One day, casually, when they had been driving in the forest, he told her that he was the nephew and heir of that puissant English nobleman, the Marquis of Rochdale.
"Do you mean," she said, "that you will be Lord
Rochdale one day?"
"Yes. My uncle has no children, and has always brought me up as though I were his own son."
"Is he old?"
"He's not young. He's about sixty."
"Oh, why, why," she asked, "did you have to teil me this?"
"What has it got to do with us?"
"Everything," Lina informed him, with a sense of bitter experience, "when I first loved you I had no idea that you were some one chic, some one who was important in English society. I never thought about you at all. I suppose I took you for granted. Anyhow, I thought of you as my lover, and that was the beginning and the end
of the matter."
"But, Lina, my sweet, I only ask you to continue
thinking of me in the same way!"
But she said suddenly, a few moments later:
"It's not quite the same, Guy. Before, I had played with the ridiculous idea that you would stay with me for ever. Now I know that one day they'11 take you away from me. And that day my heart will break!"
"Lina! I thought we were never going to talk of
"I know we promised not to. But somehow they can't be avoided, those serious things, for very long."
"Then I am going to be extremely serious."
And he took her in his arms, smiling, gay, self-confident. "Lina, will you make me very happy?"