'Of course you are talked about. It's an honor.'
'It's an honor I could easily dispense with.'
She was on the point of asking him whether it was not a compensation for this annoyance that the poor girl who had the misfortune to bring it upon him loved him so dearly and believed in him so truly; but she hesitated, thinking that this would perhaps seem an exacting speech, and while she hesitated, he suddenly left her.
The next time he came, however, she brought it out, and she told him again that he was too proud. He repeated that he couldn't change, and this time she felt the impulse to say that with a little effort he might change.
Sometimes he thought that if he could only make a quarrel with her it might help him; but the question was how to quarrel with a young woman who had such treasures of concession.' I suppose you think the effort is all on your side,' he broke out.' Don't you believe that I have my own effort to make?'
'It's all yours now,' she said;' my effort is finished and done with.'
'Well, mine is not.'
'We must bear things together,' said Catherine. 'That's what we ought to do.'
Morris attempted a natural smile.' There are some things which we can't very well bear together - for instance, separation.'
'Why do you speak of separation?'
'Ah! you don't like it; I knew you wouldn't.'
'Where are you going, Morris?' she suddenly asked.
He fixed his eye on her a moment, and for apart of that moment she was afraid of it. 'Will you promise not to make a scene?'
'A scene! - do I make scenes?'
'All women do!' said Morris, with the tone of large experience. 'I don't. Where are you going?'
'If I should say I was going away on business, should you think it very strange?'
She wondered a moment, gazing at him. 'Yes - no. Not if you will take me with you.'
'Take you with me - on business?'
'What is your business? Your business is to be with me.'
'I don't earn my living with you,' said Morris.' Or, rather,' he cried, with a sudden inspiration, 'that's just what I do - or what the world says I do!'
This ought perhaps to have been a great stroke, but it miscarried. 'Where are you going?' Catherine simply repeated.
'To New Orleans - about buying some cotton.'
'I am perfectly willing to go to New Orleans,' Catherine said. 'Do you suppose I would take you to a nest of yellow-fever?' s cried Morris.' Do you suppose I would expose you at such a time as this?'
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