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Chapter 13 THE WAYS OF MARIAN

  • The historian may not always wait for the last grain of sand to mark th_assing of an hour; he must hasten the flight of time frequently by abrup_eversals of the glass. Much competent evidence (to borrow from the lawyers) we must reject as irrelevant or immaterial to our main issue. Harwood wa_dmitted to practice in the United States courts midway of his third year i_assett's office. The doors of the state courts swing inward to any Hoosie_itizen of good moral character who wants to practice law,—a drollery of th_oosier constitution still tolerated. The humor of being a mere
  • "constitutional" lawyer did not appeal to Harwood, who revered the tradition_nd the great names of his chosen profession, and he had first written hi_ame on the rolls of the United States District Court.
  • His work for Bassett grew more and more congenial. The man from Fraser wa_oncentrating his attention on business; at least he found plenty of non- political work for Dan to do. After the troubled waters in Ranger County ha_een quieted and Bassett's advanced outpost in the Boordman Building ha_eased to attract newspaper reporters, an important receivership to whic_assett had been appointed gave Harwood employment of a semi-legal character.
  • Bassett had been a minor stockholder in a paper-mill which had got int_ifficulties through sheer bad management, and as receiver he addresse_imself to the task of proving that the business could be made to pay. Th_ork he assigned to Harwood was to the young man's liking, requiring as it di_onsiderable travel, visits to the plant, which was only a few hours' journe_rom the capital, and negotiations which required the exercise of tact an_udgment. However, Harwood found himself ineluctably drawn into the stat_ampaign that fall. Bassett was deeply engaged in all the manoeuvres, an_arwood was dispatched frequently on errands to county chairmen, and his ai_as welcomed by the literary bureau of the state committee. He prepared _peech whose quality he tested at small meetings in his own county, and hi_fforts having been favorably received he acted as a supply to fil_ppointments where the regular schedule failed. Toward the end of the campaig_is assignments increased until all his time was taken. By studying hi_udiences he caught the trick of holding the attention of large crowds; hi_ld college sobriquet of "Foghorn" Harwood had been revived and the newspaper_entioned his engagements with a casualness that implied fame. He enjoyed hi_ublic appearances, and the laughter and applause were sweet to him.
  • After the election Bassett admonished him not to neglect the law.
  • "I want you to make your way in the profession," he said, "and not let m_ffairs eat up all your time. Give me your mornings as far as possible an_eep your afternoons for study. If at any time you have to give me a whol_ay, take the next day for yourself. But this work you're doing will all hel_ou later. Lawyers these days have got to be business men; you understan_hat; and you want to get to the top."
  • Dan visited his parents and brothers as often as possible on the infertil_arrison County acres, to which the mortgage still clung tenaciously. He ha_elt since leaving college that he owed it to the brothers who had remaine_ehind to wipe out the old harassing debt as soon as possible. The thought o_heir struggles often made him unhappy, and he felt that he could only justif_is own desertion by freeing the farm. After one of these visits Bassett dre_rom him the fact that the mortgage was about to mature, and that another of _ong series of renewals of the loan was necessary. Bassett was at onc_nterested and sympathetic. The amount of the debt was three thousand dollars, and he proposed that Dan discharge it.
  • "I've never said so, but at the conclusion of the receivership I've intende_aying you for your additional work. If everything goes well my own allowanc_ught to be ten thousand dollars, and you're entitled to a share of it. I'l_ay now that it will be not less than two thousand dollars. I'll advance yo_hat amount at once and carry your personal note for the other thousand in th_raserville bank. It's too bad you have to use your first money that way, bu_t's natural for you to want to do it. I see that you feel a duty there, an_he folks at home have had that mortgage on their backs so long that it'_aken all the spirit out of them. You pay the mortgage when it's due and g_own and make a little celebration of it, to cheer them up. I'll carry tha_housand as long as you like."
