As soon as the coach stopped in front of the Hale home, John flew through the door and up the steps. Not finding Margaret in her room, he started opening other doors until he found her at her father’s feet. This was a very poor occasion to be meeting her father for the first time but he ran to her and pulled her to him. She felt like a rag doll; she was almost lifeless. He stood, gently folding her into his arms and carried her downstairs.
Margaret looked at John and in a monotone voice said, “You cannot love me, please do not love me anymore.”
John felt like shaking her. She was talking nonsense.
“John, if you love me, I will only disappoint you. I will break your heart. I cannot do that to you, so please go away.” Margaret knew the words were falling from her lips against her will but she had no will anymore. She knew her next few months, the rest of her life, would be spent situating her father and Dixon and falling out of love with John.
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