The House of a Merchant Prince

XIII.

SHOWING THE ENTIRE POSSIBILITY OF PLATONIC FRIENDSHIPS.

THE circumstances of their situation — left alone in town together, when most of the world had gone out of it — contributed now to the intimacy between Bainbridge and Ottilie. There was no one especially to remark upon the young man’s calls, rather frequent though they might be, but Mrs. Ambler, who showed herself discreetly about the rooms from time to time. Bainbridge did not fail to bid for her favor, also, by an occasional courteous remark. She had lived once, it seemed, with his relatives, the Hudson Hendricks. She told Ottilie, “ They are such elegant people, so easy in their manners, that a body gets along with them as well as if she were one of themselves,”

Hardly more than a stray figure or two was seen at a time in the whole length of the fashionable Avenue. The windows of the houses were darkened with green shades, the front doors of many battened up with small planks, as if never to be opened again. To any chance pull at the bell only some frowzy charwoman answered, from the basement area. The grass grew long in the door-yards. Occasional oleanders showed their white and crimson flowers against some bit of brick wall. The impulsive magnolia shrub was flowerless now, and showed the marks of its advancing age and experience. The bay and rivers were full of white excursion steamers, gay with banners and music.

“ Do you not go out of town, too ? ” Ottilie asked her friend.

“ I have been in the habit of taking a fortnight’s run to Fire Island, or Lake George, or the White Mountains, but the fact is that New York city is not one of the least desirable of the summer resorts itself. You cannot exactly swing a hammock in Madison Square, nor cast yourself down with a book in front of the Astor House; but you can move down a couple of stories into a more comfortable lodging at the same price, walk under the shade of the tall buildings, listen to the refreshing spatter of the water-carts, and study the manners and customs of the country cousin come to town. As to day excursions, I cannot abide them. To encounter the discomforts of the journey and to return again to town, which seems more sultry than ever by the contrast, is like eating the rind of a melon to get at the pulp, and then eating your way out on the other side.”

He came sometimes in the evening, when they sat in the chintz-covered parlors, by windows open upon a balcony. The gas-light was not too brilliant. Fitful puffs of air stirred the soft material of the curtains. Strolling German bands played in the side streets, and the music was borne sweetly to their ears from a distance. In these side streets people who did not go out of town till late, or not at all, came out upon their doorsteps, the women in white, and held informal levees.

But more often his visits were in the afternoon, and Ottilie received him in the large picture-gallery. It was a favorite resort of her own in the long, quiet, hot days. She liked to go there to read, and look up from her book and let her fancy wander musingly away into the rich variety of scenes about her. There were coquettes, madonnas, vestal virgins, and languid odalisques. There were Francis I. taken captive at Pavia, and Hannibal swearing eternal hatred to the Romans. You drifted in a lazy barge upon a French canal ; assisted at a harvest in a Normandy appleorchard, or a gay dance of Hungarian peasants; shrank in dismay from a charge of Thor-like cuirassiers ; looked down upon a lonely farm in Ukraine, lighted by the moon ; and heard the strumming of Provençal lutes and the pan-pipes of Daphnis.

The young man thought the living, intelligent figure of Ottilie, in her fresh, crisp summer gowns, — blue and white, in perpendicular lines, or patterns of small sprigs, — with her nice dark hair, her smooth skin free of blemish, and the little touch of high light at the tip of her nose made by the illumination coming from above, far prettier than any of the pictures she admired.

They talked naturally of the works about them. The subject led up to that of European travel, about which she questioned him with interest, as she had already Angelica. “ Ah, if I could only travel! ” she exclaimed. “ I wonder if I ever shall ! But what am I saying ? You see before you a person who actually is traveling. I am at this very time in Italy, and writing my experiences to an intimate friend.”

It appeared that she had entered upon the improving plan of corresponding with a pleasant, ex-classmate in the same manner as if they two were really journeying abroad. They were to collect information on the places through which they imagined themselves to pass from such books as were accessible.

“ It is Alice Holbrook,” she commenced to explain : “ the one who ” —

“ Oh, yes, the rather plain, studious one, whose family wanted her to be engaged to her cousin, against her wishes, and rather made her once, so that she had an engagement ring ; but afterwards she sent it back, and then her sister took the young man,” interpolated Bainbrldge.

She gave him a keen little glance of surprise and reproach. “ You are very observing,” she said, with some asperity.

“ Bless you, I know them all by heart,” he replied. “ I could n’t have known them better if I had been born and brought up with them.”

Asperity seemed thrown away on such a person, so she went on again, airily : “ Alice is still in England, but I came to Italy the very first thing. I was too impatient to wait. I was at Florence at the last writing, just setting out for Rome.”

He was able to correct a few monstrous errors and impossibilities in her imaginary proceedings, at which they both laughed gayly. Perhaps a vague sentiment of the pleasure it might be to see all that again in company with such a fresh young enthusiast may have passed through his fancy. To have a charming person like this exclaiming with delight at the picturesqueness which had once pleased him so much, and giving it new interpretations of her own ; leaning on his arm in her becoming fatigues in the galleries and the steep streets, — ah! that might be something worth while.

“ Let ns two swear an eternal friendship instead,” he proposed, as they stood one day before the Hannibal, He imitated melodramatically the pose of the young avenger of his country. He raised one arm to heaven and extended the other towards her. They were on excellent terms that afternoon. She took his offered hand laughingly, with only a becoming reluctance. Secretly she was pleased to have the character of the relation that was to exist between them thus accurately defined. They had indeed talked much of friendship ; the possibility of an enduring regard on the platonic basis between the sexes. They quoted La Bruyère and others to show that it was possible. A tacit understanding seemed to be arrived at that they could be nothing more to each other than pleasant companions. They knew each other’s circumstances perfectly well, and the pecuniary reason alone, were there nothing else, was sufficient to put all thoughts of love and marriage out of the question in their case, as a matter of course.

“ Nobody shall marry me but Miss Golconda Harrington, whose income is a thousand dollars a day, — unless it be Miss Butterfield, who has five hundred,” said Bainbridge, making open profession now of the most glaringly mercenary intentions in matrimony. " Both of them are forty-five, I believe, and tortured to death with the dread that everybody who approaches them is after their money; but I think I shall be able to feign some philanthropic or other crafty motive for getting at them. As to you, you must have one of the enormous young millionaires who are floating about here on every hand. There is Northfleet, who owns nearly a county in Pennsylvania as a part of his possessions. Or Kingbolt of Kingbolts ville. Come, there is an excellent match for you ! I select Kingbolt of Kingboltsville. I give my consent. Bless you, my children,” and he performed a benediction as above this imaginary union.

