She looked at him a little enviously.
“How much do you want to spend?” she asked bluntly.
“I don’t know that that really matters very much. I have some money. Things are more expensive over here, aren’t they?”
“I should go to the New Martin House,” she advised him, “right at the corner of this block. It’s real swell, and they say the food’s wonderful.”
“I could go as I am, I suppose?” he asked, glancing down at his clothes.
She stared at him wonderingly.
“Say, where did you come from?” she exclaimed. “You ain’t supposed to dress yourself out in glad clothes for a Broadway restaurant, not even the best of them.”
“Have you been to this place yourself?” he enquired.
“Come with me,” he invited suddenly.
She arose at once to her feet and threw the remains of her cigarette into the grate.
“Say, Mr. Ware,” she pronounced, “I ain’t that sort, and the sooner you know it the better, especially if I’m going to do your work. I’ll be going.”
“Look here,” he remonstrated earnestly, “you don’t seem to understand me altogether. What do you mean by saying you’re not that sort?”
“You know well enough,” she answered defiantly. “I guess you’re not proposing to give me a supper out of charity, are you?”
“I am asking you to accompany me,” he declared, “because I haven’t spoken to a human being for a week, because I don’t know a soul in New York, because I’ve got enough money to pay for two dinners, and because I am fiendishly lonely.”
She looked at him and it was obvious that she was more than half convinced. Her brightening expression transformed her face. She was still hesitating, but her inclinations were apparent.
“Say, you mean that straight?” she asked. “You won’t turn around afterwards and expect a lot of soft sawder because you’ve bought me a meal?”
“Don’t be a silly little fool,” he answered good-humouredly. “All I want from you is to sit by my side and talk, and tell me what to order.”
Her face suddenly fell.
“No good,” she sighed. “Haven’t got any clothes.”
“If I am going like this,” he expostulated, “why can’t you go as you are? Take your apron off. You’ll be all right.”
“There’s my black hat with the ribbon,” she reminded herself. “It’s no style, and Stella said yesterday she wouldn’t be seen in a dime show in it.”
“Never you mind about Stella,” he insisted confidently. “You clap it on your head and come along.”
She swung towards the door.
“Meet you in the hall in ten minutes,” she promised. “Can’t be any quicker. This is your trouble, you know. I didn’t invite myself.”
Philip opened the door, a civility which seemed to somewhat embarrass her.
“I shall be waiting for you,” he declared cheerfully.