Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
Coming Home
Old Friends with New Faces
Miss Campbell
Thorns Among the Roses
Prince Charming
Polishing Mac
Breakers Ahead
New Year's Calls
The Sad and Sober Part
Small Temptations
At Kitty's Ball
Both Sides
Aunt Clara's Plan
Alas for Charlie!
Good Works
Among the Haycocks
Which Was It?
Behind the Fountain
What Mac Did
How Phebe Earned Her Welcome
Short and Sweet

but you can do what you will with me. I only need a motive to 

make a man of me, and where can I find a stronger one than in 

trying to keep your love?" 


"It is not yours yet," began Rose, much moved, though all the 

while she felt as if she were on a stage and had a part to play, for 

Charlie had made life so like a melodrama that it was hard for him 

to be quite simple even when most sincere. 


"Let me earn it, then. Show me how, and I'll do anything, for you 

are my good angel, Rose, and if you cast me off, I feel as if I 

shouldn't care how soon there was an end of me," cried Charlie, 

getting tragic in his earnestness and putting both arms around her, 

as if his only safety lay in clinging to this beloved fellow creature. 


Behind footlights it would have been irresistible, but somehow it 

did not touch the one spectator, though she had neither time nor 

skill to discover why. For all their ardor the words did not ring 

quite true. Despite the grace of the attitude, she would have liked 

him better manfully erect upon his feet, and though the gesture 

was full of tenderness, a subtle instinct made her shrink away as 

she said with a composure that surprised herself even more than it 

did him: "Please don't. No, I will promise nothing yet, for I must 

respect the man I love." 


That brought Charlie to his feet, pale with something deeper than 

anger, for the recoil told him more plainly than the words how 

much he had fallen in her regard since yesterday. The memory of 

the happy moment when she gave the rose with that new softness 

in her eyes, the shy color, the sweet "for my sake" came back with 

sudden vividness, contrasting sharply with the now averted face, 

the hand outstretched to put him back, the shrinking figure, and in 

that instant's silence, poor Charlie realized what he had lost, for a 

girl's first thought of love is as delicate a thing as the rosy morning 

glory, which a breath of air can shatter. Only a hint of evil, only an 

hour's debasement for him, a moment's glimpse for her of the 

coarser pleasures men know, and the innocent heart, just opening 

to bless and to be blessed, closed again like a sensitive plant and 

Page 7 from 8:  Back   1   2   3   4   5   6  [7]  8   Forward