  • Miss Rose Farrell, nigh to perishing of ennui in the lonely office of th_bsentee steel construction agents, had been installed as stenographer in Roo_6 a year earlier. Miss Farrell had, it appeared, served Bassett several term_s stenographer to one of the legislative committees of which he was chairman.
  • "You needn't be afraid of my telling anything," she said in reply to Dan'_autioning. "Those winters I worked at the State House I learned enough t_ill three penitentiaries with great and good men, but you couldn't dig it ou_f me with a steam shovel. They were going to have me up before a_nvestigating committee once, but I had burned my shorthand notes and couldn'_emember a thing. Your little Irish Rose knows a few things, Mr. Harwood. _as on to your office before the 'Advertiser' sprung that story and gave i_way that Mr. Bassett had a room here. I spotted the senator from Frase_oming up our pedestrian elevator, and I know all those rubes that have bee_ropping up to see him—struck 'em all in the legislature. He won't tear you_ollar if you put me on the job. And if I do say it myself I'm about as speed_n the machine as you find 'em. All your little Rose asks is the right to a_ccasional Wednesday matinée when business droops like a sick oleander. Yo_eedn't worry about me having callers. I'm a business woman, I am, and I gues_ know what's proper in a business office. If I don't understand men, Mr.
  • Harwood, no poor working girl does."
  • Bassett was pleased with Dan's choice of a stenographer. He turned over t_ose the reading of the rural newspapers and sundry other routine matters.
  • There was no doubt of Miss Farrell's broad knowledge of the world, or of he_idelity to duty. Harwood took early opportunity to subdue somewhat th_ungency of the essences with which she perfumed herself, and she gave up gum- chewing meekly at his behest. She assumed at once toward him that materna_ttitude which is peculiar to office girls endowed with psychological insight.
  • He sought to improve the character of fiction she kept at hand for leisur_oments, and was surprised by the aptness of her comments on the books sh_orrowed on his advice from the Public Library. She was twenty-four, tall an_rim, with friendly blue-gray eyes and a wit that had been sharpened b_dversity.
  • It cannot be denied that Mrs. Bassett and Marian found Harwood a convenien_eed upon which to lean. Nor was Blackford above dragging his father'_ecretary (as the family called him) forth into the bazaars of Washingto_treet to assist in the purchase of a baseball suit or in satisfying othe_ravings of his youthful heart. Mrs. Bassett, scorning the doctors o_raserville, had now found a nerve specialist at the capital who understoo_er troubles perfectly.
  • Marian, at Miss Waring's school, was supposed to be preparing for college, though Miss Waring had no illusions on the subject. Marian made Mrs. Owen he_xcuse for many absences from school: what was the use of having a wealth_reat-aunt living all alone in a comfortable house in Delaware Street if on_idn't avail one's self of the rights and privileges conferred by suc_elationship? When a note from Miss Waring to Mrs. Bassett at Fraservill_onveyed the disquieting news of her daughter's unsatisfactory progress, Mrs.
  • Bassett went to town and dealt severely with Marian. Mrs. Owen was griml_ilent when appealed to; it had never been her idea that Marian should b_repared for college; but now that the girl's mother had pledged herself t_he undertaking Mrs. Owen remained a passive spectator of the struggle. Mrs.
  • Owen was not so dull but that she surmised what had inspired this zeal for _ollegiate training for Marian; and her heart warmed toward the dark youn_erson at Wellesley, such being the contrariety of her kindly soul. To Mis_aring, a particular friend of hers and one of her admirations, Mrs. Owe_aid:—
  • "I want you to do the best you can for Marian, now that her mother's bitte_ith this idea of sending her to college. She's smart enough, I guess?"
  • "Too much smartness is Marian's trouble," replied Miss Waring. "There'_othing in the gymnasium she can't do; she's become the best French scholar w_ver had, but that's about all. She's worked hard at French because she think_t gives her a grand air. I can't imagine any other reason. She's adorabl_nd—impossible!"
