“Twenty-eight guineas." Rosemary gave no sign. Even if one is rich... Her voice was dreamy as she answered: “Well, keep it for me, will you? Г11..." The shopman bowed. He would be willing of course, to keep if lor her for ever.
Outside rain was falling, there was a cold, bitter taste in the air, and the newly lighted lamps looked sad... At that very moment' a young girl, thin, dark, appeared at Rosema ry’s elbow and a voice, like a sigh, breathed: "Madam, may
I speak to you a moment?"
“Speak to me?” Rosemary turned. She saw a little crea ture, no older than herself who shivered as though she had just come out of the water.
“Madam," came the voice, “would you let me have the price of a cup of tea?”
“A cup of tea?” There was something simple, sincere in that voice; it couldn’t be the voice of a beggar.
“Then have you no money at all?” asked Rosemary.
“None, madam”, came the answer.
“How unusual!” Rosemary looked at the girl closer.
And suddenly it seemed to her such an adventure. Sup posing she took the girl home? Supposing she did one of those things she was always reading about or seeing on the stage? What would happen? It would be thrilling. And she heard herself saying afterwards to the amazement of her friends: “1 simply took her home with me." And she stepped forward and said to the girl beside her: “Come home to tea with me.”
The girl gave a start. “You’re — you're not taking me to the police station?” There was pain in her voice.
“The police station!" Rosemary laughed out. “Why should I be so cruel? No, I only want to make you warm and to hear — anything you care to tell me. Come along.”
Hungry people are easily led. The footman held the door of the car open, and a moment later they were riding through the dusk.
“There!" cried Rosemary, as they reached her beautiful big bedroom. ’Come and sit down", she said, pulling her big chair up to the fire. “Come and get warm. You look so terribly cold.”
“I daren’t, madam," hesitated the girl.
“Oh, please," — Rosemary ran forward — "you mustn’t be frightened, you mustn’t, really." And gently she half pushed the thin figure into the chair.
There was a whisper that sounded like "Very good, madam,” and the worn hat was taken off.