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: