The Danger Mark eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 370 pages of information about The Danger Mark.

Duane turned and stared at her; and to her annoyance the blood mounted to her cheeks, but she went on: 

“Of course he has affected me.  I don’t know how it might have been with me if I were not so—­so utterly starved.”

“You mean to say you are beginning to care for Delancy Grandcourt?”

“Care?  Yes—­in a perfectly nice way——­”

“And otherwise?”

“I—­don’t know.  I am honest with you, Duane; I don’t know.  A—­a little devotion of that kind”—­she tried to laugh—­“goes to my head, perhaps.  I’ve been so long without it....  I don’t know.  And I came here to tell you.  I came here to ask you what I ought to do.”

“Good Lord!” said Duane, “do you already care enough for him to worry about your effect on him?”

“I—­do not wish him to be unhappy.”

“Oh.  But you are willing to be unhappy in order to save him any uneasiness.  See here, Rosalie, you’d better pull up sharp.”

“Had I?”

“Certainly,” he said brutally.  “Not many days ago you were adrift.  Don’t cut your cable again.”

A vivid colour mounted to her temples: 

“That is all over,” she said.  “Have I not come to you again in spite of the folly that sent me drifting to you before?  And can I pay you a truer compliment, Duane, than to ask the hospitality of your forbearance and the shelter of your friendship?”

“You are a trump, Rosalie,” he said, after a moment’s scowling.  “You’re all right....  I don’t know what to say....  If it’s going to give you a little happiness to care for this man——­”

“But what will it do to him, Duane?”

“It ought to do him good if such a girl as you gives him all of herself that she decently can.  I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong!” he added almost angrily.  “Confound it! there seems no end to conjugal infelicity around us these days.  I don’t know where the line is—­how close to the danger mark an unhappy woman may drift and do no harm to anybody.  All I know is that I’m sorry—­terribly sorry for you.  You’re a corker.”

“Thanks,” she said with a faint smile.  “Do you think Delancy may safely agree with you without danger to his peace of mind?”

“Why not?  After all, you’re entitled to lawful happiness.  So is he....  Only——­”

“Only—­what?”

“I’ve never seen it succeed.”

“Seen what succeed?”

“What is popularly known as the platonic.”

“Oh, this isn’t that,” she said naively.  “He’s rather in love already, and I’m quite sure I could be if I—­I let myself.”

Duane groaned.

“Don’t come to me asking what to do, then,” he said impatiently, “because I know what you ought to do and I don’t know what I’d do under the circumstances.  You know as well as I do where the danger mark is.  Don’t you?”

“I—­suspect.”

“Well, then——­”

“Oh, we haven’t reached it yet,” she said innocently.

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The Danger Mark from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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