“ Very well, then ! Enormous young millionaires, and this one in particular, may henceforth look out for themselves,” assented Ottilie.

“ The fact is,” he went on in a strain that seemed quite serious, “ that after a certain age a person probably no longer has sufficient magnanimity to take upon himself additional burdens in marriage ; whereas the first time, in the first romantic impulse, he would have been glad to double his hours of labor, wear shabbier clothes, live in a tenement house, or a wigwam for that matter, and consider himself amply repaid by the least of the dear one’s smiles. I speak of the man ; no doubt the young woman gets around to the same way of thinking, too, always supposing that she has had the first experience. Besides, if carried out, that kind of romanticism would have been certain to defeat itself. The dear one’s illusion would have worn off as the lover became cadaverous and shabby. Confined to each other’s company at close quarters, without the fresh stream of outside life and ideas flowing through, they would bore each other, too, — our beatific couple. Bah ! they would be throwing plates at each other’s heads presently, like the cheerful people we read of in the divorce courts. One estimates fashionable society at its proper worth, of course. It is often a bore to go into it, but one likes to be asked, all the same. When you become householders and persons of family, you date and rank somehow from those facts. You make a pretense of repaying the gorgeous hospitality you may have received. If the grand world does not come down, with its two men on the box and its supercilious eye-glass put up, to return your calls upon it, though you may not wish to see it the least in the world, you must be offended ; a proper self-respect demands that. And presently there is an irreconcilable quarrel, and that is the end of it.”

This was perhaps not the way in which Ottilie had been in the habit of looking at the case ; but, though arguing openly against his unfavorable way of putting it, she was inclined to admit within herself that it was reasonable for him. He had no doubt had such a bringing up that certain things were indispensable.

There was little that escaped the range of their light discussion. Apropos of some feudal châtelaine or Roman contadina on the walls, they gave their ideas of personal beauty and adornment. Ottilie thought a woman should have a certain simple effect in her apparel, no matter how rich the material. Angelica was an excellent instance, — none better. She should have an oval face, and a forehead from which her hair could be either brushed up, if she chose, or worn low. It should not be too high, which sometimes gives a harsh look, nor too low, which is unintellectual. In argument Ottilie had a way of fixing her eyes upon a distant point, and even wrinkling up her smooth brow, as if to pursue the line of thought more accurately, or in search of a finer word or distinction. This sometimes escaped her, when she ended with a rather lame “ you know.”

“ Could you, now, wear your hair brushed high, if you chose ? ” the young man inquired, bending his mind with much facility even to this problem.

“ No ; I fear it would not be at all becoming.”

“ Oh, yes, I think you could,” he replied judicially. “ I should say that you had the right sort of a forehead. You show rather more of it now, I believe, than when I first saw you. You have adopted a kind of compromise.”

“ You certainly are very observing ! ” she exclaimed again, in a tantalized way. Her thoughts flew back in an instant, and she endeavored to recall her appearance at that first meeting. Her panoply of fascination could have been in but poor condition then, after the long journey and in her sadness of mind. But she could not help it; and who would have supposed that men attended to things of no importance ? That is to say, they were of importance, but one did not expect — at least you were not generally confronted with — so precise a recollection.

On his side, in this consideration of personal traits, he was of opinion that he should have been taller.

“ No,” she was graciously pleased to decide, “ you are just right.”

She showed him, at his next visit, a miniature of herself taken in childhood, one of the old-fashioned ambrotypes, in use before the photograph came into vogue. She took it from her pocket, saying, “ I happened upon it among the papers in my writing-desk. You can see now what a fright I should look with my hair brushed back.” It was a representation of a quaint little maiden at the age of ten. Her hair was cut short and confined behind her ears by a round comb. A large gilded locket hung about her neck, and her hands, in black lace “ mitts,” were folded in her lap. Bainbridge gazed at this little picture musingly, and returned to it a number of times. His heart seemed to warm to her as thus seen, — to wish to embrace her in her whole existence.

“ I think I must have been an odd child,” she said, lapsing into reminiscence, as, observing his interest, she contemplated it too. “ I recollect being very romantic, for one thing, and also rather dissatisfied. Once, for quite a while, I tried to persuade myself — having read about such things in stories — that I too might have belonged to some richer and finer family, and been carried off and exchanged, and that they would come in search of me at some time and restore me to the ancestral rank. Yes, really, as silly as that! I used to think about it in a dreaming way, without ever looking for the slightest evidence, and say, ‘ It might be, you know,— it might be.' It was not that I did not love my own family and my own home dearly ; I should have counted on coming back to them in my magnificence, and being theirs just the same, and sharing it all with them ; but somehow things around me seemed so commonplace in our tame little every-day life. Nothing happened, and there was so much that I wanted to see and have, and could not. Then I had never seen the sea, not yet having been to the lake at Chicago, which gives you a certain idea of it. There was a distant blue hill, at the end of a road which went up and down from near where we lived, and I recollect sometimes having tried to make believe that that was the sea, and the white dots of houses on it were sails.”

Her curiosity about the sea was really gratified for the first time when she went to establish herself with her uncle at the gay bathing beach of Coney Island, and she did not soon lose her pleasure in it. Bainbridge’s aversion to day excursions did not seem to hold particularly good at present. He made very many of them, taking a boat at the foot of the street just below his office,— it was very convenient, after all. As Ottilie was only semi-attached, during her uncle’s absences, to company, like that of Mrs. Hastings, which she could easily leave, they had numerous promenades up and down the spacious piazzas of the hotels, and long strolls upon the sand.

“ I am told that this island is something like the Lido at Venice, where Byron used to gallop up and down, composing his poems,” said Ottilie.

“ I dare say that is what Mrs. Anne Arundel Clum is doing in her way, riding back and forth in the omnibus, on the Concourse. She has passed three times within half an hour,” commented Bainbridge.

They talked of “ studying the people,” as they looked at them walking up and down the piazzas. “ But they will not keep still for you,” complained Ottilie. “ If I were a despot, I think I should send and have those who interested me stopped, and detained a while till I was through with them. I do not care for such superficial study.”

“ Study me, then. I will keep still for you as long as you like. Talk of understanding other people, I wish somebody would tell me how I was going to turn out. I should be very much obliged to anybody who would do it.”

