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"You force me to be explicit," replied | she, with a little touch of excitement. "I shall be obliged to tell you, then, that it was not my father, but it was I, who accepted your resignation-that it was I who, if you choose, expelled you from the firm. My father had and has the highest appreciation of your ability, and has sincerely regretted your loss, and is now only anxious to have you accept our apologies."

It evidently did not occur to her that she was humiliating her father by this frank avowal, nor did it appear to embarrass Mr. Dimpleton in the least to have his daughter thus openly declare his dependence upon her. That she should rule and he obey, was part of the inscrutable order of things, which could not be remedied without a domestic revolution. And, as his yoke had been very gradually assumed, and had never been very hard to bear, the revolutionary spirit had long ago died out of him. On Quintus, however, Miss Dimpleton's frankness made an unpleasant impression; "I thank you-I thank you sincerely," he and although he could not conquer his stammered, quite overcome with emotion, admiration of her beauty and her clear" but do not press me to-night. I do not intellect, he began from this moment to refuse your offer, but I need time for reflecdiscern the alloy of baser metal in her char- tion. To-morrow, if you will permit me, I acter. And it is marvelous how quickly will call upon you, and reply to both your the first questioning of a friend's motive, the kind propositions." first hint of censure, is followed by a host of critical suggestions which, in a short time, entirely transform our friend's character. Thus, in Bodill's case, the illusion was broken, and Miss Dimpleton swiftly descended from the ideal heavens whither she had flown with the strong wing-beats of Homer's verse, and became an ordinary mortalthough, as such, a very beautiful and interesting one.


While thoughts like these had been, more or less consciously, occupying Bodill's brain, Miss Dimpleton had risen, and her face had assumed that vaguely abstracted air which, in a lady visitor, indicates that she is on the watch for a favorable opportunity to take her leave. Her sire, to whom Bodill's silence was perhaps a little vexatious, was once more absorbed in Webster. He could not comprehend why a young fellow should not jump at the chance of becoming once more a partner in a business so remunerative and so securely founded as his. The daughter, too, who had anticipated no difficulties in the path of reconciliation, was beginning to feel a little impatient with his scruples, but, being intent upon her purpose, determined to make one more attempt.

"I had one other errand in coming here,"

she said, meeting Quintus's eye with her candid gaze. "I have taken a great fancy to your ward, Miss Hulbert, and I beg you to lend her to me for one year. I wish to bring her out in society, and to complete her social education, as far as you and she will allow me. I promise you I shall not spoil her, and, if you wish it, I will return her to you at the end of the year, as pure and sweet and beautiful as she is now. But, as you are undoubtedly aware, a man is not the best educator for a young girl of her age; she needs some attentions that only a woman can bestow. Now, what do you say? I know the precious value of what I ask, and I shall treasure it as a faithful steward."

The praise of Tita, and the delicate retraction of all charges against him indicated by this request, touched the Norseman deeply. And yet, though he had long plotted a brilliant social career for Tita, he felt as if his heart was being wrung at the thought of losing her.

"And remember, please," said Miss Dimpleton, as she shook his hand at the head of the stairs," that my admiration of your ward is no passing fancy. You know this is the third time I have seen her."

"The third time ?"

"Yes. The first time was at Booth's Theater. The second time was this morning, when she made me a call, which you see I have been very prompt in returning."


WHAT to do without Tita-that was a serious problem. And yet-thus reasoned the wise and conscientious Quint-what to do with Tita might in time become a still more serious one. She was growing up into womanhood, and all her affections had centered on him, only because they had had no one else upon whom they could center. Was it fair, then, and generous to keep her thus perpetually in ignorance of the world? No; he would give her full liberty of choice (he had an idea that Tita merely needed to look at a man to have him fall a victim at her feet), he would allow her to enjoy the triumphs to which her mind and

tions, and, in this instance, at least, he knew that he had no need of asking.

her beauty entitled her, and if, then, after a moderate experience of the world, she returned, with an unwavering heart, to him— so much the better; he would not possess himself of the love of a woman surreptitiously, nor would he bestow even wealth and happiness upon her except by her own free and enlightened choice.

