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A Fearful Responsibility and Other Stories
written by "Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920"
...en as he is now, and you had no pity for him." "Oh, my goodness!" cried Elmore desperately. "Don't you see the difference? He hadn't given any proof before"— "Oh, proof, proof! You men are always wanting proof! What better proof could he have given than the way he followed her about? Proof, indeed! I suppose you'd like to have Lily prove that she doesn't care for him!" "Yes," said Elmore sadly, "I should like very much to have her prove it." "Well, you won't get her to. What makes you think she does?" "I don't. Do you?" [Pg 87]"N-o," answered Mrs. Elmore reluctantly. "Celia, Celia, you will drive me mad if you go on in this way! The girl has told me, over and over, that she wishes him dismissed. Why do you think she doesn't?" "I don't. Who hinted such a thing? But I don't want you to enjoy doing it." "Enjoy it? So you think I enjoy it! What do you suppose I'm made of? Perhaps you think I enjoyed catechizing the child about her feelings toward him? Perhaps you think I enjoy the whole confounded affair? Well, I give it up. I will let it go. If I can't have your full and hearty support, I'll let it go. I'll do nothing about it." He threw Ehrhardt's letter on the table, and went and sat down by the window. His wife took the letter up and read it over. "Why, you see he asks you to pass it over in silence if you don't consent." "Does he?" asked Elmore. "I hadn't noticed that." "Perhaps you'd better read some of your letters, Owen, before you answer them!" "Really, I had forgotten. I had forgotten that the letter was written to me at all. I thought it was to Lily, and she had got to thinking so too. Well, then, I won't do anything about it." He drew a breath of relief. [Pg 88]"Perhaps," suggested his wife, "he asked that so as to leave himself some hope if he should happen to meet her again." "And we don't wish him to have any hope." Mrs. Elmore was silent. "Celia," cried her husband indignantly, "I...

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