Only for an instant did she become thoughtful. Then she sprang to her feet from the sofa on which she had thrown herself when her tears were threatening, and cried:
"Let them have him--let them all have him--all--all!"
IF A GIRL REALLY LOVES A MAN SHE WILL MARRY HIM, EVEN THOUGH HE SHOULD WRITE A BOOK.
Phyllis meant the half hour which would elapse before her tea was brought to her to be a very grateful space. She meant to dwell upon the achievement of her freedom, for the feeling that she was free was very sweet to her. The fetters that had bound her had been flung away, and she now only had a splendid sense of freedom. So sweet was this sense that she made up her mind that in future it would never do for her to run any such risk as that to which she had just subjected herself. How could she ever have been such a fool as to promise to marry George Holland? That was what she was asking herself as she lay back on the pillows of the French sofa, and listened to the soft sound of the carriage wheels of the callers at the other houses in the square.
What a singular wish that was of hers--to become the wife of a clergyman! It seemed very singular to her just now. Just now she did not want to become the wife of anyone, and she hoped that no one would ask her. She did not want the worry of it. Ah, she would be very careful in the future: she would take very good care that the fact of other girls wanting to marry one particular man would not make her anxious to have him all to herself.
Before her resolutions on this very important point had been fully considered in all their bearings, her maid entered to ask if she was at home. The butler had sent a footman to her to make that inquiry, the fact being that her particular friend, Mrs. Linton, had called to see her.
"Of course I am home to Mrs. Linton. She will have tea with me."
She went to a glass to see if the tears which had been in her eyes-- they had not fallen--had left any traces that the acuteness of Ella Linton might detect. The result of her observation was satisfactory; she would not even need to sit with her back to the light.