Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 185

house, had undergone a complete transformation during
the three weeks that Clayton and Mr. Philander had been there.

The former had imported a small army of carpenters and plasterers,
plumbers and painters from a distant city, and what had been but a
dilapidated shell when they reached it was now a cosy little two-story
house filled with every modern convenience procurable in so short a
time.

"Why, Mr. Clayton, what have you done?" cried Jane Porter, her heart
sinking within her as she realized the probable size of the expenditure
that had been made.

"S-sh," cautioned Clayton. "Don't let your father guess. If you don't
tell him he will never notice, and I simply couldn't think of him
living in the terrible squalor and sordidness which Mr. Philander and I
found. It was so little when I would like to do so much, Jane. For
his sake, please, never mention it."

"But you know that we can't repay you," cried the girl. "Why do you
want to put me under such terrible obligations?"

"Don't, Jane," said Clayton sadly. "If it had been just you, believe
me, I wouldn't have done it, for I knew from the start that it would
only hurt me in your eyes, but I couldn't think of that dear old man
living in the hole we found here. Won't you please believe that I did
it just for him and give me that little crumb of pleasure at least?"

"I do believe you, Mr. Clayton," said the girl, "because I know you are
big enough and generous enough to have done it just for him--and, oh
Cecil, I wish I might repay you as you deserve--as you would wish."

"Why can't you, Jane?"

"Because I love another."

"Canler?"

"No."

"But you are going to marry him. He told me as much before I left
Baltimore."

The girl winced.

"I do not love him," she said, almost proudly.

"Is it because of the money, Jane?"

She nodded.

"Then am I so much less desirable than Canler? I have money enough,
and far more, for every need," he said bitterly.

"I do not love you, Cecil," she said, "but I respect you. If I must
disgrace myself by such a bargain with any man, I prefer that it be one
I already despise. I should loathe the man to whom I sold myself
without love, whomsoever he might be. You will be happier," she
concluded, "alone--with my respect and friendship, than with me and my
contempt."

He did not press the matter further, but if ever a man had

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