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Haven't you told me so?" He was glad to get the talk down for one moment to another level. "It would be awfully bad for me if anything came out. I am only thinking of myself. I want to settle with her once for all."

Her faint had weakened her, she was just recovering from it. Physically she was more comfortable, mentally less alert, and satisfied it should be so.

"Perhaps I took it too tragically?" she said slowly." Perhaps as you say, in a way, it is your affair."

He answered her eagerly.

"That's right. My affair, and nothing to do with your promise to him. Then you'll leave it in my hands …"

"You go so fast," she complained.

"The time is so short; she can't have anything else up her sleeve. I funked telling you, I've left it so late." He showed more delicacy than one would have given him credit for and stumbled over the next sentences. "He would hate to think of me in this connection. You'd hate to tell him. Just give me leave to settle with her. I'll dash up to town."

"How much does she want?"

"Five hundred. I can find the money."

"Nonsense; it isn't the money. I wish I knew what I ought to do," she said indecisively. "If only I hadn't promised …"