"Good night--bless you, my child," returned Lady Helena; and the fair face turned from her with a smile.
"You have left me until last," said Lord Airlie; "goodnight, my Beatrice. Never mind papa--he is not looking at us, give me one kiss."
She raised her face to his, and he kissed the proud, sweet lips.
"You will never part with it," he said; and he smiled as she answered:
Then she passed out of his sight, and he who would have laid down his life for her saw her leave him without the faintest suspicion of the shadow that hung over her.
The smile still lingered on her as she stood in her own room. A few hours more--one more trial--she said to herself; then she would be free, and might enjoy her happiness to its full extent. How dearly Hubert loved her--how unutterably happy she would be when Hugh released her! And he would--she never doubted it.
"I shall not want you again," she said to her maid. "And do not call me in the morning. I am tired."
The door of Lillian's room was not closed; she went in. The night lamp was shaded, and the blinds closely drawn, so that the bright moonlight could not intrude. She went gently to the side of the bed where her sister lay. Poor, gentle, loving Lillian! The pale, sad face, with its wistful wearied expression, was turned to the wall. There were some traces of tears, and even in sleep deep sighs passed the quivering lips. Sorrow and woe were impressed on the fair face. Yet, as Beatrice kissed the clear, calm brow, she would gladly have changed places with her.