Quite suddenly Sidney laughed.

"How very nice you are!" she said--"and how absurd! Why should their

getting married end the romance? And don't you know that, if you insist on

walking the streets and parks at night because Joe Drummond is here, I

shall have to tell him not to come?"

This did not follow, to K.'s mind. They had rather a heated argument over

it, and became much better acquainted.

"If I were engaged to him," Sidney ended, her cheeks very pink, "I--I might

understand. But, as I am not--"

"Ah!" said K., a trifle unsteadily. "So you are not?"


Only a week--and love was one of the things she had had to give up, with

others. Not, of course, that he was in love with Sidney then. But he had

been desperately lonely, and, for all her practical clearheadedness, she

was softly and appealingly feminine. By way of keeping his head, he talked

suddenly and earnestly of Mrs. McKee, and food, and Tillie, and of Mr.

Wagner and the pencil pad.

"It's like a game," he said. "We disagree on everything, especially

Mexico. If you ever tried to spell those Mexican names--"

"Why did you think I was engaged?" she insisted.

Now, in K.'s walk of life--that walk of life where there are no toothpicks,

and no one would have believed that twenty-one meals could have been

secured for five dollars with a ticket punch thrown in--young girls did not

receive the attention of one young man to the exclusion of others unless

they were engaged. But he could hardly say that.

"Oh, I don't know. Those things get in the air. I am quite certain, for

instance, that Reginald suspects it."

"It's Johnny Rosenfeld," said Sidney, with decision. "It's horrible, the

way things get about. Because Joe sent me a box of roses--As a matter of

fact, I'm not engaged, or going to be, Mr. Le Moyne. I'm going into a

hospital to be a nurse."

Le Moyne said nothing. For just a moment he closed his eyes. A man is in

a rather a bad way when, every time he closes his eyes, he sees the same

thing, especially if it is rather terrible. When it gets to a point where

he lies awake at night and reads, for fear of closing them-"You're too young, aren't you?"

"Dr. Ed--one of the Wilsons across the Street--is going to help me about

that. His brother Max is a big surgeon there. I expect you've heard of

him. We're very proud of him in the Street."

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