"Your Highness has asked a good many questions," she said. "May I put one to you? Did you inquire concerning Miss Hassard's dot, also?" "Ah, certainly! Why not? It is very large. I have spoken of it to my cousin Count Odo. But the drawback--her father still lives. He may marry again. Her dot depends upon his good pleasure. Whereas Miss Dunbar is an orphan; and besides that, she is so dear to me!" clasping his hands, his face red with fervor. "So truly dear!"
And she knew that he honestly meant it.
When Miss Vance came into the corridor after she had reported this interview to Lucy, Jean swept her into her room and dragged the whole story from her. In fact the poor anxious lady was glad to submit it to the girl's shrewd hard sense.
"You told him that she was the uncontrolled mistress of her money!"
"It is the truth. I had to tell him the truth, my dear."
"Yes, I suppose so, for he would have found it out anyhow."
"I do feel," panted Clara, "as if I had put a dove into the claws of a vulture."
"Not at all," said Jean promptly. "The little man has a heart, but an empty pocket. Was Lucy interested most in his love or his bargaining?"