  • "Do the best you can for her; I want her to go to college if she can."
  • Miss Waring had the reputation of being strict, yet Marian slipped the cord_f routine and discipline with ease. She had passed triumphantly from th_itchen "fudge" and homemade butterscotch period of a girl's existence int_he realm of _marrons glacés_. Nothing bored her so much as the afternoo_irings of the school under the eye of a teacher; and these she turned int_arks when she shared in them. Twice in one winter she had hopped upon _assing street car and rolled away in triumph from her meek and horrifie_ompanions and their outraged duenna. She encouraged by means the subtlest, the attentions of a strange young gentleman who followed the school'_eregrinations afar off. She carried on a brief correspondence with thi_avalier, a fence corner in Pennsylvania Street serving as post-office.
  • Luck favored her astonishingly in her efforts to escape the rigors of schoo_iscipline. Just when she was forbidden to leave Miss Waring's to spend night_nd Sundays at Mrs. Owen's, her mother came to town and opportunely (fo_arian) fell ill, at the Whitcomb. Mrs. Bassett was cruising languidly towar_he sombre coasts of Neurasthenia, and though she was under the supervision o_ trained nurse, Marian made her mother's illness an excuse for moving down t_he hotel to take care of her. Her father, in and out of the city caring fo_is multiplying interests, objected mildly but acquiesced, which was simple_nd more comfortable than opposing her.
  • Having escaped from school and established herself at the Whitcomb, Maria_ummoned Harwood to the hotel on the flimsiest pretexts, many of them mos_ngeniously plausible. For example, she avowed her intention of carrying o_er studies at the hotel during her enforced retirement from Miss Waring's, and her father's secretary, being a college man, could assist her with he_atin as well as not. Dan set tasks for her for a week, until she wearied o_he pretense. She insisted that it was too stupid for her to go unattended t_he hotel restaurant for her meals, and it was no fun eating in her mother'_oom with that lady in bed and the trained nurse at hand; so Harwood must joi_er for luncheon and dinner at the Whitcomb. Mrs. Owen was out of town, Bassett was most uncertain in his goings and comings, and Mrs. Bassett wa_eyond Harwood's reach, so he obeyed, not without chafing of spirit, thes_ommands of Marian. He was conscious that people pointed her out in th_estaurant as Morton Bassett's daughter, and he did not like th_esponsibility of this unauthorized chaperonage.
  • Mrs. Bassett was going to a sanatorium as soon as she was able to move; bu_or three weeks Marian was on Harwood's hands. Her bland airs o_roprietorship amused him when they did not annoy him, and when he ventured t_emonstrate with her for her unnecessary abandonment of school to take care o_er mother, her pretty _moue_ had mitigated his impatience. She knew the valu_f her prettiness. Dan was a young man and Marian was not without romanti_ongings. Just what passed between her and her mother Harwood could not know, but the hand that ruled indulgently in health had certainly not gaine_trength in sickness.
  • This was in January when the theatres were offering an unusual variety o_ttractions. Dan had been obliged to refuse—more harshly than was agreeable—t_ake Marian to see a French farce that had been widely advertised by it_ndecency. Her cool announcement that she had read it in French did not see_o Harwood to make an educational matter of it; but he was obliged finally t_ompromise with her on another play. Her mother was quite comfortable, sh_verred; there was no reason why she should not go to the theatre, and sh_orced the issue by getting the tickets herself.
  • That evening when they reached their seats Dan observed that Allen Thatche_at immediately in front of them. He turned and nodded to Dan, and his eye_ook in Marian. In a moment she murmured an inquiry as to who the young ma_as; and Harwood was aware thereafter that Marian divided her attentio_etween Allen and the stage. Allen turned once or twice in the entr'actes wit_ome comment on the play, and Marian was pleased with his profile; moreover h_ore a name with which she had long been familiar. As the curtain fell sh_hispered to Harwood:—
  • "You must introduce me to Mr. Thatcher,—please—! His father and papa ar_riends, and I've heard so much about the family that I just have to kno_im."
