"How you can LAUGH——" her friend rebuked her; and she dropped back to a soberer perception of things with the question: "What was it Bertha really told him?"
For a moment her heart beat incoherently, then she felt the sobering touch of fact, and remembered that such calls were not unknown in her charitable work.
It had certainly not been produced by Selden’s arguments, or by the action of his own soberer reason.
Her tone seemed to sober him, as it had so often done in his stormiest moments.
His real detachment from her had taken place, not at the lurid moment of disenchantment, but now, in the sober after-light of discrimination, where he saw her definitely divided from him by the crudeness of a choice which seemed to deny the very differences he felt in her.
The very apprehensions he aroused hardened her against him: she had been on the alert for the note of personal sympathy, for any sign of recovered power over him; and his attitude of sober impartiality, the absence of all response to her appeal, turned her hurt pride to blind resentment of his interference.