"He has come to see Lucy, alone!" she said indignantly, as she hurried up the steps. "He has no right to annoy her!"
She met him coming out of the long salle. The little man walked nervously, fingering his sword hilt. He could not control his voice when he tried to speak naturally.
"Yes, gracious lady, I am guilty. It was unpardonable to come when I knew the chaperone was gone. But--ach! I could not wait!" throwing out both hands to her. "I have waited so long! I knew when she did not come to meet my sisters to-night she had resolved against me, but I could not sleep uncertain. So I break all the laws, and come!"
"You have seen her, then? She has told you?"
He nodded without speaking. His round face was red, and something like tears stood in his eyes.
He waited irresolute a moment, and then threw up his head.
"Soh! It is over! I shall not whine! You have been very good to me," he said earnestly, taking Clara's hand. "This is the first great trouble in my life. I have loved her very dearly. I decided to make great sacrifices for her. But I am not to have her--never."
"I am so sorry for you, prince." Clara squeezed his hand energetically. "Nor her dot. That would have been so comfortable for me," he said simply.