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4. CHAPTER IV: SAFE AGAINST LOVE-MAKING (continued)
'Well, Mr Belton; yes; I think so. I do not see why you should not speak to her. But I fear you are a little too precipitate. Clara has known you so very short a time, that you can hardly have a right to hope that she should learn to regard you at once as you would have her do.' As he heard this, Belton's face became long and melancholy. He had taught himself to think that he could dispense with that delay till Christmas which he had at first proposed to himself, and that he might walk into the arena at once, and perhaps win the battle in the first round. 'Three days is such a very short time,' said the squire.
'It is short certainly,' said Belton.
The father's leave was however given, and armed with that, Belton was resolved that he would take, at any rate, some preliminary steps in love-making before he returned to Plaistow. What would be the nature of the preliminary steps taken by such a one as him, the reader by this time will probably be able to surmise.
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