PART V. Alexandra
3. CHAPTER III (continued)
Carl laughed. "Prudent Alexandra! You see, my dear, I happen to
have an honest partner. I trust him with everything. In fact,
it's been his enterprise from the beginning, you know. I'm in it
only because he took me in. I'll have to go back in the spring.
Perhaps you will want to go with me then. We haven't turned up
millions yet, but we've got a start that's worth following. But
this winter I'd like to spend with you. You won't feel that we
ought to wait longer, on Emil's account, will you, Alexandra?"
Alexandra shook her head. "No, Carl; I don't feel that way about
it. And surely you needn't mind anything Lou and Oscar say now.
They are much angrier with me about Emil, now, than about you.
They say it was all my fault. That I ruined him by sending him to
"No, I don't care a button for Lou or Oscar. The moment I knew
you were in trouble, the moment I thought you might need me, it all
looked different. You've always been a triumphant kind of person."
Carl hesitated, looking sidewise at her strong, full figure. "But
you do need me now, Alexandra?"
She put her hand on his arm. "I needed you terribly when it
happened, Carl. I cried for you at night. Then everything seemed
to get hard inside of me, and I thought perhaps I should never care
for you again. But when I got your telegram yesterday, then--then
it was just as it used to be. You are all I have in the world,
Carl pressed her hand in silence. They were passing the Shabatas'
empty house now, but they avoided the orchard path and took one
that led over by the pasture pond.
"Can you understand it, Carl?" Alexandra murmured. "I have had
nobody but Ivar and Signa to talk to. Do talk to me. Can you
understand it? Could you have believed that of Marie Tovesky? I
would have been cut to pieces, little by little, before I would
have betrayed her trust in me!"