  • Harwood looked down at her gravely to be sure it was not one of her jokes, bu_he was entirely serious. He felt that he must take a stand with her; if he_ather and mother were unaware of her venturesome nature he still had hi_esponsibility, and it was not incumbent on him to widen her acquaintance.
  • "No!" he said flatly.
  • But Marian knew a trick or two. She loitered by her seat adjusting her wra_ith unnecessary deliberation. Allen, wishing to arrange an appointment wit_an for luncheon the next day, waited for him to come into the aisle. Dan ha_ot the slightest idea of introducing his charge to Allen or to any one else, and he stepped in front of her to get rid of his friend with the fewest word_ossible. But Marian so disposed herself at his elbow that he could no_ithout awkwardness refuse her.
  • She murmured Allen's name cordially, leveling her eyes at him smilingly.
  • "I've often heard Mr. Harwood speak of you, Mr. Thatcher! He has a great wa_f speaking of his friends!"
  • Allen was not a forthputting person, and Dan's manner was not encouraging; bu_he trio remained together necessarily through the aisle to the foyer.
  • Marian took advantage of their slow exit to discuss the play and with entir_ophistication, expressing astonishment that Allen was lukewarm in his prais_f it. He could not agree with her that the leading woman was beautiful, bu_he laughed when he remarked, with his droll intonation, that the sta_eminded him of a dressed-up mannikin in a clothing-store window.
  • "That is just the kind of thing I imagined you would say. My aunt, Mrs. Owen, says that you always say something different."
  • "Oh, Aunt Sally! She's the grandest of women. I wish she were my aunt. I hav_unts I could trade for her."
  • At the door Allen paused. Marian, running on blithely, gave him no opportunit_o make his adieux.
  • "Oh, aren't you going our way?" she demanded, in a tone of invitation.
  • "Yes; come along; it's only a step to the hotel where Miss Bassett i_taying," said Harwood, finding that they blocked the entrance and not seein_is way to abandoning Allen on the spot. He never escaped the appeal that la_n Allen; he was not the sort of fellow one would wound; and there could be n_reat harm in allowing him to walk a few blocks with Marian Bassett, who ha_o managed the situation as to make his elimination difficult. It was a cold, clear night and they walked briskly to the Whitcomb. When they reached th_otel, Dan, who had left the conversation to Marian and Allen, breathed a sig_hat his responsibility was at an end. He and Allen would have a walk and tal_ogether, or they might go up to the Boordman Building for the long loungin_arleys in which Allen delighted and which Dan himself enjoyed. But Dan ha_ot fully gauged the measure of Marian's daring.
  • "Won't you please wait a minute, Mr. Harwood, until I see if poor mama need_nything. You know we all rely on you so. I'll be back in just a moment."
  • "So that's Morton Bassett's daughter," observed Allen when Marian ha_luttered into the elevator. "You must have a lot of fun taking her about; she's much more grown-up than I had imagined from what you've said. She'_lmost a dangerous young person."
  • The young men found seats and Allen nursed his hat musingly. He had nothin_hatever to do, and the chance meeting with Harwood was a bright incident in _leak, eventless day.
  • "Oh, she's a nice child," replied Harwood indifferently. "But she find_hildhood irksome. It gives her ladyship a feeling of importance to hold m_ere while she asks after the comfort of her mother. I suppose a girl is _oman when she has learned that she can tell a man to wait."
  • "You should write a book of aphorisms and call it 'The Young Lady's Ow_andbook.' Perhaps I ought to be skipping."
  • "For Heaven's sake, don't! I want you as an excuse for getting away."
  • "I think I'd better go," suggested Allen. "I can wait for you in the office."
  • "Then I should pay the penalty for allowing you to escape; she can be ver_evere; she is a much harder taskmaster than her father. Don't desert me."
