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IV

  • Emily, amid all the whirl of emotions roused by Mrs. Kent's tale, was keenly
  • conscious of only one thing. Bitterness—humiliation—shame had vanished from
  • her being. Teddy  _had_  loved her. The sweetness of the revelation blotted
  • out, for the time at least, all other feelings. Anger—resentment—could find no
  • place in her soul. She felt like a new creature. And there was sincerity in
  • heart and tone as she said slowly:
  • "I do—I do. I understand."
  • Mrs. Kent suddenly wrung her hands.
  • "Emily—is it too late? Is it too late? They're not married yet—I know he
  • doesn't love her as he loved you. If you told him—if I told him—"
  • "No, no, no," cried Emily passionately. "It  _is_  too late. He must never
  • know—you must never tell him. He loves Ilse now. I am sure of that—and telling
  • him this would do no good and much evil. Promise me—dear Mrs. Kent, if you
  • feel you owe me anything promise me, you'll never tell him."
  • "But you—you will be unhappy—"
  • "I will not be unhappy—not now. You don't know what a difference this has
  • made. The sting has gone out of everything. I am going to have a happy, busy,
  • useful life and regret for old dreams will have no place in it. The wound will
  • heal now."
  • "It was—a terrible thing for me to do," whispered Mrs. Kent. "I see that—at
  • last."
  • "I suppose it was. But I'm not thinking of that. Only that I've got my self-
  • respect back."
  • "The Murray pride," whispered Mrs. Kent, staring at her. "After all, Emily
  • Starr, I believe pride is a stronger passion with you than love."
  • "Perhaps," said Emily smiling.