Another time he grumbled, “ I was too pampered in my bringing up ; that must be what it is. I had everything too regular and conventional. I should have been reared on the pine-knot and cabin-floor principle.”

“ The pine-knot and cabin-floor principle ? ”

“ Yes. I should have read Virgil by the flickering light of a backlog, stretched prone along the hearth, and acquired Euclid at the gray of dawn, in the short respites from hoeing corn and chopping down the forest primeval. Those are the fellows who come to the top. I ought to have taught school in the winter, and taken eight years to go through college instead of four. Those are the fellows.” He pursed his lips, and nodded with a sagacious air.

That system, often results in an offensive egotism and pedantry. They succeed in spite of their obstacles, not because of them, I think,” discriminated Ottilie.

The centre and one end of the island, which itself, from the steamer’s deck, seemed a more ephemeral Venice, of wood and canvas, decorated as for a carnival, were one tinkling Vanity Fair of hotels, pavilions, and gay bungalows, devoted to the thousand amusements of such a time. But towards the other end a comparative isolation reigned. The waves broke, little troubled by bathers, and only a few promenaders of the quieter sort strayed along a noble beach of silvery white sand. Above were sand dunes, carven into sharp, always shifting curves by the winds, with bay shrubs and dwarf cedars among them.

A rib or two of a wrecked vessel, projecting black above the surface at one place, made a convenient seat, to which our couple betook themselves. They watched the floods of foam run up the sand, the green translucences in the tops of the breakers, the occasional fishing boat that came pitching and tumbling up in front, and the serene peace of the blue field beyond. Sometimes the shadows of clouds crossed the field, making it black and purple where they moved. The remoter sails were lily white when touched by the sun, and of a faint azure in the shade ; and there were always ships passing along, half submerged, as if calmly foundering, over by the distant Highlands of the Navesink, and climbing up or going down the horizon.

“ We are in too great haste to press on ; we despise what is under our eyes, and think that only something very far away and difficult of access is impor tant,” said Bainbridge in a musing way, gazing with half-shut eyes. “ At least, I will speak only for myself. We impatient ones are apt to think too much of what we cannot do and what we cannot have, instead of what we can do and have. We are like the Irishman hanging on under a bridge who lets go to get a better hold. Now, this, — what coidd be more perfect ? A lovely impression should be cherished as long as possible. To lie and gaze at the sea is a career in itself.”

“ It makes one melancholy,” Ottilie returned; “ but I like a little of that. Perhaps a touch of pensiveness is an element in the most desirable state of mind. When I am quite happy I do not feel very well. There, that is like one of your absurdities! But what I mean is that when things have gone exactly right, some favorite object been attained, so that for the time being nothing more seems left to wish for, there is an over-elation and a slight sense of vacancy. I lose my appetite, cannot sleep, and find myself presently going about with a headache, just the same as if it were trouble that had arrived, How strange we are ! ”

They noted one day near them on the sands a couple from Ottilie’s hotel, whom they knew to be engaged. This pair reclined under umbrellas, and the man was reading aloud, as they could observe, with an animated pleasure in the text. The young woman looked about her, and occasionally yawned behind her handkerchief, but when appealed to with some question or comment pretended to take an interest like his own.

Our friends agreed that tragedy was no doubt preparing there, in such an open difference of tastes.

“ Probably nothing could be worse. Probably nothing in the world is more tragic,” said Bainbridge, “ than such a situation. The infernal duration of it! To have a partner always at one’s side, and mingled in everything, yet remaining a stranger, — chilly, unappreciative; planning apart instead of for the common weal, and finally, no doubt, seeking her ideal elsewhere. It is amusing for the newspapers and the playwrights, but death to the participants. The great point is, after all, whether she will stick to a fellow, — whether she will pull through thick and thin with him.

“ One would want to find perfect rest in marriage,” he continued, enlarging on the subject, in a manner quite at variance for the time with that in which he was accustomed to speak of Miss Golconda Harrington and his proposed manœuvres for her fortune. “ One would not want to be always at the entertaining pitch, either ; he could not afford to be on a perpetual mental picnic. He ought to get somebody who could discount him about fifty per cent., and like him even then; somebody who, in consideration of knowing that he was immensely fond of her, and always meant to do what was most for her happiness, even if he did not always succeed, could like him even when she found that he was twice as stupid as she had supposed. There is little doubt that with the best dispositions and the most favorable circumstances there must come some dreary times after marriage. These happen even to intimate friends, who have no compulsion to hold them together, and why not to married couples ? ”

“ I know it,” assented Ottilie, as if she also gave up this poor human nature of ours in despair. “ But a wife might enter more into her husband’s business affairs, I suppose, than some do, and that would be one resource. Then she could read the papers, and talk with him about those things. But you speak only of the man; you do not say anything of the allowances to be made on the woman’s side. Of course, she would have to be discounted, as you call it, just as much.”

“ I do not admit it. She has her feminine attractions, her pretty looks, added to the count on her side. A man is not supposed to have any particular looks, but the first duty of a woman is to be charming. A number of celebrated poets have said that, and I agree to it. The first duty of a woman is to be charming.”

“ Fiddlestick ! That is the way men always talk. Little they know about it. That means, I suppose, that she ought to be as vain as possible, and devote her whole silly existence to preparing new dresses. I say that she ought to cut her hair short, wear spectacles, and a bloomer costume, and pay attention to nothing but the useful.”

Is there no rack or gibbet for such heresy?” cried the young man, springing to his feet. But part of his motive in rising was apparently to “ skip ” a flat stone he held in his hand along the tops of the waves, for he sat down again on the piece of wreck, and said, “ Women do not know what they are liked for, — not one in a thousand ; that is the trouble with them. They had better read the poets and find out. It would much decrease the business in the divorce courts. As an imitation man, woman is not a success. A man does not marry to have merely a rough, undelightful companion like himself. Nor is it, I should say, the undiluted ambition to have children, about whom there is no certainty that they will surpass — even if they equal — his own very moderate level. He has no complexion and dimples and dangling ear-rings that cast soft little shades on his cheeks ; and little pleasure, I imagine, is got out of his way of doing his hair, and the bending of his neck, and the intonations of his voice. I should really be glad to know what there is in him corresponding to all this for a woman to like ! ”

It might almost have been thought, as he regarded her, that it was from her Own personal appearance that he drew the attractive details which he cited in his argument.

“ She likes manliness, I should say,” she replied.

