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ideous unforeseeableblunders that may cause one’s cleverest plans to crumble at astroke; and again Susy shuddered at the frailty of her bliss.
But her old training stood her in good stead. There had beenmore than one moment in her past when everything-somebodyelse’s everything-had depended on her keeping a cool head and aclear glance. It would have been a wonder if now, when she felther own everything at stake, she had not been able to put up asgood a defence.
“What is it?” she repeated impatiently, as Lansing continued toremain silent.
“That’s what I’m here to ask,” he returned, keeping his eyes asstead nike air max 1 sale y as she kept hers. “There’s no reason on earth, as yousay, why Ellie shouldn’t give us presents–as expensive presentsas she likes; and the pearl is a beauty. All I ask is: forwhat specific services were they given? For, allowing for allthe absence of scruple that marks the intercourse of trulycivilized people, you’ll probably agree that there are limits;at least up to now there have been limits ….””I really don’t know what you mean. I suppose Ellie wanted toshow that she was grateful to us for looking after Clarissa.””But she gave us all this in exchange for that, didn’t she?” hesuggested, with a sweep of the hand a round the beautiful shadowyroom. “A whole summer of it if we choose.”Susy smiled. “Apparently she didn’t think that enough.””What a doting mother! It shows the store she sets upon herchild.””Well, don’t y nike air max 1 ebay ou set store upon Clarissa?””Clarissa is exquisite; but her mother didn’t mention her inoffering me this recompense.”Susy lifted her head again. “Whom did she mention?””Vanderlyn,” said Lansing.
“Vanderlyn? Nelson?””Yes–and some letters … something about letters …. What isit, my dear, that you and I have been hired to hide fromVanderlyn? Because I should lik nike air max 1 premium e to know,” Nick broke outsavagely, “if we’ve been adequately paid.”Susy was silent: she needed time to reckon up her forces, andstudy her next move; and her brain was in such a whirl of fearthat she could at last only retort: “What is it that Ellie saidto you?”Lansing laughed again. “That’s just what you’d like to findout–isn’t it?–in order to know the line to take in making yourexplanation.”The sneer had an effect that he could not have foreseen, andthat S nike air max 1 usy herself had not expected.
“Oh, don’t–don’t let us speak to each other like that!” shecried; and sinking down by the dressing-table she hid her facein her hands.
It seemed to her, now, that nothing mattered except that theirlove for each other, their faith in each other, should be savedfrom some unhealable hurt. She was willing to tell Nickeverything–she wanted to tell him everything–if only she couldbe sure of reaching a responsive chord in him. But the scene ofthe cigars came back to her, and benumbed her. If only shecould make him see that nothing was of any account as long asthey continued to love each other!
His touch fell compassionately on her shoulder. “P nike air max 1 oor child–don’t,” he said.
Their eyes met, but his expression checked the smile breakingthrough her tears. “Don’t you see,” he continued, “that w nike air max 1 grey e’vegot to have this thing out?”She continued to stare at him through a prism of tears. “Ican’t–while you stand up like that,” she stammered, childishly.
She had cowered down again into a corner of the lounge; butLansing did not seat himself at her side. He took a chairfacing her, like a caller on the farther side of a stately tea-tray. “Will that do?” he asked with a stiff smile, as if tohumour her.
“Nothing will do–as long as you’re not you!””Not me?”She shook her air max 1 head wearily. “What’s the use? You accept thingstheoretically–and then when they happen ….””What things? What has happened!”A sudden impatience mastered her. What did he suppose, afterall–? “But you know all about Ellie. We used to talk abouther often enough in old times,” she said.
“Ellie and young Davenant?””Young Davenant; or the others ….”” cheap air max 1 Or the others. But what business was it of ours?””Ah, that’s nike air max 1 black just what I think!” she cried, springing up with anexplosion of relief. Lansing stood up also, but there was noanswering light in his face.
“We’re outside of all that; we’ve nothing to do with it, havewe?” he pursued.
“Nothing whatever.””Then what on earth is the meaning of Ellie’s gratitude?
Gratitude for what we’ve done about some letters–and aboutVanderlyn?””Oh, not you,” Susy cried, involuntarily.
“Not I? Then you?” He came close and took her by the wrist.
“Answer me. Have you been mixed up in some dirty business ofEllie’s?”There was a pause. She found it impossible to speak, with thatburning grasp on the wrist where the bangle had been. At lengthhe let her go and moved away. “Answer,” he repeated.
“I’ve told you it was my business and not you nike air max 1 leopard rs.”He received this in silence; then he questioned: “You’ve b cheap air max 1 eensending letters for her, I suppose? To whom?””Oh, why do you torment me? Nelson was not supposed to knowthat she’d been away. She left me the letters to post to himonce a week. I found them here the night we arrived …. Itwas the price–for this. Oh, Nick, say it’s been worth it-sayat least that it’s been worth it!” she implored him.
He stood motionless, unresponding. One hand drummed on thecorner of her dressing-table, making the jewelled bangle dance.
“How many letters?””I don’t know … four … five … What does it matter?””And once a week, for six weeks–?””Yes.””And you took it all as a matter of course?””No: I hated it. But what could I do?””What could you do?””When our being together depended on it? Oh, Nick, how couldyou think I’d give you up?””Give me up?” he echoed.
“Well–doesn’t our being together cheap nike air max 1 depend on–on what we can getout of people? And hasn’t there always got to be some give-and-take? Did you ever in your life get anything for nothing?” shecried with sudden exasperation. “You’ve lived among thesepeople as long as I have; I suppose it’s not the first time–“”By God, but it is,” he exclaimed, flushing. “And that’s thedifference–the fundamental difference.””The difference!””Between you and me. I’ve never in my life done people’s dirtywork for them–least of all for favours in return. I supposeyou guessed it, or you wouldn’t have hidden this beastlybusiness from me.”The blood rose to Susy’s temples also. Yes, she had guessed it;instinctively, from the day she had first visited him in hisbare lodgings, she had been aware of his stricter standard. Buthow could she tell him that under his influence her standard nike air max 1 red hadbecome stricter too, and that it was as much to hide herhumiliation from herself as to escape his anger that she hadheld her tongue?
“You knew I wouldn’t have stayed here another day if I’d known,”he continued.

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