r trying and failing, trying and failing many times, as I've told you, I came to feel that the farm might be the right place for me after all. Work is the only thing I'm not afraid of now. It must be a forlorn place if they need help and can't get it. I think they said he and his mother live alone, but I shan't care how forlorn it is if only Mrs. Carder is like--like--you, for instance!" The girl laid her hand impulsively on her companion's knee.
At that moment a man appeared in the wide doorway to the reception-room and looked about uncertainly. Instantly Miss Upton recognized the long, weather-beaten face, the straggling hair, the half-open mouth, and the revealing collar of her restaurant rival.
She gave her companion a mirthful nudge.
"He's right on my trail, you see," she whispered. "Adam's apple and all."
Geraldine glanced up and the stranger's roving gaze fell straight upon hers. He came toward her.
"Miss Melody?" he said in a rasping voice.
She rose as if impe