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

It was days before Verrian could confess himself of the fact to his mother, who listened with the justice instinctive in her.  She still had not spoken when he ended, and he said, “I have thought it all over, and I feel that he did right.  He did the only thing that a man in love with her could do.  And I don’t wonder he’s in love with her.  Yes”—­he stayed his mother, imperatively—­“and such a man as he, though he ground me in the dirt and stamped on me, I will say, it, is worthy of any woman.  He can believe in a woman, and that’s the first thing that’s needed to make a woman like her, true.  I don’t envy his job.”  He was speaking self-contradictorily, irrelevantly, illogically, as a man thinks.  He went on in that way, getting himself all out.  “She isn’t single-hearted, but she’s faithful.  She’ll never betray him now.  She’s never given him any reason to distrust her.  She’s the kind that can keep on straight with any one she’s begun straight with.  She told him all that before me be cause she wanted me to know—­to realize—­that she had told him.  It took courage.”

Mrs. Verrian had thought of generalizing, but she seized a single point.  “Perhaps not so much courage as you think.  You mustn’t let such bravado impose upon you, Philip.  I’ve no doubt she knew her ground.”

“She took the chance of his casting her off.”

“She knew he wouldn’t.  She knew him, and she knew you.  She knew that if he cast her off—­”

“Mother!  Don’t say it!  I can’t bear it!”

His mother did not say it, or anything more, then.  Late at night she came to him.  “Are you asleep, Philip?”

“Asleep?  I!”

“I didn’t suppose you were.  But I have had a note to-day which I must answer.  Mrs. Andrews has asked us to dinner on Saturday.  Philip, if you could see that sweet girl as I do, in all her goodness and sincerity—­”

“I think I do, mother.  And I wouldn’t be guilty of her unhappiness for the world.  You must decline.”

“Well, perhaps you are right.”  Mrs. Verrian went away, softly, sighing.  As she sealed her reply to Mrs. Andrews, she sighed again, and made the reflection which a mother seldom makes with regard to her son, before his marriage, that men do not love women for their goodness.

PG EDITOR’S BOOKMARKS: 

   Almost incomparably ignorant woman
   Almost to die of hunger for something to happen
   Belief of immortality—­without one jot of evidence
   Brave in the right time and place
   Continuity becomes the instinctive expectation
   Found her too frankly disputatious
   Girls who were putting on the world as hard as they could
   If there’s wrong done the penalty doesn’t right it
   Never wanted a holiday so much as the day after you had one
   Personal view of all things and all persons which women take
   Proof against the stupidest praise
   Read too many stories to care for the plot
   She laughed too much and too loud
   Sick people are terribly, egotistical
   The fad that fails is extinguished forever
   Timidity is at the bottom of all fondness for secrecy

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