"Well, a better idea, at any rate."
"You are still a good way off it. But if you have formed a right estimate of a woman's friendship----"
"That's still something, you mean to say? But why did you stop short, Mr. Courtland?"
Phyllis was looking up to his face with a smile of inquiry.
"I was afraid that you might think I was on the way to preach a sermon on the text of woman's friendship. I pulled myself up just in time. I'm glad that I didn't frighten you."
"Oh, no; you didn't frighten me, Mr. Courtland. I was only wondering how you would go on--whether you would treat the topic sentimentally or cynically."
"And what conclusion did you come to on the subject?"
"I know that you are a brave man--perhaps the bravest man alive. You would, I think, have treated the question seriously--feelingly."