The Breaking Point
"I wish you wouldn't, Clare. He'd hate it if he knew."
She moved on and Clare slowly followed her. The Rossiter girl's flow of talk had suddenly stopped. She was thoughtful and impulsively suspicious.
"Look here, Elizabeth, I believe you care for him yourself."
"I? What is the matter with you to-night, Clare?"
"I'm just thinking. Your voice was so queer."
They walked on in silence. The flow of Clare's confidences had ceased, and her eyes were calculating and a trifle hard.
"There's a good bit of talk about him," she jerked out finally. "I suppose you've heard it."
"What sort of talk?"
"Oh, gossip. You'll hear it. Everybody's talking about it. It's doing him a lot of harm."
"I don't believe it," Elizabeth flared. "This town hasn't anything else to do, and so it talks. It makes me sick."
She did not attempt to analyze the twisted motives that made Clare belittle what she professed to