  • Allen took this at face value; and it seemed only ordinary courtesy to wait t_ay good-night to a young woman who was coming back in a moment to report upo_he condition of a sick mother. In ten minutes Marian reappeared, having lef_er wraps behind.
  • "Mama is sleeping beautifully. And that's a sign that she's better."
  • Here clearly was an end of the matter, and Dan had begun to say good-night; but with the prettiest grace possible Marian was addressing Allen:—
  • "I'm terribly hungry and I sent down an order for just the smallest supper.
  • You see, I took it for granted that you would both be just as hungry as I am, so you must come and keep me company." And to anticipate the refusal tha_lready glittered coldly in Dan's eye, she continued, "Mama doesn't like me t_e going into the restaurant alone, but she approves of Mr. Harwood."
  • The head waiter was already leading them to a table set for three i_ccordance with the order Manan had telephoned from her room. She ha_liminated the possibility of discussion, and Harwood raged in hi_elplessness. There was no time for a scene even if he had thought it wise t_recipitate one.
  • "It's only a lobster, you know," she said, with the careless ease of a youn_oman quite habituated to midnight suppers.
  • Harwood's frown of annoyance had not escaped her; but it only served to add t_er complete joy in the situation. There were other people about, and musi_roceeded from a screen of palms at the end of the dining-room. Having had he_ay, Marian nibbled celery and addressed herself rather pointedly to Allen, unmindful of the lingering traces of Harwood's discomfiture. By the time th_obster was served she was on capital terms with Allen.
  • In his own delight in Marian, Allen failed utterly to comprehend Harwood'_loomy silence. Dan scarcely touched his plate, and he knew that Marian wa_overtly laughing at him.
  • "Do you know," said Allen, speaking directly to Dan, "we're having grea_rguments at Lüders's; we turn the universe over every day."
  • "You see, Miss Bassett," Allen explained to Marian; "I'm a fair carpenter an_ork almost every day at Louis Lüders's shop. I earn a dollar a day and ea_inner—dinner, mind you!—at twelve o'clock, out of a tin pail. You can se_hat I'm a laboring man—one of the toiling millions."
  • "You don't mean that seriously, Mr. Thatcher; not really!"
  • "Oh, why will you say that? Every one says just that! No one ever believe_hat I mean what I say!"
  • This was part of some joke, Marian surmised, though she did not quite gras_t. It was inconceivable that the son of the house of Thatcher shoul_eriously seek a chance to do manual labor. Allen in his dinner jacket did no_ook like a laborer: he was far more her idea of a poet or a musician.
  • "I went to Lüders's house the other evening for supper," Allen was saying. "_ather put it up to him to ask me, and he has a house with a garden, and hi_ife was most amusing. We all talked German, including the kids,—three o_hem, fascinating little fellows. He's a cabinetmaker, Miss Bassett,—_roducer of antiques, and a good one; and about the gentlest human being yo_ver saw. He talks about existing law as though it were some kind of devil,—_onster, devouring the world's poor. But he won't let his wife spank th_hildren,—wouldn't, even when one of them kicked a hole in my hat! I suppose_hat of course there would be dynamite lying round in tomato cans; and when _hook the pepper box I expected an explosion; but I didn't see a gun on th_lace. He's beautifully good-natured, and laughed in the greatest way when _sked him how soon he thought of blowing up some of our prominent citizens. _eally believe he likes me—strange but true."
  • "Better not get in too deep with those fellows," warned Dan. "The police watc_üders carefully; he's considered dangerous. It's the quiet ones, who are kin_o their families and raise cabbages, that are the most violent."
  • "Oh, Lüders says we've got to smash everything! He rather favors socialis_imself, but he wants to tear down the court-houses first and begin again."
  • "You'd better be careful or you'll land in jail, Mr. Thatcher," remarke_arian, taking an olive.
  • "Oh, if anything as interesting as that should happen to me, I shoul_ertainly die of joy!"
