your own lips that you do not love me. You must tell me yourself that every sweet hope you gave me was a false lie. I will not leave Earlescourt again without seeing you. On Thursday night, at ten o'clock, I will be at the same place--meet me, and tell me if you want your freedom. Hugh."
"I shall win!" she cried. "Lily, hold my hands--they tremble with happiness. See, I can not hold the paper. He will release me, and I shall not lose my love--my love, who is all the world to me. How must I thank you? This is Tuesday; how shall I live until Thursday? I feel as though a load, a burden, the weight of which no words can tell, were taken from me. Lily, I shall be Lord Airlie's wife, and you will have saved me."
"Beatrice," said Lord Earle, as the sisters, in returning, passed by the chess table, "our game is finished, will you give us a song?"
Never had the magnificent voice rung out so joyously, never had the beautiful face looked so bright. She sang something that was like an air of triumph--no under current of sadness marred its passionate sweetness. Lord Airlie bent over her chair enraptured.