"May I make a special request?"
"Oh, my dear, write to Mrs. Rook! I beg and entreat of you, write to Mrs. Rook!"
Emily's playful manner suddenly disappeared.
Ignoring the doctor's little outbreak of humor, she waited in grave surprise, until it was his pleasure to explain himself.
Doctor Allday, on his side, ignored the ominous change in Emily; he went on as pleasantly as ever. "Mr. Morris and I have had a long talk about you, my dear. Mr. Morris is a capital fellow; I recommend him as a sweetheart. I also back him in the matter of Mrs. Rook.--What's the matter now? You're as red as a rose. Temper again, eh?"
"Hatred of meanness!" Emily answered indignantly. "I despise a man who plots, behind my back, to get another man to help him. Oh, how I have been mistaken in Alban Morris!"
"Oh, how little you know of the best friend you have!" cried the doctor, imitating her. "Girls are all alike; the only man they can understand, is the man who flatters them. _Will_ you oblige me by writing to Mrs. Rook?"
Emily made an attempt to match the doctor, with his own weapons. "Your little joke comes too late," she said satirically. "There is Mrs. Rook's answer. Read it, and--" she checked herself, even in her anger she was incapable of speaking ungenerously to the old man who had so warmly befriended her. "I won't say to _you_," she resumed, "what I might have said to another person."