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(TWEENY gurgles.) Well, I suppose that will do.

LORD BROCKLEHURST. Do! I hope you are ashamed of yourself, mother.
(To CRICHTON, who is going). You are an excellent fellow, Crichton;
and if, after we are married, you ever wish to change your place,
come to us.

LADY MARY (losing her head for the only time). Oh no, impossible--

LADY BROCKLEHURST (at once suspicious). Why impossible? (LADY MARY
cannot answer, or perhaps she is too proud.) Do you see why it
should be impossible, my man?

(He can make or mar his unworthy MARY now. Have you any doubt of

CRICHTON. Yes, my lady. I had not told you, my lord, but as soon as
your lordship is suited I wish to leave service. (They are all
immensely relieved, except poor TWEENY.)

TREHERNE (the only curious one). What will you do, Crichton?
(CRICHTON shrugs his shoulders; 'God knows', it may mean.)

CRICHTON. Shall I withdraw, my lord? (He withdraws without a tremor,
TWEENY accompanying him. They can all breathe again; the
thunderstorm is over.)

LADY BROCKLEHURST (thankful to have made herself unpleasant). Horrid
of me, wasn't it? But if one wasn't disagreeable now and again, it
would be horribly tedious to be an old woman. He will soon be yours,
Mary, and then--think of the opportunities you will have of being
disagreeable to me. On that understanding, my dear, don't you think
we might--? (Their cold lips meet.)

LORD LOAM (vaguely). Quite so--quite so. (CRICHTON announces dinner,
and they file out. LADY MARY stays behind a moment and impulsively
holds out her hand.)

LADY MARY. To wish you every dear happiness.

CRICHTON (an enigma to the last.) The same to you, my lady.

LADY MARY. Do you despise me, Crichton? (The man who could never
tell a lie makes no answer.) You are the best man among us.

CRICHTON. On an island, my lady, perhaps; but in England, no.

LADY MARY. Then there's something wrong with England.

CRICHTON. My lady, not even from you can I listen to a word against

LADY MARY. Tell me one thing: you have not lost your courage?

CRICHTON. No, my lady.

(She goes. He turns out the lights.)

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