The Danger Mark eBook

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

“I can do it easily,” announced her brother, going ahead to light the path.  And all the way home he discussed aloud upon the stripping, hatching, breeding, care, and diseases of trout, never looking back, and quite confident that they were listening attentively to his woodland lecture.

“Duane,” she said, lowering her voice, “do you think all our misunderstandings are ended?”

“Certainly,” he replied gaily.  “Don’t you?”

“But how am I going to make everybody think you are not frivolous?”

“I am frivolous.  There’s lots of froth to me—­on top.  You know that sort of foam you see on grass-stems in the fields.  Hidden away inside is a very clever and busy little creature.  He uses the froth to protect himself.”

“Are you going to froth?”

“Yes—­until——­”

“Until what?”

“You——­”

“Go on.”

“Shall I say it?”

“Yes.”

“Well, then, unless you and I find each other intellectually satisfactory.”

“You said only a man—­in love with a woman—­could find her interesting in that way.”

“Yes.  What of it?”

“Nothing....  Only I’m afraid you’ll have to froth, then,” she said, laughing.  “I haven’t any intention of falling in love with you, Duane, and you’ll find me stupid if I don’t.  Do you know that what you intimate is very horrid?”

“Why?”

“Yes, it is.  Besides, it’s a sort of threat——­”

“A threat?”

“Certainly.  You threaten to—­you know perfectly well what you threaten to do unless I immediately consider the possibility of our—­caring for each other—­sentimentally.”

“But what do you care if you don’t care?”

“I—­don’t.  All the same it’s horrid and—­and unfair.  Suppose I was frothy and behaved——­”

“Misbehaved?”

“Yes.  Just because you wouldn’t agree to take a sentimental interest in me?”

“I would agree!  I’ll agree now!”

“Suppose you wouldn’t?”

“I can’t imagine——­”

“Oh, Duane, be honest!  And I’ll tell you flatly—­if you do misbehave.  Just because I don’t particularly desire to rush into your arms——­”

“But I haven’t threatened to.”

Unconsciously she laid her hand on his arm again, slipping it a little way under.

“You’re just as you were years ago—­just the dearest of playmates.  We’re not too old to play, are we?”

“I can’t with you; it’s too dangerous.”

“What nonsense!  Yes, you can.  You like me for my intelligence in spite of what you say about men and women——­”

“I wouldn’t care for your intelligence if I were not in——­”

“Duane, stop, please!”

“In danger,” he continued blandly, “of proving my proposition.”

“You are insufferable.  I am as intelligent as you.”

“I know it, but it wouldn’t attract me unless——­”

“It ought to,” she said hastily.  “And, Duane, I’m going to make you take me into account.  I’m going to exercise a man’s privilege with you by—­by saying frankly—­several things——­”

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The Danger Mark from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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