Pray be serious,remonstrated NeelieWe are both sitting on a volcano. There,she said pointing to the placeRead it! If anything can bring you to a proper sense of our situation, that will.Allan cleared his throat, and Neelie held the point of her pencil ready on the jordan 10 shoes depressing side of the account otherwise the “Badpage of the pocket-bookAnd as it is the policy of our law,’Allan began, “to prevent the marriage of persons under the age of twenty-one, without the consent of parents and guardians’(Neelie made her first entry on the side of “Bad!“I’m only seventeen next birthday, and circumstances forbid me to confide my attachment to papa)it is provided that in the case of the publication of banns of a person under twenty-one, not being a widower or widow, who are deemed emancipated’(Neelie made another entry on the depressing sideAllan is not a widower, and I am not a widow; consequently, we are neither of us emancipated)if the parent or guardian openly signifies his dissent at the time the banns are published’(“which papa would be certain to do)“such publication would be void.’ I’ll take breath here if you’ll allow me,said AllanBlackstone might put it in shorter sentences, I think, if he can’t put it in fewer words. Cheer up, Neelie! there must be other ways of marrying, besides this roundabout way, that ends in a Publication and a Void. Infernal gibberish! I could write better English myself. We are not at the end of it yet,said NeelieThe Void is nothing to what is to come. Whatever it is,rejoined Allan, “we’ll treat it like jordan womens shoes a dose of physic we’ll take it at once, and be done with it.He went on readingAnd no license to marry without banns shall be granted, unless oath shall be first made by one of the parties that he or she believes that there is no impediment of kindred or alliancewell, I can take my oath of that with a safe conscience! What next? And one of the said parties must, for the space of fifteen days immediately preceding such license, have had his or her usual place of abode within the parish or chapelry within which such marriage is to be solemnized Chapelry! I’d live fifteen days in a dog-kennel with the greatest pleasure. I say, Neelie, all this seems like plain sailing enough. What are you shaking your head about? Go on, and I shall see? Oh, all right; I’ll go on. Here we are: And where one of the said parties, not being a widower or widow, shall be under the age of twenty-one years, oath must first be made that the consent of the person or persons whose consent is required has been obtained, or that there is no person having authority to give such consent. The consent required by this act is that of the father ’At those last formidable words Allan came to a full stopThe consent of the father,he repeated, with all needful seriousness of look and mannerI couldn’t exactly swear to that, could I?Neelie answered in expressive silence. She handed him the pocket-book, with the final entry completed, on the side of “Bad,in these termsOur marriage is impossible, unless Allan commits perjury.The lovers looked at each other, across the insuperable obstacle of Blackstone, in speechless dismayShut up the book,said Neelie, resignedlyI have no doubt we should find the police, and the prison, and the hair-cutting all punishments for perjury, exactly as I told you!if we looked at the next page. But we needn’t trouble ourselves to look; we have found out quite enough already. It’s all over with us. I must go to school on Saturday, and you must manage to forget me as soon as you can. Perhaps we may meet in after-life, and you may be a widower and I may be a widow, and the cruel law may consider us emancipated, when it’s too late to be of the slightest use. By that time, no doubt, I shall be old and ugly, and you will naturally have ceased to care about me, and it will all end in the grave, cheap air jordans and the sooner the better. Good-by,concluded Neelie, rising mournfully, with the tears in her eyesIt’s only prolonging our misery to stop here, unless unless you have anything to propose? I’ve got something to propose,cried the headlong AllanIt’s an entirely new idea. Would you mind trying the blacksmith at Gretna Green? No earthly consideration,answered Neelie, indignantly, “would induce me to be married by a blacksmith! Don’t be offended,pleaded Allan; “I meant it for the best. Lots of people in our situation have tried the blacksmith, and found him quite as good as a clergyman, and a most amiable man, I believe, into the bargain. Never mind! We must try another string to our bow. We haven’t got another to try,said NeelieTake my word for it,persisted Allan, stoutly, “there must be ways and means of circumventing Blackstone (without perjury), if we only knew of them. It’s a matter of law, and we must consult somebody in the profession. I dare say it’s a risk. But nothing venture, nothing have. What do you say to young Pedgift? He’s a thorough good fellow. I’m sure we could trust young Pedgift to keep our secret. Not for worlds!exclaimed NeelieYou may be willing to trust your secrets to the vulgar little wretch; I won’t have him trusted with mine. I hate him. No!she concluded, with a mounting color and a peremptory stamp of her foot on the grassI positively forbid you to take any of the Thorpe Ambrose people into your confidence. They would instantly suspect me, and it would be all over the place in a moment. My attachment may be an unhappy one,remarked Neelie, with her handkerchief to her eyes, “and papa may nip it in the bud, but I won’t have it profaned by the town gossip! Hush! hush!said AllanI won’t say a word at Thorpe Ambrose, I won’t indeed!He paused, and considered for a momentThere’s another way!he burst out, brightening up on the instantWe’ve got the whole week before us. I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll go to London!There was a sudden rustling heard neither by one nor the other among the trees behind them that screened Miss Gwilt. One more of the difficulties in her way (the difficulty of getting Allan to London) now promised to be removed by an act of Allan’s own willTo London?repeated Neelie, looking up in astonishmentTo London!reiterated AllanThat’s far enough away from Thorpe Ambrose, surely? Wait a minute, and don’t forget that this is a question of law. Very well, I know some lawyers in London who managed all my business for me when I first came in for this property; they are just the men to consult. And if they decline to be mixed up in it, there’s their head clerk, who is one of the best fellows I ever met with in my life. I asked him to go yachting with me, I remember; and, though he couldn’t go, he said he felt the obligation all the same. That’s the man to help us. Blackstone’s a mere infant to him. Don’t say it’s absurd; don’t say it’s exactly like me . Do pray hear me out. I won’t breathe your name or your father’s. I’ll describe you as a young lady to whom I am devotedly attached.’ And if my friend jordans for sale the clerk asks where you live, I’ll say the north of Scotland, or the west of Ireland, or the Channel Islands, or anywhere else you like. My friend the clerk is a total stranger to Thorpe Ambrose and everybody in it (which is one recommendation); and in five minutes’ time he’d put me up to what to do (which is another). If you only knew him! He’s one of those extraordinary men who appear once or twice in a century the sort of man who won’t allow you to make a mistake if you try. All I have got to say to him (putting it short) is, My dear fellow, I want to be privately married without perjury.’ All he has got to say to me (putting it short) is, You must do so-and-so and so-and-so, and you must be careful to avoid this, that, and the other.’ I have nothing in the world to do but to follow his directions; and you have nothing in the world to do but what the bride always does when the bridegroom is ready and willing!His arm stole round Neelie’s waist, and his lips pointed the moral of the last sentence with that inarticulate eloquence which is so uniformly successful in persuading a woman against her will. All Neelie’s meditated objections dwindled, in spite of her, to one feeble little questionSuppose I allow you to go, Allan?she whispered, toying nervously with the stud in the bosom of his shirtShall you be very long away  
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