Being, in the meanwhile, convinced of the sincerity of the Dimpletons, and their mortification at the injustice they had done him, he also determined to accept their offer to reënter the firm. He would thus be able to give her the social advantages, such as they might be, of a winter in New York. It was evident Quint had a weak spot in his otherwise sound composition. He desired for Tita distinctions of whose worthlessness he was himself fully convinced. He reasoned that it would be cruel to have his prejudices in any way interfere with Tita's pleasures.

It was a considerable surprise to him when he found that Tita was not a party to his speculations-that, in fact, she was violently opposed to all his ambitious projects. She had grown up among his book-cases, and she was determined to remain there. If he was going to marry Miss Dimpleton and become Mr. Dimpleton (Tita thought this a dexterous thrust), why, then, of course she would have to give her consent and, in the end, condone the offense by continuing to reside under their roof; but her blessing she would withhold, unless it proved entirely indispensable to their happiness. When Tita was in her bantering mood, Quintus always sat beaming with paternal admiration, and thus frequently forgot his argument. And the little rogue, who was well acquainted with her protector's weaknesses, had no scruples in employing this method of escape from disagreeable topics. The evil day, however, was merely postponed. Quintus was really, this time, in earnest, and Tita divined from his persistence in argument that his mind was made up, and that her dilatory tactics were of no avail. She then yielded a graceful acquiescence, and, without further remonstrance, allowed herself to be transferred to the residence on Madison Avenue. It was on the day of separation, when they were seated together in the carriage, that he came near asking her the object of her former visit to Miss Dimpleton, to which he had never before alluded; but, being a great master in the mental arithmetic of affection, he was subject to sudden revela


Two months after Tita's arrival, the Dimpletons broke up for the summer and went to Newport, where they owned a villa. Tita, of course, was removed with the rest of the baggage, and Miss Dimpleton, who counted much on the pleasure of bringing out a new and striking-looking young lady, had naturally taken pains to provide her with a sufficient number of effective costumes. All the dresses which had been manufactured by Mrs. Hanson with the aid of the "Bazar," and even those which were the work of "fashionable dress-makers" who dealt in "Modes de Paris," were ruthlessly cashiered; in their places, marvelous compositions of laces and flowers and satins were devised by persons who had seriously studied the art of hiding defects and emphasizing beauties, and harmoniously arranging all the multifarious details of a young lady's appearance. It was singular enough that the Homeric Miss Dimpleton, who never aimed at elaborate effects in her own toilet, should have expended so much time and thought on trivialities in her guest's behalf. She had, however, a dimly defined purpose, which, though unacknowledged at first, gradually began to be countenanced, and at last domineered all her actions. It had risen for the first time, consciously, in her mind when she made Bodill the proposal to attend to Tita's social education; but she had then been ashamed of it, and had persuaded herself that she had much more laudable motives in assuming this responsible charge. Crudely stated, she recognized in Tita a rival, and she wished to make her harmless. And the simplest way to accomplish this would be to marry her to another man. She did not doubt that such an arrangement would conduce to Tita's happiness as well as to her own; at any rate, Tita must take her chances in the matrimonial lottery as other women did, and not foolishly aspire to an exceptional and ideal happiness, which was only reserved for very exceptional persons like herself. Of course, that was not the way she formulated her argument, but it was nevertheless the inevitable inference from her mode of reasoning.

Since her discovery of her mistake in regard to Tita's birth, and especially since

her visit in his library, Bodill had become a moral hero to Miss Dimpleton. She was not madly and romantically in love with him, but she regarded him as a highly developed and exceptional specimen of the human race, and as peculiarly fitted for a life-long companionship with her. He was supremely desirable to her in every legitimate relation in which a man could come to a woman, and she could see nothing undignified or unwomanly in her exerting herself to become equally desirable to him. If a little extra maneuvering was needed, she excused herself with the reflection that men were naturally a little obtuse and less clear-sighted than women, and would be more likely to yield to an impulse of tenderness or of pity rather than weigh rationally their chances of happiness with two differently endowed women.

