"Weatherbury Upper Farm," the home of Bathsheba, which

In Margarita's heart the pain was more clearly defined. She had seen Ramona a half-second before Alessandro had; and dreaming no special harm, except a little confusion at being seen thus standing with him,-- for she would tell the Senorita all about it when matters had gone a little farther, -- had not let go of Alessandro's hand. But the next second she had seen in his face a look; oh, she would never forget it, never! That she should live to have had any man look at her like that! At the first glimpse of the Senorita, all the blood in his body seemed rushing into his face, and he had snatched his hand away,-- for it was Margarita herself that had taken his hand, not he hers,-- had snatched his hand away, and pushed her from him, till she had nearly fallen. All this might have been borne, if it had been only a fear of the Senorita's seeing them, which had made him do it. But Margarita knew a great deal better than that. That one swift, anguished, shame-smitten, appealing, worshipping look on Alessandro's face, as his eyes rested on Ramona, was like a flash of light into Margarita's consciousness. Far better than Alessandro himself, she now knew his secret. In her first rage she did not realize either the gulf between herself and Ramona, or that between Ramona and Alessandro. Her jealous rage was as entire as if they had all been equals together. She lost her head altogether, and there was embodied insolence in the tone in which she said presently, "Did the Senorita want me?"

Turning swiftly on her, and looking her full in the eye, Ramona said: "I saw you go to the orchard, Margarita, and I knew what you went for. I knew that you were at the brook last night with Alessandro. All I wanted of you was, to tell you that if I see anything more of this sort, I shall speak to the Senora."

"There is no harm," muttered Margarita, sullenly. "I don't know what the Senorita means."

"You know very well, Margarita," retorted Ramona. "You know that the Senora permits nothing of the kind. Be careful, now, what you do." And with that the two separated, Ramona returning to the veranda and her embroidery, and Margarita to her neglected duty of making the good Father's bed. But each girl's heart was hot and unhappy; and Margarita's would have been still hotter and unhappier, had she heard the words which were being spoken on the veranda a little later.

After a few minutes of his blind rage at Margarita, himself, and fate generally, Alessandro, recovering his senses, had ingeniously persuaded himself that, as the Senora's; and also the Senorita's servant, for the time being, he owed it to them to explain the situation in which he had just been found. Just what he was to say he did not know; but no sooner had the thought struck him, than he set off at full speed for the house, hoping to find Ramona on the veranda, where he knew she spent all her time when not with Senor Felipe.

When Ramona saw him coming, she lowered her eyes, and was absorbed in her embroidery. She did not wish to look at him.

The footsteps stopped. She knew he was standing at the steps. She would not look up. She thought if she did not, he would go away. She did not know either the Indian or the lover nature. After a time, finding the consciousness of the soundless presence intolerable, she looked up, and surprised on Alessandro's face a gaze which had, in its long interval of freedom from observation, been slowly gathering up into it all the passion of the man's soul, as a burning-glass draws the fire of the sun's rays. Involuntarily a low cry burst from Ramona's lips, and she sprang to her feet.

"Ah! did I frighten the Senorita? Forgive. I have been waiting here a long time to speak to her. I wished to say --"

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