A wild, sunshine-tinted canary flirted with the fragrance in the heart of the purpling lilac bush that nestled against the side of the porch.
"I said it would not be such a bad idea after all," said Ted patiently. Thelma reluctantly turned her eyes away from the lilac bloom with its flying shuttle of yellow.
"What?" she asked.
"I like that!" returned Ted in an injured voice. "You propose relationship--"
Thelma forgot the yellow songster and the pillar of feathery blossoms.
"Ted Stover," she interrupted bristling, "Will you tell me what on earth you are talking about? Or am I to conclude that you have gone suddenly insane?"
He regarded her gloomily. "Oh, I'm insane, all right," he admitted, "but there is nothing sudden about it. And I fancied I was behaving quite rationally just at present."
"Rationally!" sniffed Thelma. The lilac stirred gently in the breeze. She sniffed again.
Ted sniffed also. "Pretty good," he said lazily. "Now as I said, my dear--"
"'My dear!'" Thelma's color rose angrily. "Who gave you permission to call me 'my dear?'"
He turned slowly in his chair until his reproachful brown eyes fell upon her own blue ones. "Why you did!" he exclaimed. "Didn't you suggest--not half an hour ago--that you would be delighted to be a sister to me?"
Thelma stared blankly.
"Didn't you?" persisted Ted.
"Ye-es," said Thelma uncertainly.
The young man opposite nodded. "It's settled then!" he exulted. "I sometimes think I really need a sister and I'd just as soon have you for one as anyone else I know of. And being a big brother won't be so bad after all." He grinned expansively.
Thelma moved indignantly to the edge of her chair. "If you think you are going to kiss me--" she sputtered.
Ted regarded her with innocent eyes. "You must have been thinking about that part of it," he remarked. "I am sure I wasn't. There are brothers and brothers. Some are affectionate--as brother ought to be--and some are exactly the reverse. We might select a sane middle course."
Thelma beamed forth suddenly. "You are the most sensible man I ever refused," she confided.