This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1853. Excerpt: ... "What a little tantaliser you are, Maria!" he echoed, imitating his companion's tones. "Speak out, and relieve me of my curiosity. I will be true to your trust." "No. I would tell you rather than another; but it must not be told. Let us turn the tables. Have you no secrets 1" "First, what do you mean by a secret?" "Why, something that we have either done, or desired to do, that would not bear the telling." "Then I cannot deny I have. I believe the best of us have done, or desired to do, some guilty thing which the heart shrinks from sharing with another. But I will give secret for secret 1" William gaily gave this challenge (knowing it would not be accepted), to intimate that his secret was of a trifling nature. He would no more have told his mysterious charmer he was a thief, than she would have communicated what she was. "No you would not. Nor would I trust you with mine." "Cannot I guess yours?" "You may think so--but it is past your ken. You know only what you see--that I am frail--or gay--or what you will. I take no pains to disguise that: how then can it be my secret?" "But is it not connected with it?" "Yes--about as much--let me see--about as much as a hair of the head with the body." "No more than that 1" "No more. Is this a clue to yours?" she asked, holding up the duplicate of a watch. "Why, where in the world did you get that 1" "Is this a clue to yours?" she repeated, still holding up the duplicate. "Oh, no--of course not," William blushingly replied. "True--it is a secret so far, that there being no necessity to inform any person that on a certain day, wanting a certain sum for a certain purpose, I pledged my watch, and kept it to myself. There's no murder in that." "Murder!--how do you mean?" exclaimed Maria, evidently surprised. "He! he!--...
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