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115. CHAPTER CXV (continued)
"No, I'm not going to," she said.
"Ungrateful hussy!" cried Athelny. "Why not?"
"I don't like being kissed by men," she said.
Philip saw her embarrassment, and, amused, turned Athelny's attention to something else. That was never a very difficult thing to do. But evidently her mother spoke of the matter later, for next time Philip came she took the opportunity when they were alone for a couple of minutes to refer to it.
"You didn't think it disagreeable of me last week when I wouldn't kiss you?"
"Not a bit," he laughed.
"It's not because I wasn't grateful." She blushed a little as she uttered the formal phrase which she had prepared. "I shall always value the necklace, and it was very kind of you to give it me."
Philip found it always a little difficult to talk to her. She did all that she had to do very competently, but seemed to feel no need of conversation; yet there was nothing unsociable in her. One Sunday afternoon when Athelny and his wife had gone out together, and Philip, treated as one of the family, sat reading in the parlour, Sally came in and sat by the window to sew. The girls' clothes were made at home and Sally could not afford to spend Sundays in idleness. Philip thought she wished to talk and put down his book.
"Go on reading," she said. "I only thought as you were alone I'd come and sit with you."
"You're the most silent person I've ever struck," said Philip.
"We don't want another one who's talkative in this house," she said.
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