For every normal woman feels instinctively

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"But they are not opposed to you. Why, what could have made you think so? They have been very kind to you, Mr. Leitzel."

"To me personally, yes; kind and hospitable. But as your suitor? No. Have they not persistently put themselves in the way of my seeing you alone, and thus tried to interfere with my taking from them you and your—taking you from them?" he hastily concluded.

Daniel had been, all through this courtship, strangely, and to himself incomprehensibly, shy about making any inquiries as to Margaret's dowry, though he fairly suffered in the repression of his desire to know what she was "worth." He wondered what it really was that made him tongue-tied whenever he thought of "sounding" her? perhaps it was that she, on her side, was so persistently reticent not only as to her own property but with regard to his possessions. Never had she even hinted any curiosity as to his income, though he had several times led up to the subject in order to give her the necessary opportunity. The matter would, of course, have to be talked out between them some time. Daniel was all prepared with his own story; he knew just exactly what statements he was going to "hand out" to his future wife and what he was not going to tell. But the strange thing was she didn't seem to feel the least interest in the matter.

When Margaret tried just now to assure him that her relatives' supposed interference with his attentions to her was wholly imaginary, she received her first glimpse of the notorious obstinacy of the little lawyer, and she recognized, with some consternation, that when once an idea had found lodgment in his brain, it was there to stay; no reasoning or proof could dislodge it.

"Since your relatives are opposed to your marrying," he reiterated his conviction at the end of her proofs to the contrary, "I think it would be well if we got married before I returned to New Munich. This would not only save me the expense of another trip South, but would avert any further plotting on the part of your family. I'm afraid to leave the spot," he affirmed, "without taking you with me. Anyway, I can't." His face flushed and he fairly caught his breath as he gazed at her. "I'm thinking of you day and night, every hour, every minute! If I went back without you I couldn't work. I'm just crazy about you!"

It was this outburst of feeling that just saved the day for Daniel, his cold-blooded dissection of his penurious motives in his swift lovemaking having almost turned the tide against him.

"If we marry at all," said Margaret in a matter-of-fact tone, "I agree with you that it might as well be at once."

"'If at all?' Ah!" said Daniel almost coquettishly, "that's to remind me that you haven't accepted me yet? I'm going ahead too fast, am I? My feelings ran away with me, Margaret, for the moment because it's simply unthinkable to me that you should refuse me—I mean, I could not think of life without you now that I know and love you."

"Very well, I'll marry you, Mr. Leitzel. I might as well. But if it is to be done, we shall have to have a quiet wedding, you know."

Calmly as she spoke, the colour dyed her cheeks as she realized the fatal finality of the words she uttered. Deep down in her soul, not clearly recognized by herself, was a vague sense of guilt in the thing she was doing, all her logic to the contrary notwithstanding.  that the human relation which may make her a mother, if it is not a sacred and ennobling relation, must be a degrading one, and no experiences of life, however embittering, can ever wholly obliterate this profound intuition. 


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