“Did you mark that?” she cried, in a defiant bit of appreciation of herself. “What do I need with money? I can go out on the streets and come back with hands full.” And before they could answer she had disappeared through one of the long windows of the piazza.
“And what do you think of that, now?” demanded Dermott of Frank, with a touch of the brogue, as they stood together in some bewilderment, looking after her.
KATRINE IN NEW YORK
The following morning, in a drizzling rain and wind from the east, Dermott McDermott stood beside Katrine at the station, arranging for her comfort, directing her maid, and wiring Nora in New York, lest she should be unprepared for this hastily determined return to the city.
“I was sorry for Ravenel last night, Katrine,” he said, with an earnest sympathy in his tone. “I think I have never known a man who drew me to him less; but that has nothing to do with the matter. I was sorry for him,” he repeated. “Isn’t it a dreadful performance, this tragedy of life?” he demanded, looking down at her intently, unmindful of noise of luggage or the shrill voices of the passers to and fro. “But the thing to do,” he cried, straightening himself and raising his chest, “is to show a brave front always! Never let the world know you’re downed in anything. So carry all off with a laugh and a song. Plant flowers on the graves, flowers for the world to see, and for the great Power above as well, that He may know we are not whining—that we’re down here doing the best we can.”
They stood, hands clasped, on the platform as the train drew in, looking into each other’s eyes, and Katrine’s lips trembled as she spoke the word “good-bye.”
“Sure it’s not ‘good-bye’ at all,” Dermott cried, changing his mood to cheer her—“not ‘good-bye’ at all! I’ll be in town in a day or two bothering you with my visits and advice. And if anything definite turns up about the Ravenel matter I’ll write you. Do you know, Katrine, I felt so sorry for him last night I’m almost hoping he can disprove everything.”
And Katrine found, as the train pulled out, that there was another who had not been unmindful of her going, for Frank’s man appeared from nowhere, touched his hat with accented deference, gave her a letter in silence, and disappeared into the blankness from which he came. But for the envelope she held, Katrine might have believed him a vision that had passed.
There was no formal beginning. The letter ran:
I shall not see you
again until I know the truth. You will
understand the reasons. I am going to Ravenel to-day to make some
investigations. Of the outcome of these I cannot speak.
In all of this there
is one thing sure. Everything may be changed
in my life but my love for you.
It was still early in October when Katrine returned to New York and to Nora, who was waiting for her in an old-fashioned apartment just off Washington Square. The Irishwoman had driven a thrifty bargain for the place, and in a well-contented spirit was setting up the household goods.