"I haven't the slightest curiosity concerning him, dear," said
Ailsa, attempting corroboration in a yawn--which indiscretion she
was unable to accomplish.
"Well," remarked Camilla, "the chances are that you've seen the
last of him if you showed it too plainly. Men don't come back when
a girl doesn't wish them to. Do they?"
After Camilla had gone, Ailsa roamed about the parlours, apparently
renewing her acquaintance with the familiar decorations.
Sometimes she stood at windows, looking thoughtfully into the empty
street; sometimes she sat in corners, critically surveying empty
Yes, the chances were that he would scarcely care to come back. A
man of that kind did not belong in her sister-in-law's house,
anyway, nor in her own--a man who could appeal to a woman for a
favourable opinion of himself, asking her to suspend her reason,
stifle logic, stultify her own intelligence, and trust to a
sentimental impulse that he deserved the toleration and
consideration which he asked for. . . . It was certainly well for
her that he should not return. . . . It would be better for her to
lay the entire matter before her sister-in-law--that was what she
would do immediately!
She sprang to her feet and ran lightly up-stairs; but, fast as she
fled, thought outran her slender flying feet, and she came at last
very leisurely into Celia's room, a subdued, demure opportunist,
apparently with nothing on her mind and conscience,
"If I may have the carriage at ten, Celia, I'll begin on the
Destitute Children to-morrow. . . . Poor babies! . . . If they
only had once a week as wholesome food as is wasted in this city
every day by Irish servants . . . which reminds me--I suppose you
will have to invite your new kinsman to dine with you."
"There is loads of time for that, Honey-bud," said her
sister-in-law, glancing up absently from the note she was writing.
"I was merely wondering whether it was necessary at all," observed
Ailsa Paige, without interest.
But Celia had begun to write again. "I'll ask him," she said in
her softly preoccupied voice, "Saturday, I think."
"Oh, but I'm invited to the Cortlandt's," began Ailsa, and caught
her under lip in her teeth. Then she turned and walked noiselessly
into her bedroom, and sat down on the bed and looked at the wall.
* * * * *
This is the end of the sample of this book. To purchase the full book, click the "Purchase this Book" link in the left column.