  • "But your family wouldn't like it if you went to jail," persisted Marian, delighting in the confidences of a young gentleman for whom jails had n_errors.
  • "The thought of my family is disturbing, it's positively disturbing," Alle_eplied. "Lüders has given me a chance in his shop, and really expects me t_ork. Surprising in an anarchist; you'd rather expect him to press a stick o_ynamite in your hand and tell you to go out and blow up a bank. Lüders has _ense of humor, you know: hence the antiques, made to coax money from th_urses of the fat rich. There are more ways than one of being a cut-purse."
  • The lobster had been consumed, and they were almost alone in the restaurant.
  • Marian, with her elbows on the table, was in no haste to leave, but Dan caugh_he eye of the hovering waiter and paid the check.
  • "You shouldn't have done that," Marian protested; "it was my party. I sign m_wn checks here."
  • But having now asserted himself, Dan rose, and in a moment he and Allen ha_idden her good-night at the elevator door.
  • "You didn't seem crazy about your lobster, and you were hardly more tha_olite to our hostess. Sorry to have butted in. But why have you kept thes_ender recreations from me!"
  • "Oh, that child vexes my spirit sometimes. She's bent on making people d_hings they don't want to do. Of course the lobster was a mere excuse fo_etting acquainted with you; but you needn't be too set up about it: I thin_er curiosity about your family is responsible,—these fake newspaper storie_bout your sister—which is it, Hermione or Gwendolen—who is always about t_arry a count. Countesses haven't been common in Indiana. We need a few to ad_one to the local gossip."
  • "Oh," murmured Allen dejectedly: "I'm sorry if you didn't want me in th_arty. It's always the way with me. Nobody ever really loves me for mysel_lone. What does the adorable do besides midnight lobsters? I thought Aun_ally said she was at Miss Waring's school."
  • "She is, more or less," growled Dan. "Her mother wants to put her throug_ollege, to please the wealthy great-aunt. Mrs. Owen has shown interest i_nother girl who is now at Wellesley; hence Marian must go to college, and th_are thought of it bores her to death. She's as little adapted to a course i_ollege as one of those bright goddesses who used to adorn Olympus."
  • "She doesn't strike me as needing education; she's a finished product. I fel_ery young in the divine presence."
  • "She gives one that feeling," laughed Dan, his mood of impatience dissolving.
  • "Who's this rival who has made the higher education seem necessary for Morto_assett's daughter?"
  • "She's an amazing girl; quite astonishing. If Mrs. Bassett were a wise woma_he wouldn't enter Marian in competition. And besides, I think her fears ar_tterly groundless. Marian is delightful, with her waywardness and high- handedness; and Mrs. Owen likes originals, not feeble imitations. I shoul_ate to try to deceive Mrs. Sally Owen—she's about the wisest person I eve_aw."
  • "Oh, Sylvia! Mrs. Owen has mentioned her. The girl that knows all the star_nd that sort of thing. But where's Morton Bassett in all this? He's rathe_ore than a shadow on the screen?"
  • "Same old story of the absorbed American father and the mother with nerves"
  • * * *
  • Two afternoons later, as Harwood was crossing University Park on his way t_is boarding-house, he stopped short and stared. A little ahead of him in th_alk strolled a girl and a young man, laughing and talking with the greates_nimation. There was no questioning their identity. It was five o'clock an_uite dark, and the air was sharp. Harwood paused and waited for the tw_oiterers to cross the lighted space about the little park's central fountain.
  • It seemed incredible that Marian and Allen should be abroad together in thi_allying fashion. His anger rose against Allen, but he curbed an impulse t_end him promptly about his business and take Marian back to the Whitcomb. Mr.
  • Bassett was expected in town that evening and Dan saw his duty clearly i_egard to Marian; she must be returned to school willy-nilly.
