David Harum eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 448 pages of information about David Harum.
but in her intention not to seem to respond to it she had taken an attitude of coolness and a tone which was almost sarcastic, and now perceived that, so far as results were apparent, she had carried matters somewhat further than she intended.  Her heart smote her a little, too, to think that he was hurt.  She really liked him very much, and contritely recalled how kind and thoughtful and unselfish he had been, and how helpful, and she knew that it had been almost wholly for her.  Yes, she was willing—­and glad—­to think so.  But while she wished that she had taken a different line at the outset, she hated desperately to make any concession, and the seconds of their silence grew into minutes.  She stole another glance at his face.  It was plain that negotiations for harmony would have to begin with her.  Finally she said in a quiet voice: 

“‘Thanks, very much,’ is an entirely polite expression, but it isn’t very responsive.”

“I thought it met your cordiality quite half way,” was the rejoinder.  “Of course, I am glad to be assured of Mr. and Mrs. Carling’s regard, and that they would be glad to see me, but I think I might have been justified in hoping that you would go a little further, don’t you think?”

He looked at her as he asked the question, but she did not turn her head.  Presently she said in a low voice, and slowly, as if weighing her words: 

“Will it be enough if I say that I shall be very sorry if you do not come?” He put his left hand upon her right, which was resting on the rail, and for two seconds she let it stay.

“Yes,” he said, “thanks—­very—­much!”

“I must go now,” she said, turning toward him, and for a moment she looked searchingly in his face.  “Good night,” she said, giving him her hand, and John looked after her as she walked down the deck, and he knew how it was with him.


John saw Miss Blake the next morning in the saloon among the passengers in line for the customs official.  It was an easy conjecture that Mr. Carling’s nerves were not up to committing himself to a “declaration” of any sort, and that Miss Blake was undertaking the duty for the party.  He did not see her again until he had had his luggage passed and turned it over to an expressman.  As he was on his way to leave the wharf he came across the group, and stopped to greet them and ask if he could be of service, and was told that their houseman had everything in charge, and that they were just going to their carriage, which was waiting.  “And,” said Miss Blake, “if you are going up town, we can offer you a seat.”

“Sha’n’t I discommode you?” he asked.  “If you are sure I shall not, I shall be glad to be taken as far as Madison Avenue and Thirty-third Street, for I suppose that will be your route.”

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David Harum from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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