“ A man of the right sort wants to idealize some one,” he went on. “ He wants to put her on a pedestal, to be rapturous about her. If she will do nothing to keep up the illusion, what are you to expect ? ”

“ But how about the irredeemably plain ones ? ”

“ There are none such,” he rejoined gallantly. “ Fortunately, we do not all see with the same eyes. And if there be gradations of beauty, as we must admit, and some of it that almost approaches ugliness, by the general verdict, no doubt interior qualities are developed as a compensation. The irritation in the oyster shell produces the pearl ; the wrong side of the rug is often of a subdued richness, surpassing the right; and hyacinths give out their sweetest fragrance in the dark.”

“ But I can tell you that a woman has her notions of self-sacrifice and idealizing, too. If it be the wish of a man of the right sort to put her on a pedestal, and of a woman of the right sort to place him there, what is going to be done? What a very sculpturesque kind of a time they must have when they meet.”

“ Oh, that is simple enough. They never do.”

They paced slowly back from these conferences at the bit of wreck, leaving two long wavering lines of footsteps — an unrestful, gibing, erratic, larger pair, a clear-cut, sincere, light-hearted, gentlycoquettish smaller pair — behind them impressed on the wet sands. Here and there they paused. Ottilie, swaying with as lithe a grace as a spear of the tall beach-grass higher up, drew a large circle nonchalantly around her with the point of her parasol. They picked up any curious bit of sea-weed or bright pebble or shell.

Bainbridge asked her the name of one of these last, of the more recondite sort, since she had shown a certain acquaintance with the subject.

“ You would not remember if I should tell you,” was her roguish answer, by way of covering her own ignorance.

Then she put the shell first against one cheek, then against the other, taking an attitude of mincing affectation, and called to him mockingly, " The first duty of a woman is to be charming ! ”

It would have been a fitting penalty to cover her with a thousand kisses; but always as a friend,—surely as a platonic friend only, and nothing more.

XIV.

CROSS PURPOSES AT A NEWPORT VILLA.

When all that was possible had been done in town, Rodman Harvey repaired with his niece to Newport. He left Ottilie there, after a while, with the family, and went away to Saratoga, where a convention of railway magnates, at which his presence seemed desirable, was in session. It was thought, too, that the waters would be of benefit in slight attacks of vertigo, to which he began to be subject with increasing frequency.

Bainbridge also presently went to Newport. Because a person has postponed his annual vacation for a little, that is not a reason why he should abandon it altogether. It is still quite warm enough in the middle of September to make a more refreshing temperature desirable. No more definite purpose seemed to rule his proceeding than the desire to be near Ottilie. He had nothing that he was about to do, nothing that he was about to say. He only looked forward to a continuance of their pleasant intercourse, with the charms of an attractive place added, during the short respite he could allow himself. Difficulties, however, which he had not quite foreseen arose from her new situation, the number of people with whom she was now involved, and the whirl of gayeties. He found himself annoyed at first because he could not see her often enough, and later by something much more serious.

A fortnight had elapsed since Ottilie left town, when the young man came strolling along the Cliff Walk, — which passes, by courtesy of the proprietors, through turnstiles and across the borders of the estates, — and found her in a summer-house looking down upon the water. She had a book in her hand. The tawny-haired Calista, who was amusing herself on a space of beach below, climbed up and joined her from time to time to exhibit some new marine discovery. Ottilie was naturally surprised at Bainbridge’s sudden appearance. He explained in a matter-of-fact way that he had felt the need of a little change, after all, and that Newport was as good a place as another.

She pulled to pieces some coarse daisies, gathered by Calista from the hay just now being cut on the lawn. She read him in a murmurous voice a bit of Elaine, from the Idyls of the King, the book she had with her; and she rehearsed some of her new experiences.

“ The Emperor of Brazil has been here, as you know,” she said. “ I have seen an English duke, an Italian prince, with a delightfully musical name, and a Danubian princess, who is considered a great literary ' swell.’ As to cabinet ministers, governors of States, senators, and gold-laced army and navy officers, both domestic and foreign, they are too numerous to mention.”

“ And you are in the midst of all this and a part of it ? ”

“ Only a very little way in the margin of the stream, not at all in the current. But Angelica is in the current; ah, yes, indeed. For her it is but one incessant round of dinners, balls, theatricals, fêtes-champètres, archery and lawntennis matches, at the beautiful villas. Or else she is driving on Ocean Avenue; or she is witnessing the polo games, or the shooting or swimming matches ; or she is going to the sessions of the Town and Country Club, or to the West Island Club’s bass-fishing picnics ; or she is dancing on the yachts and men-of-war in the harbor. It makes one’s head whirl even to be in the margin. I have been out a little to some of the simpler things ; and we have had a certain share of it all at our house. I begin to consider myself quite a judge of fashionable society.”

“ And what differences do you now make between the Eastern and Western style of doing things? Come! define how we differ from your great Chicagos and Cincinnatis.”

“ I should say that there is more ease in going into society here. There is so much entertaining that people make a less important matter of it. And there is the class of purely fashionable young men, with no pretense of adopting any useful occupations in life, of whom we have as yet very few. But if you expect me to admit anything else, you are very much mistaken. I wish I could have seen you try to pick out, by any difference in their looks and manners, some elegant Cleveland people who were here last week. No ! Our society is formed by exactly the same influences — I mean the main influences, those which have the most to do with the formation of character — as yours. It has the same reading-matter, the same musical and dramatic companies, — for they all come to us after leaving here, — the same style in dress, the same trips to Europe. The boys come to the same colleges, aud the girls, as often as not, come to the fashionable New York schools, where they are said to learn to enter a room properly and to get into a carriage. Some of them learn this last accomplishment who have no carriages to get into, which, no doubt, renders them rather unhappy.”

“ And your prospective young millionaire, — has he turned up yet ? ”

“ Not unless we count Mr. Kingbolt, who has chosen to be really quite civil,” she replied, laughing. " But, now I think of it, he was the very one we had selected, was he not? Well, he has not proposed to me yet; but I am sure that a number of other girls, of much more importance, must have found out by this time how fond they are of him, and begun to be jealous.”

