"Somebody must be the first to stop."
When she was with Riever it need hardly be said that Pen was not nearly so honest as she seemed. In fact she concealed herself behind her apparent frankness. That is the great advantage of having a naturally honest look. It enables you to lie so well when you have a real need of lying. Since Riever had arrived the two had been almost constantly together, and a sort of subtle duel going on between them. Pen's object was to encourage him without giving of herself. He was the first man she had ever set out to encourage. It was a sufficiently intoxicating experience for the man. Pen's blandishments were very different from the sort that Riever had been accustomed to."Yes, sir."She cast herself down beside his grave and unpacked her heart. The real source of her pain had nothing to do with broken butter paddles of course.
Pen refused to recognize his money. "Why haven't you the same incentive as other men?" she demanded to know.It was chiefly Pen's fault. She got the notion in her head that he merely desired to repay her hospitality with a little gallantry, and she blighted his warm overtures as with a frost. It was due to her fatal instinct to guard against a pain which might be more than she could bear.
"Where could you go?" she demanded.
There was a long silence between them, and Pen became wretcheder and wretcheder. When she could stand it no longer she put the bag down beside the fence and said in an offhand tone:She heard the young man apologizing for his appearance. "I never expected to..."
"All right!" said Pen. "If I'm successful to-day, I'll hold you to that." She made to walk on.The night came on muggy and still and Pen was attacked by a fresh anxiety. For clouds of mosquitoes arose. She pictured Don fainting with hunger and thirst, and unable even to make a smudge for fear of betraying himself, vainly attempting to protect himself from the insects.
"In the center where the heat had been greatest there was nothing but washed out ashes, but all around the edge were the unconsumed ends of twigs and branches looking as if they had been arranged in an exact circle with all the charred ends pointing to the center. I searched every square inch of the spot while the laborer watched me."
Babe himself opened the door and walked in.Her first reaction was to a shaking anger. She was a little beside herself. Stamping her foot in the road she cried in a soft, strained voice: "You Don! Cutting up like a school-boy in the road! Is that all you have on your mind!"In her perplexity Pen felt a great longing to consult with Don. Two heads were better than one, she told herself. Perhaps the truth was she just wanted to be with him. She was thankful she had made an arrangement to communicate. In the ordinary course he could hardly expect a letter from her until the next day, but thinking of his boyish eagerness it seemed quite possible that he might come back that night on the chance of hearing from her. At any rate it was worth trying.
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He held her a little away from him that he might see her better. Pen yielded up her soul to him through her eyes.
"Your summer dresses that you make yourself are very pretty, very pretty," said Pendleton mollifyingly. "But I'm sure you must be in want of the expensive little appurtenances of a lady's wardrobe; shoes, silk stocking, hats, parasols."详情
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