ran away to put on the bonnet with yellow rose-buds.
Once more Rosing put her hand upon his arm; they hailed a fiacre and drove off to a restaurant much frequented by the people of the Opera. He ordered champagne, but remained somber, wrapped in a reverie that she did not understand.
"And so you have missed me?" he asked at last.
"Have I missed you! You must never leave me again, Rosing, never, never. Angellini's kind to me, but that's not enough. Why did you stay away so long?"
"Perhaps," he said gravely, looking at her with tired melancholy eyes, "perhaps I did that on purpose. To test you."
"Why should you test me?"
"I want," he said, "to talk to you very seriously. Will you be kind enough to give me your attention?"
"Very well, then," and he leaned across the table, looking at her intently, "listen then. You are on the threshold of a career. I think that career will be a brilliant one, but as yet we can not teil. In any case, you have no money, no family. You are alone in the world, and you will always, however much you succeed, be fighting against the world. With women that is invariably so. I am your friend, but circumstances may part us. I am sixty, you are seventeen. I could be your father very easily, but you must know by this time that I don't in the least look upon you as a daughter."
She stared at him then, her eyes dark in the whiteness of her face. He continued:
"My little one, you know that. You have known it for some time. I love you very deeply, very tenderly. I can't expect your love in return, for that would be impossible, but I do believe that you have a sincere regard for me. And I want, for so many reasons, to marry