"You would put your arm around a post, wouldn't you?" he asked with more than his old brusqueness.
Sue had often said, "I can never be remarkable for anything; but I won't be commonplace." So she did not leave her guest in the parlor while she rushed off for a whispered conference with her mother. The well-bred simplicity of her manner, which often stopped just short of brusqueness, was never more apparent than now. "Mother!" she called from the parlor door.
"Quietly!" repeated Martine, with intense bitterness. "Would a man, not a mummy, think over such a thing quietly? Judge me as you please, but I was tempted as I believe never man was before. I fought the Devil till morning."
"It's a part of my business to incur such risks," replied Brandt, quietly. "Besides, I have a motive in this case which would lead me to take a man out of the jaws of hell."
She came to his side, and removing his hands from his face, retained one of them as she said, gently, "Hobart, I am no longer a shy girl. I have suffered too deeply, I have learned too thoroughly how life may be robbed of happiness, and for a time, almost of hope, not to see the folly of letting the years slip away, unproductive of half what they might yield to you and me. I understand you; you do not understand me, probably because your ideal is too high. You employed an illustration in the narrowest meaning. Is heaven given only as a reward? Is not every true gift an expression of something back of the gift, more than the gift?"
"Well, sit down here, then, and look at that picture. Who is it?"