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Loves of A. Fitz Clarence and Rosa Ethelton 423
" I suppose it becomes me as much as your very polite speech became you, Mr. Fitz Clarence."
"Mister Fitz Clarence! Rosannah, there was noth­ing impolite about my speech."
"Oh, indeed! Of course, then, I misunderstood you, and I most humbly beg your pardon, ha-ha-ha! No doubt you said, ' Don't sing it any more to-day.'
" Sing what any more to-day?"
" The song you mentioned, of course. How very obtuse we are, all of a sudden !"
" I never mentioned any song."
" Oh, you didn't?"
"No, I didn't!"
"I am compelled to remark that you did"
"And I am obliged to reiterate that I didn't"
"A second rudeness! That is sufficient, sir. I will never forgive you. All is over between us."
Then came a muffled sound of crying. Alonzo hastened to say:
' Oh, Rosannah, unsay those words ! There is some dreadful mystery here, some hideous mistake. I am utterly earnest and sincere when I say I never said anything about any song. I would not hurt you for
the whole world......Rosannah, dear!......
Oh, speak to me, won't you?"
There was a pause; then Alonzo heard the girl's sobbings retreating, and knew she had gone from the telephone. He rose with a heavy sigh, and hastened from the room, saying to himself, M I will ransack the charity missions and the haunts of the poor for my mother. She will persuade her that I never meant to wound her."
A minute later, the Reverend was crouching over the telephone like a cat that knoweth the ways of the prey. He had not very many minutes to wait. A soft, re­pentant voice, tremulous with tears, said: