I am no fitting wife for you!

July 19 [Fri], 2013, 17:00

The girl's eyes flashed with a proud light, as Clement Austin finished speaking.“Will you do this?” she said; “will you bring to light the mystery of my father’s death? Will you bring punishment upon his murderer? It seems a horrible thing, perhaps, for a timberland australia woman to wish detection to overtake any man, however base; but surely it would be more horrible if I were content to let my father’s murder remain unavenged. My poor father! If he had been a good man, I do not think it would grieve me so much to remember his cruel death: but he was not a good man ― he was not a good man.”“Let him have been what he may, Margaret, his murderer shall not go unpunished if I can aid the cause of justice,” said Clement Austin. “But it was not to say this alone that I came here to-night, Margaret. I have something more to say to you.”

There was a tenderness in the cashier’s voice as he said these last words, that brought the blushes back to Margaret’s pale cheeks.“You know that I love you, Margaret,” Clement said, in a low, earnest voice; “you must know that I love you: or if you do not, it is because there is no sympathy between us, and in that case my love is indeed hopeless. I have loved you from the first, dear ― yes, from the very first summer twilight in which I saw your pale, pensive face in the dusky little garden at Wandsworth. The tender interest which I then felt in you was the first mysterious dawn of love, though I, in my infinite wisdom, put it down to an artistic admiration for your peculiar beauty. It was love, Margaret; and it has grown and strengthened in my heart ever since that summer evening, until it leads me here to-night to tell you all, and to ask you if there is any hope. Ah, Margaret, you must have known my love all along! You would have banished me had you felt that my love was hopeless: you could not have been so cruel as to deceive me.”

Margaret looked up at her lover with a frightened face. Had she done wrong, then, to be happy in his society, if she did not love him ― if she did not love him! But surely this sudden thrill of triumph and delight which filled her breast, as Clement spoke to her, must be in some degree akin to love.Yes, she loved him; but the bright things of this world were not for her. Love and Duty fought for the mastery of her pure Soul: and Duty was the conqueror.“Oh, Clement!” she said, “do you forget who I am? Do you forget that letter which I showed you long ago, a letter addressed to my father when he was a transported felon, suffering the penalty of his crime? Do you forget who I am, and the taint that is in my blood; the disgrace that stains my name? I am proud to think that you have loved me, Clement Austin; but I am no fitting wife for you!”

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