"There must be disappointment," he said; and he did not know the sound of his own voice.

"What disappointment? Speak to me. What disappointment?"

"Disappointment!" shrieked the mother. "How disappointment? There shall be no disappointment." Rising from her chair, she hurried across the room, and took her girl from his arms. "Lord Scroope, tell us what you mean. I say there shall be no disappointment. Sit away from him, Kate, till he has told us what it is." Then they heard the sound of a horse's foot passing close to the window, and they all knew that it was the priest. "There is Father Marty," said Mrs. O'Hara. "He shall make you tell it."

"I have already told him." Lord Scroope as he said this rose and moved towards the door; but he himself was almost unconscious of the movement. Some idea probably crossed his mind that he would meet the priest, but Mrs. O'Hara thought that he intended to escape from them.

She rushed between him and the door and held him with both her hands. "No; no; you do not leave us in that way, though you were twice an Earl."

"I am not thinking of leaving you."

"Mother, you shall not hurt him; you shall not insult him," said the girl. "He does not mean to harm me. He is my own, and no one shall touch him."

"Certainly I will not harm you. Here is Father Marty. Mrs. O'Hara you had better be tranquil. You should remember that you have heard nothing yet of what I would say to you."

"Whose fault is that? Why do you not speak? Father Marty, what does he mean when he tells my girl that there must be disappointment for her? Does he dare to tell me that he hesitates to make her his wife?"

The priest took the mother by the hand and placed her on the chair in which she usually sat. Then, almost without a word, he led Kate from the room to her own chamber, and bade her wait a minute till he should come back to her. Then he returned to the sitting-room and at once addressed himself to Lord Scroope. "Have you dared," he said, "to tell them what you hardly dared to tell to me?"


"He has dared to tell us nothing," said Mrs. O'Hara.

"I do not wonder at it. I do not think that any man could say to her that which he told me that he would do."

"Mrs. O'Hara," said the young lord, with some return of courage now that the girl had left them, "that which I told Mr. Marty this morning, I will now tell to you. For your daughter I will do anything that you and she and he may wish,--but one thing. I cannot make her Countess of Scroope."

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