Illyrian Summer

Illyrian Summer by Iris Danbury Read Free Book Online

Book: Illyrian Summer by Iris Danbury Read Free Book Online
Authors: Iris Danbury
    “ Yes. You wouldn ’ t be on holiday all the time, of course. My secretary there went home at Easter to get married and I haven ’ t bothered about anybody to replace her, but I think you might suit me very well. ”
    “ I should have to ask Edmund first about the rest of the arrangements, ” Sarah temporized. “ Technically, I suppose I ’ m still employed by the film company. ”
    “ That need not be any difficulty at all. Actually, while I ’ m under contract to the company, I ’ m allowed a secretary wherever I choose to be living. ”
    “ I see. Could I perhaps think it over, Miss Roche? ”
    Melanie stared at Sarah, and her eyes flashed with a touch of imperious impatience. “ I should have thought you would jump at the chance, particularly when your idea is to travel about and see the world. ”
    “ Oh, yes, ” agreed Sarah with a show of enthusiasm. “ It ’ s just a complete surprise. ”
    “ Well, let me know when you ’ ve considered the idea. ” Melanie spoke coldly. “ We can discuss the further details, salary and so on, later. ”
    Sarah thought she was now being dismissed and she began to scramble to her feet, but Melanie put out a restraining hand. “ Don ’ t go yet, Sarah. I ’ ve something further to say. ”
    Sarah waited, sure now that the subject of Daniel was the real purpose of the interview.
    “ What do you think of Daniel? ” Melanie shot the question at Sarah with a direct bluntness.
    The girl looked down at the sand so that Melanie should not see any false expression in her eyes.
    “ I find him quite pleasant to work with, ” she answered.
    “ No more than that? Not even a charming companion? Or—shall we say—someone who believes he is infatuated with you? ”
    “ Wouldn ’ t it be better to ask Daniel himself about that? ”
    “ Oh, I have, ” snapped Melanie, “ and I understand that he has some ridiculous idea about wanting to marry you. ”
    “ Did Daniel tell you that? ”
    “ Yes. That ’ s why I think it very important to have this talk with you. Sarah, my dear, you have no idea what our world is like. Marriages are made—and broken — and remade. Actors have to cultivate a personality for themselves, a kind of aura, and in the end they believe in it. Daniel is just beginning his career—oh, I know he ’ s had years of experience, but the real sweep forward to success is only just starting for him. You ’ re not going to hamper him now, are you? ”
    Sarah faced Melanie. “ I entirely agree with you, Miss Roche, ” she said, her chin tilted upward at a resolute angle. “ Nothing would be more disastrous for Daniel than an unsuitable marriage—at any moment of his career. But I have my own point of view, too. I think I ’ m rather young to rush into marriage—I ’ m not yet twenty—and I want my marriage to be built on something firmer than infatuation. ”
    Melanie smiled. “ I knew you ’ d be reasonable. Of course, it ’ s terribly flattering to a young girl to be noticed by someone like Daniel, but I knew you wouldn ’ t let that go to your head. ”
    Sarah was silent for a moment. Then she said, “ The position now is just as you say, Miss Roche, but none of us can see the future. It could be that Daniel might not be infatuated, but in love with me, and I might not be merely flattered, but love him in return. ”
    “ Good heavens! Are you mad? ” Melanie ’ s face was twisted with rage.
    “ No, Miss Roche. I ’ m trying to be a realist, but I ’ ll remember what you ’ ve said, because I, too, have Daniel ’ s career at heart. I don ’ t want to spoil it in any way. ”
    Sarah rose and shook the sand from her feet as though to shake off the interview, too. “ I ’ ll think about your offer of a post at your villa and let you know after I ’ ve discussed it with Edmund. ”
    As she walked the few yards back to where Radmilla sat, Sarah knew that however uncertain the future or even if she had to return to

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