"You and I are getting to be friends, aren't we, Pepper?" she asked, as the horse, with quivering nostrils, thrust his head into her hand. Then she sprang lightly into the buggy by Austen's side. The manner of these acts and the generous courage with which she defied opinion appealed to him so strongly that his heart was beating faster than Pepper's hoof- beats on the turf of the pasture.
"You are very good to come with me," he said gravely, when they had reached the road; "perhaps I ought not to have asked you."
"Why?" she asked, with one of her direct looks.
"It was undoubtedly selfish," he said, and added, more lightly, "I don't wish to put you into Mrs. Pomfret's bad graces."
"She thought it her duty to tell father the time you drove me to the Hammonds'. She said I asked you to do it."
"What did he say?" Austen inquired, looking straight ahead of him.
"He didn't say much," she answered. "Father never does. I think he knows that I am to be trusted."
"Even with me?" he asked quizzically, but with a deeper significance.