As for Mary Middleham, it behoved her to cool her hot cheeks and quench the fires in her eyes, as soon as she might, for within a few minutes of Mr. Germain's departure she must set out again. She had been bidden to the Wakes for supper, and the 'Wakes lived five miles away. Without changing her dress, she mounted her bicycle and was off. She rode fast, but her thoughts outstripped her. She tried to look cool, but the fire throbbed and gleamed. It was not possible but she must recall every stage in the journey of the week that was passing -- a week in which there had not been a day without some signal mark of Mr. Germain's attention.
He had "noticed" her; he had "noticed" her and her peddling affairs every day since the school-treat. His interest had increased, and was increasing; she could not credit it, but still less could doubt it. What in the world did the good gentleman mean? What did he see in her, what want of such as she was? Things of the sort had happened before; Mr. Duplessis was a gentleman, but he was different, quite different. He was, to say the least of it, a younger