But he never moved from his pillar of torture. Jealous agony is the one torment men can not fly from; it fascinates, it holds, it maddens.
Jael came to the drawing-room door just as the waltz ended, and tried to get to Miss Carden; but there were too many ladies and gentlemen, especially about the door.
At last she caught Grace's eye, but only for a moment; and the young lady was in the very act of going out on the balcony for air, with her partner.
She did go out, accompanied by Mr. Coventry, and took two or three turns. Her cheek was flushed, her eye kindled, and the poor jealous wretch over the way saw it, and ascribed all that to the company of his rival.
While she walked to and fro with fawn-like grace, conversing with Mr. Coventry, yet secretly wondering what that strange look Jael had given her could mean, Henry leaned, sick at heart, against the lamp- post over the way; and, at last, a groan forced its way out of him.
Faint as the sound was, Grace's quick ear caught it, and she turned her head. She saw him directly, and blushed high, and turned pale, all in a moment; for, in that single moment, her swift woman's heart told her why he was so ghastly, and why that sigh of distress.
She stopped short in her walk, and began to quiver from head to foot.
But, after a few moments of alarm, distress, and perplexity, love and high spirit supplied the place of tact, and she did the best and most characteristic thing she could. Just as Mr. Coventry, who had observed her shiver, was asking her if she found it too cold, she drew herself up to her full height, and, turning round, kissed her hand over the balcony to Henry Little with a sort of princely grandeur, and an ardor of recognition and esteem that set his heart leaping, and his pale cheek blushing, and made Coventry jealous in his turn. Yes, one eloquent gesture did that in a moment.
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