“ Now, there is an absurd passion,— jealousy ! ” broke in Bainbridge impetuously. “ I have never understood the use the novelists, for instance, seem to feel called upon to make of it as an incentive to affection. If you like a person, you like him, or her, for cause, do you not ? You like and admire for reasons good and satisfactory to yourself, and not because you see the person run after by others. That is always supposing that you are a person of independent judgment and not a mere servile imitator. The reasons are not always easy to give, and they vary in every case, or we should all be fascinated by the same individual; but they exist all the same. The novelists are as wrong about that as about their inducements to fall in love generally. They usually have it depend upon some astonishing feat of daring or self-sacrifice, some heroic saving of life, fortune, or sacred honor, by one of the pair for the other, or by both for each other. As a matter of fact, not one match in a hundred thousand is made in that way. Lovers like to assume, of course, that they would do those fine things for each other, and perhaps they would; but the occasions do not offer. The couple walk, talk, and dance a little together, are pleased with each other’s looks, study out such bits of each other’s character as they can, and the business is done.” Fearing, perhaps, some personal application of this, he thought best to add in an explanatory way, " Of course, persons do not necessarily fall in love for having been through such a course, but they fall in love notwithstanding, when they have not been through a blessed thing else.”

The sea lay before them as blue and formal as one of those wide bands of canvas that are made to do duty for it in the scenery of theatres. Locusts rattled in some distant trees; the atmosphere near the ground had a wavering motion from the heat; and tepid airs from the land side, mingling at times with the cooler puffs from the water, brought them odors of the new-mown grass. The Harvey villa lay at the top of a long, very gentle slope behind them. Its principal front faced the other way, towards an avenue. It was of wood, painted in Indian red and ochre tones, like many of its companions. It had numerous turrets, dormers, and ornamental chimney stacks, and wide piazzas, with easy chairs upon them. Bits of bright curtain stuffs floated from its windows. There was a tent, with tall spears and tasseled cords, like that of a Persian satrap, pitched near by. Some portable fountains attached to rubber hose whirled about, like a species of dancing dervishes, and cast fine spray upon a more carefully-kept piece of lawn than that below, and upon beds of heliotrope, coleus, and tall, large-leaved plants of canna Indica,

The pair ranged, in the pleasant desultory way they had, over a wide variety of topics. Ottilie was a person of large reading. She had read, she confessed, everything that came in her way. Such had been her plan, or lack of it. She had a fresh interest, an eager zest, which hardly excluded from its scope knowledge of any kind. She often surprised the young man by her acute as well as vivacious excursions into some of the graver fields in which it would not have been thought at all likely that so young a person should take an interest.

“ ' Learning not vain, and wisdom not severe,’ ” he said playfully, meaning to apply to her this description of the ideal manner of dealing with knowledge.

“ No, I am a mere collection of smatterings,” she protested ; and she began to ridicule her own pedantry.

“ I shall never admit that,” he declared. “ And after all, it is not what we know, but what we would like to know, what our interest goes out to, that stamps us ; do you not think so ? ”

They explained themselves, among the rest, on the subject of religion, as two intelligent young Americans are not long in doing when thrown together with any degree of intimacy.

“ Mine is a family thoroughly on the American plan, I suppose,” said Ottilie. “ My father is a Unitarian, my mother a Presbyterian, and I am an Episcopalian. My brother is touched with some indefinite skeptical notions, which I do not pretend to understand. I believe he calls himself at present an Agnostic, whatever that may be. There is not permanent support for a Unitarian service at Lone Tree, so my illogical father occasionally goes to church with my mother, or, when I am at home, with me. I should explain, further, that I was originally a Presbyterian, too. It was the dignity and the color of the Episcopalian form, I think, that first attracted me.”

“ I dare say I should have to call myself Agnostic, if I called myself anything,” returned Bainbridge. “ One seems to arrive at that after enough experimenting, — as the union of all the colors is said to produce white. The Agnostic, I take it, is a person who, having shaken off the theological baggage he once carried, does not any longer know what he believes, and, worse yet, perhaps does not greatly care. Such a pass seems characteristic of the times. I must have been drawn into it through remarking the outrageous things that church people are constantly doing, — though one understands, of course, that it is in spite of, and not in consonance with, their system that they do them.”

“ Oh, I am sorry,” said his companion. “ It cannot be a very comfortable state of mind. I am sure that my brother is not happy, — at least, that he will not be, for just now he is so consequential with his new opinions that nobody can say a word to him.”

“ It is not a very profitable one, at any rate, and you will not find me consequential with my opinions. It is a state of mind that extends itself over things in general. It begets too great impartiality of view, and is a soporific, and not a stimulant. You consider offsets too much. One course of action is apt to appear about as good as another. I think I have felt it even in those small articles for the papers. One should be something of a fanatic. How can he take on the requisite indignant airs, and browbeat and scathe the opposition, when he himself is not thoroughly convinced? For my part, I will admit that I had the greatest difficulty to determine whether I was actually for free trade or protection, soft money or hard, the control of the corporations by the people, or of the people by the corporations, in the usual way.”

“ Then why not get out of it ? ”

“ Ah, that is a very different matter.”

“ But you must have convictions. I shall impart to you some of mine. Now let us begin. You believe in a future state, of course ? ”

“ If one had something to do there — wherever it be. If he had somebody or something very dear to him, to which there seemed a necessity that he should be reunited. But what do certain people want to live forever for, when they pass this life in such wretched pettiness of view and motive ? What do they want beyond the stars, when they have seen nothing of all that is beautiful, fine, noble, and tender, in this world, poor as it is ? ”

She argued this point with him, insisting on the possibility of development for all. She was continually saying, “ I would not ” this, “ I would not ” that, with an air of great positiveness.

“ There is nothing not clear-cut about your convictions,” said Bainbridge. “ You would be a Lady Macbeth of the moral sort. You would nerve a man up to desperate deeds of rectitude.”

“ Do hear me talk ! Anybody would think that I was perfection, but I am as weak as water.” She cast away some fragments of the daisies she had been pulling to pieces, and brushed others from her lap with a kind of final air, and there was a break in the conversation.

“ What pretty hands you have ! ” said Bainbridge, observing them thus engaged.

“ I think them ugly,” she replied, and tucked them into her belt. She reflected how curious it was that he should seem to find almost everything about her agreeable.

“ Come, let me see what lines of fate are written in them. Let me see what they have to say about that coming millionaire,” he demanded.

This could no doubt be permitted between friends. She let him take her left hand, and he began about the “ line of life,” the “ line of the heart,” and the other jargon of chiromancy. Then he said, “ Oh, here is the millionaire, sure enough. No end of money is predicted. He will be a perfect Crœsus.”

But when he had got thus far, she drew away the hand, which had been nervous and foolishly trembled in his from the first, though there was no reason at all why it should. She pretended to need it very much to point out and be enthusiastic over an incoming sail. She flushed a little, and made comment on his prophecies.

