!" he replied to her last question, incensed at the implied lack of delicacy on his part. Then he added, "Don't be a fool, Merry!"
"No, I won't," she whispered, grimly. "I won't be a fool, whatever else I am. Do you want me to leave you at once, or stay on?"
Thornton stared at her blankly.
"Good God!" he muttered; "what do you mean, stay on?"
"I mean that if I stay it will be because I don't want to hurt you more than I must--and because things don't matter much, either way. I have my own money--but, well, I'll stay on if it will help you in your business."
Then light dawned.
"You will stay on!" Thornton snapped the words out. "You are my wife, and you will stay on!"
"Very well. I will stay," Meredith turned and walked away.
Thornton looked after her and his face softened. Something in him was touched by the spirit under the cold, crude exterior of the girl. It was worth while--he would try to win her!
And that was the best hour in Thornton's life