Grace hung her head, and, trembling a little, drew the letter very slowly out of her bosom.
It just flashed through her mind how cruel it was to make her read out the death-warrant of her heart before two men; but she summoned all a woman's fortitude and self-defense, prepared to hide her anguish under a marble demeanor, and quietly opened the letter.
"You advise me to marry one, when I love another; and this, you think, is the way to be happy. It has seldom proved so, and I should despise happiness if I could only get it in that way.
Grace, being on her defense, read this letter very slowly, and as if she had to decipher it. That gave her time to say, "Yours, et cetera," instead of "sadly and devotedly." (Why be needlessly precise?) As for the postscript, she didn't trouble them with that at all.
She then hurried the letter into her pocket, that it might not be asked for, and said, with all the nonchalance she could manage to assume, "Oh, if he loves somebody else!"
"No; that is worse still," said Mr. Raby. "In his own rank of life, it is ten to one if he finds anything as modest, as good, and as loyal as Dence's daughter. It's some factory-girl, I suppose."
"Let us hope not," said Grace, demurely; but Amboyne noticed that her cheek was now flushed, and her eyes sparkling like diamonds.
Soon afterward she strolled apart, and took a wonderful interest in the monuments and things, until she found an opportunity to slip out into the church-yard. There she took the letter out, and kissed it again and again, as if she would devour it; and all the way home she was as gay as a lark. Amboyne put himself in her place.