That was a charming morning, but a cloud came over it at the close, like those that they saw darken along the sea. This one did not pass, however, like those. It brooded and expanded till all the heaven at length was overcast with unmistakable evidences of storm.

It began with Ottilie’s mention of her uncle’s fondness for hearing about the defalcations and forgeries, in describing her late programme with him in town. “ I am quite at home in that class of cases, I assure you,” she said. “ There is a general similarity in them all: first, the shock of the discovery, what the officers of the institution say, what the neighbors and friends say, and what the pushing reporters try to make the officers say, when they do not wish to give any information at all. Then the conviction gradually growing that the losses are even greater than supposed ; then the flight and pursuit of the criminal, his escape to foreign shores, perhaps, or his arrest and incarceration in a common felon’s cell, — perhaps his suicide ; and all the way through the agony of his stricken family, possibly the insanity of some one of its members, broken down by the shame and grief which, with destitution, have come upon them. Oh, how can they do such things? How can they? Why cannot this dreadful temptation that drags down so many be resisted ? It is the peculiar failing of our times. The fate of no one deters others from following him. Oh, how happy one ought to consider himself, who is even honest ! It seems to me that I could see gold and diamonds piled around me in heaps, and never touch a thing. One can conceive the idea of going hungry and ragged. You might feel, I suppose, like the soldier under orders, who has to march in the storm if need be, or when he is sick, and sleep on the bare ground, and dine when he can. What happens then is not your own fault; you can have the comfort, at least, of saying, ‘ I do not deserve it.’ But once succumb to dishonesty; once take the bread of others, which can be eaten only in shame and bitterness; once straggle from the ranks and fall into the hands of the guerrillas and prowlers of the hostile country, — ah, what refuge is there then ? ”

“ It is rather a strange taste for my uncle,” she went on. “ Sometimes he even expresses sympathy, which I should hardly think he would, since he is not much given to it, and is so precise in his own ideas of rectitude and his business requirements.”

There was for Bainbridge an unpleasant suggestion in this. The vague image of something unlawful done by Rodman Harvey seemed to follow him with a haunting pertinacity. His thoughts flew back to Gammage, to Jocelyn, and to the palaver of McFadd in Harvey’s Terrace. He gave his companion one of those glances in which the intelligence outruns speech, as electricity the post, involuntarily betraying disquietude.

It passed in an instant, however, and was but a small part of his trouble of mind, the bulk of which came from another source. The privacy of the interview was broken in upon by Kingbolt of Kingboltsville. This fortunate young man, looking particularly well in an easy jacket of white flannel, in the pockets of which he carried his hands, came along the Cliff Walk also, and joined them. He sat down, and evidently had no intention of going away. Bainbridge was surprised at his affability with Ottilie. A number of references were made which showed that they had talked together not a little before. He had taken what she had said of Kingbolt as mere banter, of course. She had said “ civil,” and Bainbridge had understood civil, or almost that, but this was somethiug different.

He went away reflectively, having made a call of great length already, and left them together. It looked to him as though people were treating her quite upon terms of equality, and as though she were going to have what girls call “ a good time.” lie was glad of that. It was as it should be.

Kingbolt, in fact, was hovering about Ottilie at this time with a motive which could be laid only to a touch of that pathetic feeling, really charming in its essence, which leads the ardent suitor to invest with a fond interest not only the loved one herself, but all in her immediate vicinity. It is something even to be with those who have been with her. He had come back considering himself cured, as has been said. But he had seen Angelica again, and his infatuation was renewed. He had made new advances, and been once more repulsed. As she would hardly receive him, he made a pretext of calling on Ottilie. Ottilie at first was puzzled quite as much as complimented by his attentions. She did not know whether it would be even permissible to decline them, from so magnificent a personage. But he talked to her about Angelica, and by degrees took her quite into his confidence. She by no means desired it, but thought it right to keep his secret. She studied all her resources of non-committalism in dealing with this subject.

“ Why,” he exclaimed to-day, “ did she choose Sprowle above all others ? On what grounds did she bring herself to like him ? If she had taken one of the first-class foreign titles which she fell in with in plenty, a person of distinction, of fine presence, — anybody, in fact, but Sprowle, — it would not have been so much a matter of surprise.”

Ottilie could only reply, guardedly, that of course he was of very distinguished family and influential connections. She understood that Mrs. Sprowle boasted that they, the Sprowles, had been aristocrats of standing when the Rifflards were still trading coon-skins with the Indians, the Antrams trotting their native bogs, and the Goldstones hoeing their German cabbage fields. As to a title, she had heard her cousin express herself as dissatisfied with the way that kind of match often turns out, and as being unwilling to immure herself in a mediæval castle, or put herself in a position too far from home and legitimate opportunities of resistance, should the need arise. There could have been no great amount either of information or comfort in this, but the erratic young man seemed to find a certain relief in the bare privilege of talking of the cause of his pains.

The next day, when Bainbridge made his call, Ottilie was engaged in some matters which prevented her from seeing him, and he wandered rather aimlessly about Newport. On the next, he found her on the piazza, and Kingbolt with her. On the next, Kingbolt came up within five minutes after his own arrival. Angelica arrived, too, on horseback, with a groom behind her, at about the same time. She wore her dark green riding-habit, which fitted her perfect figure trimly, and her silk hat, of high form, shone with the lustre of unexceptionable elegance. She was in good spirits, and caracoled her horse in a peculiar way as she came up to the block. “ Where do you get that trick ? ” asked Kingbolt, affecting an ease that he did not feel.

“ From Monsieur Meigs, my ridingmaster at Paris,” she explained to the company. “ Twenty francs a lesson, and twenty more for the two horses. I used to ride in the Bois with him. No nonsense with M. Meigs, no staring about, no frivolity. ‘ The eyes between your horse’s ears, mademoiselle ! ’ Yes, M’seu Meigs, — M’seu Meigs.” She straightened herself very stiff in the saddle, in imitation of the bluff and centaurlike aspect of the English riding-master, M’seu Meigs.

When she had dismounted she sat and talked a little, rattling her whip the while on the floor of the piazza. “ They also let me have a pet dog, a black and tan, at school, in those times,” she said. “ And if you could have seen the bills for that animal ! I suppose I was perfectly robbed by those people. So much for dog’s food, so much for dog’s house, so much for cutting dog’s tail. Poor Niniche might almost have been an elephant. Dear me, I think I am well out of those schools. I am glad it is over. Such extraordinary governesses as they had! There was one, I remember, who generally had her head tied up in a green veil, and was of such a fascinating ugliness that you could not keep your eyes away from her. I happened to be looking at her rather hard one day at dinner, when she indignantly sent her plate to me by the servant, pretending that I wanted to see how much she was going to eat. The assistant in singing at the same place had such a mouth ! I told her frankly once that I did not wish to learn a method that disfigured people for life in that way.”

