Becky was envious. “I wish I could swim like that.”
“You can do other things—that she can’t do.”
“Well, be a lady, for example. That’s not exactly cricket, is it, to draw a deadly parallel? But I don’t want people like that dancing on my moor.”
THE DANCER ON THE MOOR
Randy’s letter had set Becky adrift. She was not in love with him. She was sure of that. And he had said he would not marry her without love. He had said that if she owned her soul she would think of Dalton as a cad and as a coward.
It seemed queer that Randy should be demanding things of her. He had always been so glad to take anything she would give, and now she had offered him herself, and he wouldn’t have her. Not till she owned her soul.
She knew what he meant. The thought of George was always with her. She kept seeing him as she had first seen him at the station; as he had been that wonderful day when they had had tea in the Pavilion; the night in the music room when he had kissed her; the old garden with its pale statues and box hedges; and always there was his sparkling glance, his quick voice.
She would never own her soul until she forgot George. Until she put him out of her life; until the thought of him would not make her burn hot with humiliation; until the thought of him would not thrill to her finger-tips.
She found Cope’s easy and humorous companionship a balance for her hidden emotions. And when Louise Cope came, she proved to be a rather highly emphasized counterpart of her brother. Her red-gold hair was thick and she wore it bobbed. Her skin was white but lacked the look of delicacy which seemed to contradict constantly Cope’s vivid personality. She seemed to laugh at the world as he did. She called Becky “quaint,” but took to her at once.
“Archie has been writing to me of you,” she told Becky; “he says you came up like a bird from the south.”
“Birds don’t fly north in the fall——”
“Well, you were the—miracle,” Cope asserted.
Louise Cope’s shrewd glance studied him. “He has fallen in love with you, Becky Bannister,” was her blunt assurance, “but you needn’t let it worry you. As yet it is only an aesthetic passion. But there is no telling what may come of it——”
“Does he fall in love—like that?” Becky demanded.
“He has never been in love,” Louise declared, “not really. Except with me.”
Becky felt that the Copes were a charming pair. When she answered Randy’s letter she spoke of them.