“But—but,” persisted Ellen, “you are free now, too—and it’s not too late—John Meredith—”
“Ellen West!” Rosemary had a little spark of temper under all her sweetness and it flashed forth now in her blue eyes. “Have you quite lost your senses in EVERY respect? Do you suppose for an instant that I am going to go to John Meredith and say meekly, ’Please, sir, I’ve changed my mind and please, sir, I hope you haven’t changed yours.’ Is that what you want me to do?”
“No—no—but a little—encouragement—he would come back—”
“Never. He despises me—and rightly. No more of this, Ellen. I bear you no grudge—marry whom you like. But no meddling in my affairs.”
“Then you must come and live with me,” said Ellen. “I shall not leave you here alone.”
“Do you really think that I would go and live in Norman Douglas’s house?”
“Why not?” cried Ellen, half angrily, despite her humiliation.
Rosemary began to laugh.
“Ellen, I thought you had a sense of humour. Can you see me doing it?”
“I don’t see why you wouldn’t. His house is big enough—you’d have your share of it to yourself—he wouldn’t interfere.”
“Ellen, the thing is not to be thought of. Don’t bring this up again.”
“Then,” said Ellen coldly, and determinedly, “I shall not marry him. I shall not leave you here alone. That is all there is to be said about it.”
“It is not nonsense. It is my firm decision. It would be absurd for you to think of living here by yourself—a mile from any other house. If you won’t come with me I’ll stay with you. Now, we won’t argue the matter, so don’t try”
“I shall leave Norman to do the arguing,” said Rosemary.
“I’LL deal with Norman. I can manage HIM. I would never have asked you to give me back my promise—never—but I had to tell Norman why I couldn’t marry him and he said HE would ask you. I couldn’t prevent him. You need not suppose you are the only person in the world who possesses self-respect. I never dreamed of marrying and leaving you here alone. And you’ll find I can be as determined as yourself.”
Rosemary turned away and went into the house, with a shrug of her shoulders. Ellen looked down at St. George, who had never blinked an eyelash or stirred a whisker during the whole interview.
“St. George, this world would be a dull place without the men, I’ll admit, but I’m almost tempted to wish there wasn’t one of ’em in it. Look at the trouble and bother they’ve made right here, George—torn our happy old life completely up by the roots, Saint. John Meredith began it and Norman Douglas has finished it. And now both of them have to go into limbo. Norman is the only man I ever met who agrees with me that the Kaiser of Germany is the most dangerous creature alive on this earth—and I can’t