Some trait of parsimony, some shaft of cruelty at the expense of the helpless and unfortunate, seemed most to appeal to her sense of what was important and entertaining in bringing up the reminiscences of her past.

“ And such husbands as they had, the mesdames who kept those schools ! ” she continued. “ They would make a whole menagerie by themselves. One was a mild old gentleman, who got as far in an occasional remark as ' I would observe, chère amie,' and nearly had his head snapped off at this point. Another used to turn up from South America, or Algeria, or somewhere, as often as his wife got a little ahead in the world, and draw money from her. One day he got in just before dinner, and pulled all the dishes off the table in a grand smash.”

“ They seem to make a great fuss about that little matter,” ventured Kingbolt. “ I believe it was a favorite performance of mine when I was a child. They used to put me in a padded room afterwards, to meditate at leisure, and kick around where I could not hurt myself or the furniture.”

Angelica paid this guest but little attention, and presently, taking her leave of all, swept serenely within doors. It was evident to Bainbridge that Kingbolt had not come on her account. Kingbolt stayed, and talked with Ottilie. They had even more things in common than before. She had a high color, and her manner was fluttered. Bainbridge chose to suppress most of his usual powers of entertaining, and this increased her constraint.

Bainbridge went away with bitterness in his heart, He thought of warning her against this undesirable friendship. Kingbolt was one of the most rash and dangerous young men of all the fashionable set. He was gambling recklessly at this very time, losing heavy sums night after night at the Club. “ Bah ! a fine callow piece of business that would be, truly. A warning,—oh, yes, to be sure ! ” was Bainbridge’s comment to himself on reviewing this plan as soon as it was made.

When he did not see her, the day seemed wasted. He would not have come to Newport for the pure pleasure of the place, but would have taken his vacation in some less conventional way, — with his gun among the mountains, or in a fishing-boat along the shore. Another day, not finding her, he went to a fête-champêtre, from which he had intended to absent himself for this call; and there she was, playing at lawn tennis as Kingbolt’s partner. The day following this, he started out, fully nerved with an indignant purpose of demanding some sort of explanation. But as he drew near the grounds on the Bellevue Avenue side, who should emerge from the entrance but Ottilie and Kingbolt again, seated high up in imposing state in the dashing English tilbury of the latter. Behind them, in the rumble, was a groom with folded arms, as rigid as a statue of Memnon. Ottilie held a pretty parasol bordered with lace above her head, and looked out sweetly from below it, her face partially screened. Bainbridge had passed Angelica herself shortly before, driving, over the high dash of a roomy phaeton, a pair of cream-colored ponies. Ada Trull was beside her, and the two were spread out in toilettes of a rainbow brightness, insomuch that he had mused to himself, apropos of the dainty sight, “ The air hath bubbles as the water hath, and these are of them.” But neither of them presented a more elegant effect than Ottilie. Her simplicity was remarked by others, who did not know her, and was commended as very “ good form.” She was spoken of as probably a Boston girl.

There were hardly two more uncomfortable young men, in their respective ways, in all Newport at this time than Kingbolt and Bainbridge. Newport, however, did not hold Bainbridge long. He called to take his leave of Ottilie. In this interview he threw out darkly enigmatic hints, and acted in a manner far from friendly, at which she was surprised and grieved. He went away on the boat, leaving, as he declared to himself, the wretched business to go on. He understood now perfectly well her fluttered manner, her embarrassment when he had taken her hand and read its lines, — perfidious that site was.

“ Do I want to marry her, then?” he said, facing himself down severely. “ Not at all. I want to marry nobody. What should I marry on ? Nothing in our situations from the money point of view has changed, and the formidable permanence of marriage still remains. She has merely done, like a calm and prudent person, exactly what I told her. She has my advice and consent, my express injunction. Perhaps I thought, forsooth, that her graces of mind and person were to be seen by my acute vision only, and to be covered by a convenient haze from all others. But what more natural, what more precisely to be expected, than that some one of these young men of fortune should have the grain of common sense to see that, with half a chance, she would make one of the most elegant young matrons in New York ? Money on her side need be no object to such a one, if his fancy were pleased. They need not wait to marry, indeed.”

He reflected bitterly on the discrepancy between the enormous Kingbolt fortune and his own; and then on the incredibility of it that he, Bussell Bainbridge, should be involved a second time in such a disturbance of the affections as this.

“ Ah, but we are platonic friends, to be sure,” he went on with a doleful sigh, “ and friendship rests content with the calmer mental satisfactions, does it not? It desires the best good of its object. What better could I wish her than the most prosperous match, the greatest number of millions to her fortune she can get ? ”

He did not know precisely what he would have had her do. How should she have known his feelings, when he did not know them himself ? Still she should have known. She should have given him the first chance, pretended at least to be sorry, and taken up with her dissolute young Crœsus afterwards.

And how was it with Kingbolt, when Bainbridge had gone ? As there is a perverse fate in these things, this unwitting rival still came, but came less often. The extreme measure of his attentions to Ottilie had been lavished, as it happened, during the very period of Bainbridge’s stay. Angelica was pleased to consider these attentions to her cousin amusing. Had they been of longer duration, or perhaps had she seen more of them, it is probable that she would have been led by a natural perversity to interfere. Absent so much in the whirl of her amusements, many things in the quieter life of the house may have escaped her. Once or twice she threw out her stinging innuendoes at Ottilie, not upon this subject, but some other. A number of times she borrowed small sums of money from her, always with an easy forgetfulness of repayment. This she would do, slender as was her cousin’s store, rather than change the least of the bank-notes in her own purse. It almost seemed, if we can conceive of so fine a person as descending to such scheming, that she congratulated herself upon these petty acquisitions as “ so much clear gain,” since it all came from her father in the first instance.

Kingbolt finally had an item of intelligence for Angelica that commended him somewhat more than common to the favor of that young woman. He found her alone, in a cool, matting - covered drawing-room, whither she had retired from the glare of the heat without.

