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209
MARION

speaker to speaker, a sternly gratified prophetess. It didn't occur to me then how painful it was to Marion for these people to witness my rebellion.

"But, George," said her father, "what sort of marriage do you want? You don't want to go to one of those there registary offices?"

"That's exactly what I'd like to do. Marriage is too private a thing——"

"I shouldn't feel married," said Mrs. Ramboat.

"Look here, Marion," I said; "we are going to be married at a registry office. I don't believe in all these—fripperies and superstitions, and I won't submit to them. I've agreed to all sorts of things to please you."

"What's he agreed to?" said her father—unheeded.

"I can't marry at a registry office," said Marion, sallow-white.

"Very well," I said. "I'll marry nowhere else."

"I can't marry at a registry office."

"Very well," I said standing up, white and tense, and it amazed me, but I was also exultant; "then we won't marry at all."

She leant forward over the table, staring blankly at nothing.

"I don't think we'd better," she said in a low tone; "if it's to be like this."

"It's for you to choose," I said. I stood for a moment watching the cloud of sulky offence that veiled her beauty.

"It's for you to choose," I repeated; and regardless of the others, walked to the door, slammed it behind me and so went out of the house.

"That's over," I said to myself in the road, and was full of a desolating sense of relief. . . .