"No, no! Tell me what you thought of it yourself! Was there some part that seemed better than the rest?"
She hesitated. "No, I would rather not say. I oughtn't to have told you I had read it."
"You didn't like it!"
"Yes ; I did like parts of it. But I musn't say any more."
"But what parts?" he pleaded.
"You mustn't ask me. The readers' opinions " —
"I don't care for them. I care for your opinion," said Ray, perversely. "What did you mean by their being all different ? Of course, I'm absurd ! But you don't know how much depends upon this book. It isn't that it's the only book I expect ever to write ; but if it should be rejected! I've had to wait a long while already; and then to have to go peddling it around among the other publishers! Do you think that it's hopelessly bad, or could I make it over? What did you dislike in it ? Didn't you approve of the hypnotism? That was the only thing I could think of to bring about the climax. And did it seem too melodramatic ? Romeo and Juliet is melodramatic ! I hope you won't think I'm usually so nervous about my work," he went on, wondering that he should be giving himself away so freely, when he was really so reserved. " I've been a long time writing the story; and I've worked over it and worked over it, till I've quite lost the sense of it. I don't believe I can make head or tail of those opinions. That's the reason why I wanted you to tell me what you thought of it yourself."
"But I have no right to do that. It would be interfering with other people's work. It wouldn't be fair towards Mr. Brandreth," she pleaded.
"I see. I didn't see that before. And you're quite right, and I beg your pardon. Good-night!"