He wasn’t looking at her as he talked, and presently, as his gaze wandered about the store, it encountered Rose’s face. She hadn’t prepared it for the encounter, and it wore, hardly veiled, a look of humorous appreciation. His sentence broke, then completed itself. She turned away, but the next moment he called out to her, “Were you waiting for me, Dane?”
“I’d like to speak to you a minute,” she said, “when you have time.”
“All right. Go and change your clothes first,” he said.
Out of the tail of her eye as she departed, she saw him shaking hands with the owner’s wife and thanking her effusively for her help. Incidentally, he was leading her toward the door as he did it. And at the door, he declined an offer to be taken anywhere he might want to go in her electric.
She found the other girls on the point of departure. But Olga offered to wait for her.
“No, you run along,” Rose said. “I’ve some errands and I don’t feel like seeing a movie to-night, anyway.”
Olga looked a little odd about it, but hurried along after the others.
A saleswoman—the same one the manager assigned to Rose under the misconception which that smart French ulster of hers had created when she came into the store—now came around behind the screen to gather up the frocks the girls had shed.
“Will you please bring me,” said Rose, “that Poiret model you showed me before the others came in? I’ll try it on.”
The saleswoman’s manner was different now and she grumbled something about its being closing time.
“Then, if you’ll bring it at once ...” said Rose. And the saleswoman went on the errand.
Five minutes later, Galbraith from staring gloomily at the mournful heap of trouble Mrs. Goldsmith had left on his hands, looked up to confront a vision that made him gasp.
[Illustration: “It isn’t quite so much your style, is it?”]
“I wanted you to see if you liked this,” said Rose.
“If I liked it!” he echoed. “Look here! If you know enough to pick out things like that, why did you let that woman waste everybody’s time with junk like this? Why didn’t you help her out?”
“I couldn’t have done much,” Rose said, “even if my offering to do anything hadn’t made her angry—and I think it would have. You see, she’s got lots of taste, only it’s bad. She wasn’t bewildered a bit. She knew just what she wanted and she got it. It’s the badness of these things she likes. And I thought ...” She hesitated a little over this. “I thought as long as they couldn’t be good, perhaps the next best thing would be to have them as bad as possible. I mean that it would be easier to throw them all out and get a fresh start.”
He stared at her with a frown of curiosity. “That’s good sense,” he said. “But how did you come to think of it?—Oh, I don’t mean that!” he went on impatiently. “Why should you bother to think of it?”