Chapter 22

           Mrs.Morsedidnotrequireamother’sintuitiontoreadtheadvertisementinRuth’sfacewhenshereturnedhome. Theflushthatwouldnotleavethecheekstoldthesimplestory,andmoreeloquentlydidtheeyes,largeandbright,reflectinganunmistakableinwardglory. 

           "Whathashappened?"Mrs.Morseasked,havingbidedhertimetillRuthhadgonetobed. 

           "Youknow?"Ruthqueried,withtremblinglips. 

           Forreply,hermother’sarmwentaroundher,andahandwassoftlycaressingherhair. 

           "Hedidnotspeak,"sheblurtedout. "Ididnotintendthatitshouldhappen,andIwouldneverhavelethimspeakonlyhedidn’tspeak." 

           "Butifhedidnotspeak,thennothingcouldhavehappened,couldit?" 

           "Butitdid,justthesame." 

           "Inthenameofgoodness,child,whatareyoubabblingabout?"Mrs.Morsewasbewildered. "Idon’tthinkIknowwhathappened,afterall. Whatdidhappen?" 

           Ruthlookedathermotherinsurprise. 

           "Ithoughtyouknew. Why,we’reengaged,MartinandI." 

           Mrs.Morselaughedwithincredulousvexation. 

           "No,hedidn’tspeak,"Ruthexplained. "Hejustlovedme,thatwasall. Iwasassurprisedasyouare. Hedidn’tsayaword. Hejustputhisarmaroundme. AndandIwasnotmyself. Andhekissedme,andIkissedhim. Icouldn’thelpit. Ijusthadto. AndthenIknewIlovedhim." 

           Shepaused,waitingwithexpectancythebenedictionofhermother’skiss,butMrs.Morsewascoldlysilent. 

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