“Of course,” she answered, without grasping his meaning, “but you’re going to be all right again now, and—that’s the same.”
Allison shrugged his shoulders and bit his lips to conceal a smile. “It may be the same for me, but it couldn’t be for you. I couldn’t give you any guarantee that it wouldn’t happen again, you know. I might be run over by a railroad train or a trolley car, or any one of a thousand things might happen to me. There’s always a risk.”
Tears filled Isabel’s eyes. “I don’t believe you ever cared very much for me,” she said, her lips quivering.
“I did, Isabel,” he answered, kindly, “but it’s gone now. Even at that, it lasted longer than you cared for me. Come, let’s be friends.”
He offered his hand. She put hers into it for a moment, then quickly took it away. He noted that it was very cold.
“I must be going,” she said, keeping her self-control with difficulty, “Aunt Francesca will miss me.”
“Thank you for coming—and for bringing the violin.”
“You’re welcome. Good-bye.”
“Good-bye, Silver Girl. I hope you’ll be happy.”
Isabel did not answer, nor turn back. She went out of the gate and out of his life, pride keeping her head high until she had turned the corner. Then, very sorry for herself, she sat down and wept.
“Tears, idle tears”
“Say, Jule,” inquired Romeo, casually, “why is it that you don’t look like a lady?”
“What do you mean?” demanded Juliet, bristling.
“I don’t know just what I mean, but you seem so different from everybody else.”
“I’m clean, ain’t I?”
“Yes,” he admitted, grudgingly.
“And my hair is combed?”
“And my white dress is clean, isn’t it?”
“Yes, but it doesn’t look like—like hers, you know.”
“Her? Who’s ’her’?”
Juliet sighed and bit her lips. Her eyes filled with tears and she winked very hard to keep them back. An ominous pain clutched at her loyal little heart.
“What do you want me to do, Romie?” she asked, gently.
“Why, I don’t know. Men never know about such things. Just make yourself like her—that’s all.”
“Huh!” Juliet was scornful now. “I don’t know whether I want to look like her or not,” she remarked, coldly.
“Why not?” he flashed back.
“And I don’t want to be like her, either. She can’t do anything. She can’t cook, or swing on the trapeze, or skate, or fish, or row, or swim, or climb a tree, or ride horseback, or walk, or anything.” “I could teach her,” mused Romeo, half to himself. “I taught you.”
“Yes,” cried Juliet, swallowing the persistent lump in her throat, “and now you’ve done it, you’re ashamed of me!”
“I didn’t say so,” he temporised.