Tita more than justified Miss Dimpleton's expectations in regard to her social success. She made a sensation the first morning she appeared on the beach. Within a short time she "became the rage," to use the favorite phrase of her admirers. Her toilets were studied by hundreds of envious eyes, and reported by the local correspondents of the New York papers. Wherever Tita went (always under Miss Dimpleton's protecting wing), gentlemen appeared at her side as if by magic. During an hour in the morning, she held court from her phaeton on the beach, and astonished her protectress by the ease with which she adapted herself to the conversational tone of every one who came up to address her. In the afternoons, when, during the fashionable hour, she lolled at Miss Dimpleton's side in their carriage and returned, with a queenly air, the salutations of the passing equestrians, there was probably not a person the whole length of the Avenue who called forth more exclamations of wonder and admiration, or concerning whom more inquiries were made. Miss Dimpleton congratulated herself on Tita's receptivity for frivolous impressions, and reflected, with half-suppressed satisfaction, that, without much effort on her part, the charming little recluse of Jersey City was being transformed into an accomplished worldling. She had evidently needed only the opportunity. Miss Jessie did not know, however, what a superior and wholly philosophical view this absurd little Tita was taking of the dazzling Vanity Fair at which she was expected to "assist in a more active capacity than that of a

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spectator. Nor was she aware that Tita spent an hour every night, no matter how late she returned home, in describing to Quintus the doings of the day. Her daily bulletins were, to the unprejudiced eyes of their recipient, the wittiest and most brilliant specimens of epistolary writing that had appeared in any literature. He read them aloud to Mr. and Mrs. Hanson, who somehow failed to appreciate any of the good points, and was even tempted to take Mr. Dimpleton into his confidence, merely to show him what a wonderful creature Tita was. Many and many a lonely hour did he beguile in reading and re-reading the funny little back-handed epistles (for Tita's penmanship was her weak point, though her spelling was irreproachable), gloating over the multitude of affectionate absurdities which were prefixed to his name, and rejoicing in the fresh and pure spirit which seemed to exhale from every word and syllable. Of course he missed her sorely, but the generosity of his love did not allow him to pine, and far less to urge her return. She was having a useful experience of life, and he—well, he was passing through a necessary discipline.

Among Tita's many adorers, all of whom were encouraged by the diplomatic Miss Dimpleton, there were especially two whose attentions toward the middle of the season grew sufficiently pronounced to cause the usual rumors of engagements and refusals and reconciliations, and whatever other contingencies may occur in a man's prematrimonial career. The one was Count von Markenstein, a former attaché of the German legation at Washington, and the other Mr. Horace Dibble, a very harmless young gentleman who had had the misfortune to inherit a million. The Count was a tall and superbly built man of thirty, with a beautiful blonde beard, and hands which would have been no less remarkable if he had taken less pains to exhibit them to advantage. He was indefatigable in arranging sailing parties, to which he invited thirty ladies for the sake of concealing his preference for one; he trotted and cantered at all hours past the Dimpleton villa, with a view to showing his elegant horsemanship; and he bore with unfailing good-humor Tita's caprices, and her often very pointed rebuffs. Young ladies must be expected to be enigmatical, he reasoned, and they should be allowed a certain latitude in their caprices, previous to marriage. But he was acquainted with a course of post-matrimo

nial discipline which would soon correct all little irregularities of conduct, sentiments, and opinions. The Count was an officer in the German army, and had great faith in the efficacy of discipline. Tita was far too fearless and independent, he thought, but as she was otherwise so wholly adorable, her minor failings might readily be forgiven until the time came for correcting them.

Poor Tita had not the remotest suspicion of the sinister designs which Count von Markenstein was harboring in his bosom. To her he was merely a ponderous young man who waltzed delightfully, spoke indifferent English, and was inclined to be didactic. It was therefore a genuine surprise to her when, one evening, without a word of warning, he flung himself at her feet in the old operatic style, and made some preposterous requests which she never could think of granting. She fled in dismay into the library, where Miss Dimpleton was sitting deeply absorbed in Buckle's "History of Civilization," and declared that she was afraid the Count was ill. Miss Dimpleton, who supposed he had fainted, rushed into the parlor with a bottle of eau de Cologne in one hand and a decanter of water in the other, but saw nothing at all ludicrous in the situation when she discovered her mis


When Miss Jessie returned, Tita observed that she had that strained expression about her mouth which always indicated that she was angry.

