"And let me help you off with your coat, too," said Rose mary.
The girl stood up. But she held on to the chair with one hand and let Rosemary pull.
Then she said quickly, but so lightly and strangely: “I’m very sorry, madam, but I’m going to faint. I shall fall, ma dam, if I don’t have something.”
"Good heavens, how thoughtless 1 am!” Rosemary rushed to the bell.
“Tea! Tea at once! And some brandy immediately."
The maid was gone and the girl almost burst into tears. She forgot to be shy, forgot everything except that they were both women, and cried out: “I can’t go on any longer like this. I can’t stand it. I wish I were dead. I really can’t stand it!”
“You won’t have to. I’ll look after you. I’ll arrange some thing. Do stop crying. Please."
The other did stop just in time for Rosemary to get up before the tea came.
And really the effect of that slight meal was amazing. When the tea-table was carried away, a new girl, a light crea ture with dark lips and deep eyes lay back in the big chair.
At that moment the door-handle turned.
“Rosemary, can I come in?” It was Philip, her husband.
He came in. “Oh, I’m so sorry," he said, as if apologizing, and stopped and stared.
'It’s quite all right,” said Rosemary, smiling. “This is my friend. Miss —”
“Smith, madam," said the figure in the chair.
“Smith.” said Rosemary. “We are going to have a little talk.”
Philip smiled his charming smile. “As a matter of fact,” he said, “I wanted you to come into the library for a moment. Will Miss Smith excuse us?”
The big eyes were raised to him, but Rosemary answered for her: “Of course she will”, and they went out of the room together.
“I say,” said Philip, when they were alone. “Explain, who is she? What does it all mean?"
Rosemary, laughing, leaned against the door and said: “I picked her up in the street. Really. She asked me for the price of a cup of tea and I brought her home with me.’
“Congratulations!" Philip sounded as though he were joking. “But what on earth2 are you going to do with her?”