  • The young people were hitting it off wonderfully, and Marian's laughter ran_ut clearly upon the winter air. Her tall, supple figure, her head capped wit_ fur toque, and more than all, the indubitable evidence that such _landestine stroll as this gave her the keenest delight, drove home to Harwoo_he realization that Marian was no longer a child, but a young woman, obstinately bent upon her own way. Allen was an ill-disciplined, emotiona_oy, whose susceptibilities in the matter of girls Dan had already noted. Th_ombination had its dangers and his anger rose as he followed them at a saf_istance. They prolonged their walk for half an hour, coming at last to th_hitcomb.
  • Harwood waylaid Allen in the hotel office a moment after Marian had gone t_er room. The young fellow's cheeks were unwontedly bright from the cold o_rom the excitement of his encounter.
  • "Halloa! I was going to look you up and ask you to have dinner with me."
  • "You were looking for me in a likely place," replied Harwood coldly. "Se_ere, Allen, I've been laboring under the delusion that you were a gentleman."
  • "Oh! Have we come to that?"
  • "You know better than to go loafing through town with a truant school-girl yo_ardly know. I suppose it's my fault for introducing you to her. I want you t_ell me how you managed this. Did you telephone her or write a note? Sit dow_ere now and let's have it out."
  • They drew away from the crowd and found seats in a quiet corner of the lobby.
  • Harwood, his anger unabated, repeated his question.
  • "Out with it; just how did you manage it?"
  • Allen was twisting his gloves nervously; he had not been conscious o_ransgressing any law, but he would not for worlds have invited Harwood'_ispleasure. He was near to tears; but he remained stubbornly silent unti_arwood again demanded to know how he contrived the meeting with Marian.
  • "I'm sorry, old man," Allen answered, "but I can't tell you anything about it.
  • I don't see that my crime is so heinous. She has been cooped up in the hote_ll day with her sick mother, and a short walk—it was only a fe_locks—couldn't have done her any harm. I think you're making too much of it."
  • "You were dallying there in the park, in a way to attract attention, with _eadstrong, silly girl that you ought to have protected from that sort o_hing. You know better than that."
  • Allen, enfolded in his long ulster, shuffled his feet on the tiling like _chool-boy in disgrace. Deep down in his heart, Harwood did not believe tha_llen had proposed the walk to Marian; it was far likelier that Marian ha_ought the meeting by note or telephone. He turned upon Allen with a sligh_elaxation of his sternness.
  • "You didn't write her a note or telephone her,—you didn't do either, did you?"
  • Allen, silent and dejected, dropped his gloves and picked them up, the colo_eepening in his cheeks.
  • "I just happened to meet her; that's all," he said, avoiding Dan's eyes.
  • "She wrote you a note or telephoned you?"
  • Silence.
  • "Humph," grunted Harwood.
  • "She's wonderfully beautiful and strong and so tremendously vivid! I thin_hose nice girls you read of in the Greek mythology must have been like that,"
  • murmured Allen, sighing heavily.
  • "I dare say they were!" snapped Harwood, searching the youngster's thin, sensitive face, and meeting for an instant his dreamy eyes. He was touche_new by the pathos in the boy, whose nature was a light web of finespun golde_ords thrilling to any breath of fancy. The superb health, the dash and darin_f a school-girl that he had seen but once or twice, had sent him climbin_pon a frail ladder of romantic dreams.
  • Harwood struck his hands together sharply. If he owed a duty to Marian and he_amily, not less he was bound to turn Allen's thoughts into safe channels.
  • "Of course it wouldn't do—that sort of thing, you know, Allen. I didn't mea_o beat you into the dust. Let's go over to Pop June's and get some oysters. _on't feel up to our usual boarding-house discussion of Christian Science to- night."
  • At the first opportunity Dan suggested to Bassett, without mentioning Marian'_dventure with Allen, that the Whitcomb was no place for her, and that he_ursuit of knowledge under his own tutorship was the merest farce; whereupo_assett sent her back immediately to Miss Waring's.