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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 211 pages of information about The Flirt.
to say it.  But it was in my playing—­I played it and played it.  Suddenly I felt that in my playing I had shouted it from the housetops, that I had told the secret to all the world and everybody knew.  I stopped, and for a moment it seemed to me that I was dying of shame.  But no one understood.  No one had even listened. . . .  Sometimes it seems to me that I am like Cora, that I am very deeply her sister in some things.  My heart goes all to You—­my revelation of it, my release of it, my outlet of it is all here in these pages (except when I play as I did to-day and as I shall not play again) and perhaps the writing keeps me quiet.  Cora scatters her own releasings:  she is looking for the You she may never find; and perhaps the penalty for scattering is never finding.  Sometimes I think the seeking has reacted and that now she seeks only what will make her feel.  I hope she has not found it:  I am afraid of this new man—­not only for your sake, dear.  I felt repelled by his glance at me the first time I saw him.  I did not like it—­I cannot say just why, unless that it seemed too intimate.  I am afraid of him for her, which is a queer sort of feeling because she has alw——­”

Laura’s writing stopped there, for that day, interrupted by a hurried rapping upon the door and her mother’s voice calling her with stress and urgency.

The opening of the door revealed Mrs. Madison in a state of anxious perturbation, and admitted the sound of loud weeping and agitated voices from below.

“Please go down,” implored the mother.  “You can do more with her than I can.  She and your father have been having a terrible scene since Richard went home.”

Laura hurried down to the library.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

“Oh, come in, Laura!” cried her sister, as Laura appeared in the doorway.  “Don’t stand there!  Come in if you want to take part in a grand old family row!” With a furious and tear-stained face, she was confronting her father who stood before her in a resolute attitude and a profuse perspiration.  “Shut the door!” shouted Cora violently, adding, as Laura obeyed, “Do you want that little Pest in here?  Probably he’s eavesdropping anyway.  But what difference does it make?  I don’t care.  Let him hear!  Let anybody hear that wants to!  They can hear how I’m tortured if they like.  I didn’t close my eyes last night, and now I’m being tortured.  Papa!” She stamped her foot.  “Are you going to take back that insult to me?”

“`Insult’?” repeated her father, in angry astonishment.

“Pshaw,” said Laura, laughing soothingly and coming to her.  “You know that’s nonsense, Cora.  Kind old papa couldn’t do that if he tried.  Dear, you know he never insulted anybody in his——­”

“Don’t touch me!” screamed Cora, repulsing her.  “Listen, if you’ve got to, but let me alone.  He did too!  He did!  He knows what he said!”

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