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The charming creature detests

The charming creature detests

‘What I am,’ continued Madeline, ‘I am; thanks to you, and you only. I have been dragged as low almost as the women who nightly walk the streets. Now you come to me and ask me to return to shame and degradation. Your wife I may be, as you say, but sooner than return to you and live with you—in honourable wedlock, as the world would call it—I would destroy myself. I expect no mercy from you. Well, you may do you worst—what that may be I neither know nor care.’

And before the Frenchman could utter a word she turned from him and walked swiftly away.

He did not attempt to follow her. This sudden and unexpected onslaught of his victim had found him quite unprepared, and he gazed after her with eyes full of perplexity and amazement. Then he, too, turned and walked away. He strolled slowly through the park in the direction of the Serpentine; having reached it, he paused on one of the bridges, leant over the parapet, and watched the swans. He felt in his pocket, threw them some broken biscuits, and watched them eat.

While so watching, he soliloquised. ‘As I suspected,’ he murmured, ‘she still possesses a spirit and a temper—-eh bien, it is for me to manage both. If this little piece of paper (touching the certificate) were genuine, if that spirited creature were indeed my wife, I should find my work easy. The law would give her to me, and there would be an end to the whole matter. I would place her again upon the stage; she would make me a rich man, while I could pursue my dream, mount rapidly up the ladder of fame, become the idol of mankind, and make my name immortal. But, alas! that cannot be.
me, and means to resist me. I dare not appeal to the law, for it would require more proofs of my sagacity than my charming Madeline does. Parbleu! what must I do now?’

He ran his thin fingers through his long hair; he gazed again meditatively at the water; he threw some more biscuits to the swans. Suddenly the perplexed look passed away from his face, which lit up into positive ecstasy  The entireroom wasfacedwithpolished granite..

‘The husband! 5 he cried. ‘Mon Dieu! but she adores the husband even more cordially than she detests me. Let me think of him; let my plans involve him, and my success is tolerably sure.’
CHAPTER XXXI.—IN THE ROW.
While Gavrolles, in a grotesque attitude, was soliloquising and feeding the swans, Madeline was walking along the pavement of the principal street in Knightsbridge. Her eyes rested upon the gaily decked shop windows and the busy crowd about her, but her thoughts were still with the man whom she had just left. Already she repented of her madness in having defied him. Once or twice she paused with the intention of returning to him and asking for pity, but her resolutions were no sooner made than conquered; to expect mercy from that man was like looking for water to flow from a stone.

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