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Beyond the Rocks (Chapter 1)
The hours were composed mostly of dull or rebellious moments during the
period of Theodora's engagement to Mr. Brown. From the very first she
had thought it hard that she should have had to take this situation,
instead of Sarah or Clementine, her elder step-sisters, so much n earer
his age than herself. To do them justice, either of these ladies would
have been glad to relieve her of the obligation to become Mrs. Brown,
but Mr. Brown thought otherwise.
A young and beautiful wife was what he bargained for.
To enter a family composed of three girls--two of the first family, one
almost thirty and a second very plain--a father with a habit of
accumulating debts and obliged to live at Bruges and inexpensive foreign
sea-side towns, required a strong motive; and this Josiah Brown found
in the deliciously rounded, white velvet cheek of Theodora, the third
daughter, to say nothing of her slender grace, the grace of a young
fawn, and a pair of gentian-blue eyes that said things to people in the
Poor, foolish, handsome Dominic Fitzgerald, light-hearted, débonair
Irish gentleman, gay and gallant on his miserable pension of a broken
and retired Guardsman, had had just sufficient sense to insist upon
magnificent settlements, certainly prompted thereto by Clementine, who
inherited the hard-headedness of the early defunct Scotch mother, as
well as her high cheek-bones. That affair had been a youthful