told some stories which are (I hate false modesty) both，
"And might I inquire, Sir Oracle," replied Edmee, whose face became more serious, "who some one and another may be? I suspect that you are like the Pythonesses of old; you do not know the meaning of your auguries yourself."
"Could you not guess mine, Edmee?"
"I will try to interpret the riddle, if you will promise that afterward you will do what the Sphinx did when vanquished by OEdipus."
"Oh, Edmee," I cried; "think how long I have been running my head against walls on account of you and your interpretations. And yet you have not guessed right a single time."
"Oh, good heavens! I have," she said, throwing the bouquet on to the mantel-piece. "You shall see. I love M. de la Marche a little, and I love you much. He loves me passionately, and you love me not at all. That is the truth."
"I forgive you this malicious interpretation with all my heart for the sake of the word 'much,' " I replied.
I tried to take her hands. She drew them away quickly, though, in fact, she had no need to fear; for had she given me them, I merely intended to press them in brotherly fashion; but this appearance of distrust aroused memories which were dangerous for me. I fancy she showed a great deal of coquetry that evening in her expression and manners; and, until then, I had never seen the least inclination toward it. I felt my courage rising, though I could not explain why; and I ventured on some pointed remarks about her interview with M. de la Marche. She made no effort to deny my interpretations, and began to laugh when I told her that she ought to thank me for my exquisite politeness in retiring as soon as I saw her knit her brow.
Her supercilious levity was beginning to irritate me a little, when a servant entered and handed her a letter, saying that some one was waiting for an answer.
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