“And even so, you do not love him, because that would not be possible.”
“You have no right to say that,” and she wrenched her hand free.
“I have the right, the right you gave me.”
“I—I gave you no right.”
“You have. You gave me that right, Joan, when you gave me your heart. You do not love that man, because you love me!”
Back into the white face came all the hardness and coldness that he so well knew. She rose; she looked down on him.
“It is—untrue. I do not. I have but one feeling for you always—always—the same, the one feeling. I despise you. How could I love a thing that I despise?”
And, knowing that it was a lie, she dared not meet the scrutiny of his eyes, and turned quickly away.
“Joan!” he said. He would have followed her, but then came the waiter with his bill, and he was forced to stay, and when he reached the street she was gone.
“I quite thought that they were going to make it up, and then it seemed that they quarrelled again,” one of the ladies at the other table said.
The other nodded. “I think that they do not know their own minds, young people seldom do. I wish I had bought three yards more of that cerise ninon. It would have made up so well for Violet, don’t you think?”
MR. ALSTON CALLS
Mr. Philip Slotman sat in his office; he was slowly deciphering a letter, ill-written and badly spelled.
“According to promise I am writing to you hopeing it finds you as it leaves me at present. Dear sir, having some news I am writing to tell you saime. Yesterday Mr. John Everard of Buddesby was here and him and Miss Jone was in the garden for a long time. I seen them from my window, but could not get near enuff to hear. Anyhow I see him kissing her hand. Laiter, after he had gone, I seen Miss Jone and Mrs. Everard together, and listened as best I could. From what I heard I imadgined that Miss Jone and Mr. John Everard is now engaged to be married, which Mrs. Everard seems very pleased to hear.
“This morning Miss Jone gets a letter and the postmark is Hurst Dormer, like you told me to look out for. She is now gone to London. Please send money in accordance with promise and I will write and tell you all the news as soon as there is any more.
“Miss Alice Betts.”
The door opened, a boy clerk came in. Slotman thrust the letter he had been reading into an open drawer.
“What is it? What do you want?”
“A gentleman to see you, sir. Mr. Alston from—”
“I can’t see him!” Slotman said quickly. “Tell him I am out, and that—”
“I am already here, and you are going to see me.” Hugh Alston came in. “You can go!” to the boy, who hesitated. “You hear me, you can go!”