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II

  • Dean was not looking at Emily. He was leaning on the old sundial and scowling
  • down at it with the air of a man who was forcing himself to say a disagreeable
  • thing because he felt it was his duty.
  • "I  _won't_  be just a mere scribbler of pretty stories," cried Emily
  • rebelliously. He looked into her face. She was as tall as he was—a trifle
  • taller, though he would not admit it.
  • "You do not need to be anything but what you are," he said in a low vibrant
  • tone. "A woman such as this old New Moon has never seen before. You can do
  • more with those eyes—that smile—than you can ever do with your pen."
  • "You sound like Great-aunt Nancy Priest," said Emily cruelly and
  • contemptuously.
  • But had he not been cruel and contemptuous to her? Three o'clock that night
  • found her wide-eyed and anguished. She had lain through sleepless hours face
  • to face with two hateful convictions. One was that she could never do anything
  • worth doing with her pen. The other was that she was going to lose Dean's
  • friendship. For friendship was all she could give him and it would not satisfy
  • him. She must hurt him. And oh, how could she hurt Dean whom life had used so
  • cruelly? She had said "no" to Andrew Murray and laughed a refusal to Perry
  • Miller without a qualm. But this was an utterly different thing.
  • Emily sat up in bed in the darkness and moaned in a despair that was none the
  • less real and painful because of the indisputable fact that thirty years later
  • she might be wondering what on earth she had been moaning about.
  • "I wish there were no such things as lovers and love-making in the world," she
  • said with savage intensity, honestly believing she meant it.