“ I thought you might like to know,” he said, introducing his business hastily, “ that Lady Angelica has come in at the head of a big field of flyers at Buffalo. Here is the dispatch.” He handed her the paper. It appeared that, earlier in their acquaintance, she had graciously permitted him to name after her a fine racing mare of his. This animal was now doing remarkable things on the Western circuit. Angelica took a certain pride in the exploits of her namesake, as somehow adding to her own importance. She listened with interest while he confined himself to this subject. But, what with the opportunity, her unusual softness of mood, and his own impetuosity, we find him presently straying very far from it.

“ There! ” she said, stopping him with a gesture and a clear-eyed calmness more discouraging than any display of anger. “ You are going to make love to me, and I shall have to send you away.”

He burst out upon this with what he had so long had on his mind. “ Oh, how is it possible,” he cried, putting directly to her at last the question he had put to Ottilie, “ that such a girl as you are can take up with him ? I want you. I love you.”

Had she chosen, as she did not, to answer him, and to be truthful, she might have said that she had not elected that her form of happiness should consist in expansions of affection and flutterings of the heart. She might have said, too, that she considered herself an excellent judge of personal appearance, and that she saw very well the difference between his own comely aspect and the awkward proportions of the absent Sprowle. Perhaps her eyes rested upon him with a certain approval even while she showed herself the most inflexible. “ But,” she would have gone on to say, “I have deliberately preferred a certain ideal of distinction in family. You are the son of a rich manufacturer, who, like my father, was never heard of till he had made his own way in the world. Sprowle and I shall not have as much money as you, but we shall have enough. Besides, I wish to marry a man whom I can control, in order that under all circumstances I can do exactly as I please.” Really, there was something quite heroic— was there not? — in this immolation of all the warmer impulses of human nature upon the altar of those of the most cool and calculating sort.

“ I cannot endure it. I have never been brought up to be crossed, and it goes hard with me,” Kingbolt persisted.

“ It is time you began, then.”

She had to be very peremptory with him. It was only upon his express undertaking never to annoy her again with so hopeless a suit that she would even permit him to come to the house at all. He was apologetic and subdued, thereupon, and they conferred a little more in a milder tone. “ It is useless to consider what might have beer!,” said the handsome girl, taking a philosophic air. “ Fate has decreed otherwise.”

Kingbolt of Kingboltsville had moods after this which for him were little short of seraphic. The breaking-harness, which seems to the wild-eyed young mustang preposterous beyond all that was ever heard of when put on for the first time, and which produces the fiercest revolts, has in the end its legitimate effect. The mustang is broken, as others have been broken before him. Kingbolt posed now as merely a disinterested friend. His new amiability embraced in its scope even Sprowle. He gave out that Sprowle was not such a “ muff ” as he seemed. He presented him, in token of amity, one of his best English coaching-whips, with an extra fine long lash. He even spoke of getting him into the Capricorn, a little club within a club as it were, a coterie of select spirits, who dined together once a month at the Empire Club.

Kingbolt did not lack his fierce revolts, also. In one of these he rode a hurdle race, at the Aquidneck Course, which was the talk of the place. It was done on a foolish wager, against professional jockeys, and he won in a tremendous canter by three lengths. He confided to Ottilie that he had been in hopes of breaking his own neck. Again he told her, “ Half the time it is as much as I can do, at the pigeon-matches, to help sending a charge of shot into the infernal idiot,” — meaning Sprowle in this pleasant description.

It was on the very day following this that she was startled by hearing that Kingbolt himself had been shot by Sprowle at the Narragansett Gun Club’s grounds. She was sure that there had been an affray, and his own vindictive plan reversed. Angelica, too, had the idea that the shooting might have been due to some absurd spasm of jealousy on the part of her affianced, from whom such things were by no means to be expected. But Sprowle Onderdonk, the captain of the club, presently came to the house in person, and brought reassuring news.

“ It was a mere accident,” he said. “ Sprowle fired low, in a hurry, at a bird which flew over the spectators’ heads, He is devilish awkward about some things, you know. Kingbolt got some of it in the face. It won’t signify however. He will only have a few scattering blue spots in his complexion, and he is good-looking enough to stand that very well.”

Ottilie was now called back to town, to resume her cares for her uncle. The rest of the family were to remain along into the autumn. The last that she saw of Kingbolt, he was sitting on the piazza of his hotel, with a green shade over his eyes, and attended upon by a sympathizing circle, to whom the misfortunes of a person of such a position in the world seemed worthy of sympathy indeed. But she had been in town only a few days when he presented himself, little the worse for wear, and again asked her to drive.

“ I came back to the city for my own doctor,” he explained. “ As soon as he had reduced the swelling, little trace of the damage remained, as you see.”

He had a new Whitechapel cart, one of the varieties of the dog-cart, this time. Ottilie allowed herself to be persuaded to go with him. As the perverse fates would again have it, Bainbridge saw them as they drove up the Avenue. Grimly indeed he recalled the Sunday when the same driver and his vehicle had been discussed by Ottilie and himself from the sidewalk, and her comments had been so unfavorable. Who could doubt now that all was settled between those two ? Not unlikely even the wedding-day was fixed. The fashionable set was not yet in town, and Kingbolt had evidently come back on her account. One could almost hear the tender things they were saying to each other.

Now the tender things which they were saying in fact were, in the first place, inquiries by Kingbolt, after some beating about the bush, as to how Angelica had taken the news of his injury. To acquire this information was really the motive of his present courtesy.

When this had been disposed of they went on to discuss the relative merits of side-lamps and dash-lamps, and whether a brown-black body and crimson wheels were preferable, as colors for a dog-cart, to invisible green and canary. Kingbolt also showed his companion how, by an ingenious contrivance, the centre of gravity of the vehicle could be shifted, so as to be kept over the axle, whether a groom were carried or not. He gave her numerous points about his horses, which he was driving tandem. He called upon her, from time to time, to observe how he could thread narrow mazes and make deft turns, which to her seemed dangerous. Ottilie had acquired from her cousin Selkirk, who had taken her out once or twice, some fragments of this kind of knowledge, and now, in deference to her companion, made the most of what she knew.

She infused into her salute to Bainbridge as much warmth as possible. He chose to construe this as her way of gloating over him, and made his as frigid as possible in return. Ottilie could by no means account for it, nor did opportunities soon offer for explanation. He never came near her any more. She scarcely even saw him.

She recalled his vagaries of speech, his professed changeableness of purpose. “ Ah, well!” she sighed gently. “ I have become the object, in my turn ; that is all. His friendly interest in me has no doubt come to the conclusion that was to have been expected.”

William Henry Bishop.