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"I thought you did love me it looked very like it a month ago,
unless you have turned coquette, and I can't quite believe that," he
"I was beginning to love you, but you made me afraid to go on,"
murmured Rose, trying to tell the truth kindly.
"That cursed custom! What can a man do when his hostess asks
him to drink wine with her?" And Charlie looked as if he could
have cursed himself even more heartily.
"He can say 'no.'"
"Ah, that's the trouble! You never learned to say it even to
yourself, and now it is so hard, you want me to help you."
"And you won't."
"Yes, I will, by showing you that I can say it to myself, for your
sake." And Rose looked up with a face so full of tender sorrow he
could not doubt the words which both reproached and comforted
"My little saint! I don't deserve one half your goodness to me, but I
will, and go away without one complaint to do my best, for your
sake," he cried, touched by her grief and stirred to emulation by
the example of courage and integrity she tried to set him.
Here Kitty and Steve bore down upon them; and, obeying the
impulse to put care behind them, which makes it possible for
young hearts to ache one minute and dance the next, Rose and
Charlie banished their troubles, joined in the sport that soon turned
the lonely little bay into a ballroom, and enjoyed the splendors of a
winter sunset forgetful of separation and Calcutta.
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