That was in the very beginning of their friendship, however, and so vital a subject could not remain, outside the relations which established themselves more and more intimately between them as the days went on. Janet began to find herself constantly in the presence of a temptation to bring the matter home to Elfrida personally in one way or another, as young women commonly do with other young women who are obstinately unorthodox in these things—to say to her in effect, “Your turn will come when he comes! These pseudo-philosophies will vanish when he looks at them, like snow in spring. You will succumb—you will succumb!” But she never did. Something in Elfrida’s attitude forbade it. Her opinions were not vagaries, and she held them, so far as they had a personal application, haughtily. Janet felt and disliked the tacit limitation, and preferred to avoid the clash of their opinions when she could. Besides, her own ideas upon the subject had latterly retired irretrievably from the light of discussion. She had one day found it necessary to lock the door of her soul upon them; in the new knowledge that had taken sweet possession of her she recognized that they were no longer theoretical, that they must be put away. She challenged herself to sit in a jury upon Love, and found herself disqualified.
The discovery had no remarkable effect upon Janet. She sometimes wasted an hour, pen in hand, in inconsequent reverie, and worked till midnight to make up; and she took a great liking for impersonal conversations with Miss Halifax about Kendal’s pictures, methods and meanings. She found dining in Royal Geographical circles less of a bore than usual, and deliberately laid herself out to talk well. She looked in the glass sometimes at a little vertical line that seemed to be coming at the corners of her mouth, and wondered whether at twenty-four one might expect the first indication of approaching old-maidenhood. When she was paler than usual she reflected that the