17. CHAPTER XVII
Miss Stackpole immediately saw that our young lady had been
"through" something, and indeed the discovery demanded no great
penetration. She went straight up to her friend, who received her
without a greeting. Isabel's elation in having sent Caspar
Goodwood back to America presupposed her being in a manner glad
he had come to see her; but at the same time she perfectly
remembered Henrietta had had no right to set a trap for her. "Has
he been here, dear?" the latter yearningly asked.
Isabel turned away and for some moments answered nothing. "You
acted very wrongly," she declared at last.
"I acted for the best. I only hope you acted as well."
"You're not the judge. I can't trust you," said Isabel.
This declaration was unflattering, but Henrietta was much too
unselfish to heed the charge it conveyed; she cared only for what
it intimated with regard to her friend. "Isabel Archer," she
observed with equal abruptness and solemnity, "if you marry one
of these people I'll never speak to you again!"
"Before making so terrible a threat you had better wait till I'm
asked," Isabel replied. Never having said a word to Miss
Stackpole about Lord Warburton's overtures, she had now no
impulse whatever to justify herself to Henrietta by telling her
that she had refused that nobleman.
"Oh, you'll be asked quick enough, once you get off on the
Continent. Annie Climber was asked three times in Italy--poor
plain little Annie."
"Well, if Annie Climber wasn't captured why should I be?"
"I don't believe Annie was pressed; but you'll be."
"That's a flattering conviction," said Isabel without alarm.
"I don't flatter you, Isabel, I tell you the truth!" cried her
friend. "I hope you don't mean to tell me that you didn't give
Mr. Goodwood some hope."