Mrs. Slade sprang up from her leaning position. "Delphin there! They let you in! Ah, now you're lying!" she burst out with violence.

    Mrs. Ansley's voice grew clearer, and full of surprise. "But of course he was there. Naturally he came -"

    "Came? How did he know he'd find you there? You must be raving!"

    Mrs. Ansley hesitated, as though reflecting. "But I answered the letter. I told him I'd be there. So he came."

    Mrs. Slade flung her hands up to her face. "Oh, God - you answered! I never thought of your answering. . . ."

    "It's odd you never thought of it, if you wrote the letter."

    "Yes. I was blind with rage."

    Mrs. Ansley rose. "It is cold here. We'd better go.... I'm sorry for you," she said, as she clasped her fur scarf about her throat.

    The unexpected words sent a pang through Mrs. Slade. "Yes; we'd better go." She gathered up her bag and cloak. "I don't know why you should be sorry for me," she muttered.

    Mrs. Ansley stood looking away from her toward the dusky mass of the Colosseum. "Well - because I didn't have to wait that night."

    Mrs. Slade gave an unquiet laugh. "Yes, I was beaten there. But I oughtn't to begrudge it to you, I suppose. At the end of all these years. After all, I had everything; I had him for twenty-five years. And you had nothing but that one letter that he didn't write."

    Mrs. Ansley was again silent. At length she took a step toward the door of the terrace, and turned back, facing her companion.

    "I had Barbara," she said, and began to move ahead of Mrs. Slade toward the stairway.

Back Index

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.