"Matty, my dear!" he said, and his thin lips touched her glowing cheek, but in his cold gray eye there shone no love,--no feeling,-- no heart.
He was too supremely selfish to esteem another higher than himself, and though it flattered him to know that the young creature was so glad to meet him, it awoke no answering chord, and he merely thought that with her to minister to him he should possibly be happier than he had been with her predecessor.
"You must be very tired," she said, as she led the way into the cozy parlor. Then, seating him in the easy chair near to the open window, she continued: "How warm you are. What made you walk this sultry afternoon?"
"It is a maxim of mine never to ride when I can walk," said he, "for I don't believe in humoring those omnibus drivers by paying their exorbitant prices."
"Two shillings surely is not an exorbitant price," trembled on Mrs. Remington's lips, but she was prevented from saying so by his asking "if everything were in readiness for the morrow."
"Yes, everything," she replied. "The cottage is sold, and--"
"Ah, indeed, sold!" said he, interrupting her. "If I mistake not you told me, when I met you in Rome, that it was left by will to you. May I, as your to-morrow's husband, ask how much you received for it?" And he unbent his dignity so far as to wind his arm around her waist.
But the arm was involuntarily withdrawn when, with her usual frankness, Matty replied; "I received a thousand dollars, but there were debts to be paid, so that I had only five hundred left, and this I made over to my daughter to be used for her education."