"I want a dress for a young lady."
The young woman smiled. Ashurst frowned the peculiarity of his request struck him with sudden force.
"What style would you like--something modish?"
"What figure would the young lady be?"
"I don't know; about two inches shorter than you, I should say."
"Could you give me her waist measurement?"
While she was gone he stood disconsolately eyeing the models in the window, and suddenly it seemed to him incredible that Megan--his Megan could ever be dressed save in the rough tweed skirt, coarse blouse, and tam-o'-shanter cap he was wont to see her in. The young woman had come back with several dresses in her arms, and Ashurst eyed her laying them against her own modish figure. There was one whose colour he liked, a dove-grey, but to imagine Megan clothed in it was beyond him. The young woman went away, and brought some more. But on Ashurst there had now come a feeling of paralysis. How choose? She would want a hat too, and shoes, and gloves; and, suppose, when he had got them all, they commonised her, as Sunday clothes always commonised village folk! Why should she not travel as she was? Ah! But conspicuousness would matter; this was a serious elopement. And, staring at the young woman, he thought: 'I wonder if she guesses, and thinks me a blackguard?'
"Do you mind putting aside that grey one for me?" he said desperately at last. "I can't decide now; I'll come in again this afternoon."