“I don’t know, I am sure,” said Elizabeth, yawning. “You seem to be terribly interested in him.”
“I am,” admitted Harriet frankly. “He’s a regular adventure all in himself—a whole series of adventures.”
“I’ve never been partial to serials,” said Elizabeth.
“Well, I should think one would be a relief after a whole winter of heavy tragedy,” retorted Harriet.
“What do you mean?” asked Elizabeth.
“Oh, I mean Harold, of course,” said Harriet. “He’s gone around all winter with a grouch and a face a mile long. What’s the matter with him anyway?”
“I don’t know,” sighed Elizabeth. “I’m afraid he’s working too hard.”
“Oh, fiddlesticks!” she exclaimed. “You know perfectly well that Harold Bince will never work himself to death.”
“Well, he is working hard, Harriet. Father says so. And he’s worrying about the business, too. He’s trying so hard to make good.”
“I will admit that he has stuck to his job more faithfully than anybody expected him to.”
Elizabeth turned slowly upon her friend, “You don’t like Harold,” she said; “why is it?”
Harriet shook her head.
“I do like him, Elizabeth, for your sake. I suppose the trouble is that I realize that he is not good enough for you. I have known him all my life, and even as a little child he was never sincere. Possibly he has changed now. I hope so. And then again I know as well as you do that you are not in love with him.”
“How perfectly ridiculous!” cried Elizabeth. “Do you suppose that I would marry a man whom I didn’t love?”
“You haven’t the remotest idea what love is. You’ve never been in love.”
“Have you?” asked Elizabeth.
“No,” replied Harriet, “I haven’t, but I know the symptoms and you certainly haven’t got one of them. Whenever Harold isn’t going to be up for dinner or for the evening you’re always relieved. Possibly you don’t realize it yourself, but you show it to any one who knows you.”
“Well, I do love him,” insisted Elizabeth, “and I intend to marry him. I never had any patience with this silly, love-sick business that requires people to pine away when they are not together and bore everybody else to death when they were.”
“All of which proves,” said Harriet, “that you haven’t been stung yet, and I sincerely hope that you may never be unless it happens before you marry Harold.”
In again—out again.
Jimmy Torrance was out of a job a week this time, and once more he was indebted to the Lizard for a position, the latter knowing a politician who was heavily interested in a dairy company, with the result that Jimmy presently found himself driving a milk-wagon. Jimmy’s route was on the north side, which he regretted, as it was in the district where a number of the friends of his former life resided. His delivery schedule, however, and the fact that his point of contact with the homes of his customers was at the back door relieved him of any considerable apprehension of being discovered by an acquaintance.