Fennel and Rue eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about Fennel and Rue.

“Of course,” he said, with a sigh of satisfaction, “I must show the letter to Armiger at once.”

“Of course,” his mother replied.  “He is the editor, and you must not do anything without his approval.”

The faith in the writer of the letter, which was primary with him, was secondary with her, but perhaps for that reason, she was all the more firmly grounded in it.

II.

There was nothing to cloud the editor’s judgment, when Verrian came to him, except the fact that he was a poet as well as an editor.  He read in a silence as great as the author’s the letter which Verrian submitted.  Then he remained pondering it for as long a space before he said, “That is very touching.”

Verrian jumped to his question.  “Do you mean that we ought to send her the proofs of the story?”

“No,” the editor faltered, but even in this decision he did not deny the author his sympathy.  “You’ve touched bottom in that story, Verrian.  You may go higher, but you can never go deeper.”

Verrian flushed a little.  “Oh, thank you!”

“I’m not surprised the girl wants to know how you manage your problem —­such a girl, standing in the shadow of the other world, which is always eclipsing this, and seeing how you’ve caught its awful outline.”

Verrian made a grateful murmur at the praise.  “That is what my mother felt.  Then you have no doubt of the good faith—­”

“No,” the editor returned, with the same quantity, if not the same quality, of reluctance as before.  “You see, it would be too daring.”

“Then why not let her have the proofs?”

“The thing is so unprecedented—­”

“Our doing it needn’t form a precedent.”

“No.”

“And if you’ve no doubt of its being a true case—­”

“We must prove that it is, or, rather, we must make her prove it.  I quite feel with you about it.  If I were to act upon my own impulse, my own convictions, I should send her the rest of the story and take the chances.  But she may be an enterprising journalist in disguise it’s astonishing what women will do when they take to newspaper work—­and we have no right to risk anything, for the magazine’s sake, if not yours and mine.  Will you leave this letter with me?”

“I expected to leave the whole affair in your hands.  Do you mind telling me what you propose to do?  Of course, it won’t be anything—­abrupt—­”

“Oh no; and I don’t mind telling you what has occurred to me.  If this is a true case, as you say, and I’ve no question but it is, the writer will be on confidential terms with her pastor as well as her doctor and I propose asking her to get him to certify, in any sort of general terms, to her identity.  I will treat the matter delicately—­Or, if you prefer to write to her yourself—­”

“Oh no, it’s much better for you to do it; you can do it authoritatively.”

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Project Gutenberg
Fennel and Rue from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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