Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/90

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dine with him. He had planned the occasion for a month—he wanted to show her how well he had learned from her how to live on his income. Her occupations had always interposed—she was teaching him new lessons; but at last she gave him the joy of sitting at his table. At the evening's end he begged her to remain after the others, and he asked one of the ladies who had been present, and who was going to a pair of parties, to be so good as to take Vera away. This, indeed, had been arranged in advance, and when, in the discomposed drawing-room, of which the windows stood open to the summer night, he was alone with his old friend, he saw in her face that she knew it had been arranged. He saw more than this—that she knew what he was waiting to say, and that if, after a visible reluctance, she had consented to come, it was in order to meet him, with whatever effort, on the ground he had chosen—meet him once, and then leave it forever. This was why, without interrupting him, but before he had finished, putting out her hand to his own, with a strange clasp of refusal,