The girl was ashamed of herself. He might be a cad, but he was real; his honest love possessed him body and soul. It was a matter of expediency to her; a thing to debate with herself, to dally over, with paltry pros and cons.
Miss Vance came hurriedly up the street, an open letter in her hand. Lucy ran to meet her.
"What is it? You have heard bad news?"
"I suppose we ought not to call it that. It is from George Waldeaux. They have a son, two months old. He tells it as a matter for rejoicing."
"They are at Vannes--in Brittany. He has a cough. He seems to know nobody--to have no friends, and, I suspect, not much money. He is terribly depressed." Clara folded the letter thoughtfully. "He asks me to tell his mother that the baby has come."
"Why is she not with him?" demanded Lucy angrily. "Wandering about gathering edelweiss, while he is alone and wretched!"
"He has his wife. You probably do not understand the case fully," said Clara coldly. "I am going to wire to his mother now." She turned away and Lucy stood irresolute, her hand clutching the shaggy head of the stone beast beside her.
"I can give him money. I'll go to him. He needs me!" she said aloud. Then her whole body burned with shame. She--Lucy Dunbar, good proper Lucy, whose conscience hurt her if she laid her handkerchiefs away awry in her drawer, nursing a criminal passion for a married man!