Messengers ran hurriedly
through the corridors; men passed the door talking in tones faintly
audible; but the excitement in the rival camps communicated nothing of
its intensity to this quiet chamber. Men had feared Morton Bassett; this
girl, with her wondering dark eyes, did not fear him. But he was
following a course he had planned for this meeting, and he dared not
shift his ground.
"I don't want you to think that I haven't been grieved to see you
working for your living; I never meant that you should do that.
Hereafter that will be unnecessary; but I am busy to-night. To-morrow,
at any time you say, we will talk of those things."
There was dismissal in his manner and tone. He was anxious to be rid of
her. The color deepened in her olive cheeks, but she bent upon him once
more her patient, wondering, baffling smile.
"Please never propose such a thing again, Mr. Bassett. There is
absolutely nothing of that kind that you can do for me."
"You want to make it hard for me; but I hope you will think better of
that. It is right that I should make the only reparation that is
This rang so false and was so palpably insincere that he was relieved
when she ignored it.
"You said a moment ago that your enemies, waiting out there, thought
they had you beaten. I want you to tell me just how you propose to meet