Thereafter he dropped in informally every afternoon or evening. Other young men came and went--rejected--but Ted's brotherly attitude remained unchanged.
One day he came to her with shining eyes.
"I haven't asked much of you, have I, since I became a brother?" he asked eagerly. "You have noticed, perhaps, that I haven't been bothering you so much lately?"
She turned away. "I really hadn't noticed," she said indifferently.
"Too much occupied with that young Raynor," he remarked. "But never mind that now. I come asking for your assistance. Will you give it to me?"
"Gladly. What is it?"
He looked away down the path. "Do you remember what I told you about saving my money?" he questioned. "Well, I have done so and have also made some exceedingly fortunate investments--so fortunate that I have been able to buy a bungalow and half an acre of garden--and--I am going to be married."
Still looking down the path he did not see her face whiten nor her slender body tremble for a moment. Then she held out her hand quite steadily.
"I am very glad," she said. "What was it you wanted me to do?"
"It's rather an unconventional thing," he returned. "I have the cottage all finished and she wants to come and look it over this afternoon. I have no mother for a chaperone and neither has she--would you come along in that capacity?"
"Certainly," she said evenly. "Shall we go now?" Where is she?"
"You are a good little thing," he exclaimed impulsively, "run put on your hat. I won't ask you to walk now for I have purchased a little car--not much of one, you know, but just right for two. I'll run it up to the gate while I'm waiting."