"Tita," she said, in a severe tone, "I am greatly shocked to think that you could behave so rudely to a man of Count von Markenstein's importance. Why, any girl in Newport would be proud to receive his addresses."

"Then the Count has been making you a confession," said the undaunted Tita.

"The Count told me enough to give me the clew to the situation. And I was obliged to apologize for you."

"I am very sorry you took that trouble, for it was the Count who ought to have apologized to me for behaving so ridiculously. Now, tell me what would you have done if a man, whom you supposed to be sane, suddenly flung himself at your feet, and proceeded to recite what appeared to be

VOL. XXII.-61.

a piece from Robert le Diable,' or some other lurid opera ?"

"I would have raised him up, and told him that we could converse to better advantage standing or sitting."


Well, that might have been better, I admit. And I will do that, next time a man loses his reason in my presence."


Perhaps this may have been your last opportunity," observed Miss Dimpleton, primly.

"So much the better. I always find men more agreeable before they have taken leave of their senses."

"And they would undoubtedly find you more agreeable if you would control that unruly tongue of yours, which wags very. thoughtlessly, and often makes witty but ill-advised remarks. Men, my child, are not attracted by young ladies who have an eye for their weaknesses, and who are capable of taking a humorous view of them."

"And, tell me, why should I be so anxious to attract men? I never cared a straw for any man but Quint, and he always laughs at my funny remarks, and kisses me, and says, Naughty Queen Titania!' and then I always feel encouraged to go on."


"Mr. Bodill, I am afraid, has systematically spoiled you. He ought to have extracted the sting in your tongue while it was yet small, and not allowed it to grow until it is capable of doing you harm. You know that it is only the unmarriageable bees that sting, and they have to spend their lives working for the married queen and her children. But the married gentleman bees, who failed to detect their charms, they dispatch into eternity by way of revenge."

"What an admirable arrangement! I approve of that highly, although I should be sorry to see Quint fall a victim to a vindictive spinster when he finally makes his choice. I shall put him on his guard, however, and tell him to be sure not to fail to discover anybody's charms."

Miss Dimpleton looked up seriously from Buckle, whom she had all the while made a pretense of reading, and scrutinized Tita's face with an uneasy glance. But Tita looked so gay and innocent, it was impossible to believe her guilty of a malicious intention.

(To be continued.)




TWENTY-FOUR hours, which she painfully counted, elapsed without her seeing him.

It was frequently said by one apparently approving Philadelphia lady to another apparently approving Philadelphia lady, that Anne Rittenhouse did not need chaperoning; and her mother, whose habits were indolent, acceded to the extent of letting almost any one perform that duty; but for a few days after Slade's visit she resumed herself a function now grown important.

Almost to her disappointment, however, she filled but a passive post. At the hop, which both ladies attended, slightly overdressed, the one attractively, in a short white silk, and the other with a richness and blackness calculated to inspire respect in a vulgar breast, the object of their solicitude merely looked for a moment in the window, then disappeared.

"He wont venture," said Mrs. Rittenhouse. "I couldn't have him ask you to dance before all these people."


Well, he didn't," exclaimed the girl, her cheek colored the deepest rose, her eyes fixed upon the whirling figures.

Again at the beach he passed them in dripping garments, and Mrs. Rittenhouse turned her shoulder without speaking to him. "I see that man is still around," she observed.

Anne said nothing, her face again suffused, partly from her mother's snub and partly from Slade's strange appearance.

Having occasion to return to the bathinghouses for something forgotten, they saw him again that same morning. He was sitting on A. Riggoletti's partially inclosed veranda. A small table, covered with a red-and-white cloth, was by his side, and Barney, with one hand deep in his trowserspocket, was apparently paying for the refreshments indicated by a number of empty tumblers. Miss Markham was at the same table, and a lady whose name Anne had not heard. They wore costumes of the latest fashion, and their black braids were still wet from the surf. They were eating bits of lemon. They seemed very merry,―too merry, Anne admitted,―and as they smiled upon Slade, showing their white

teeth, she partially lost, for the first time, her conception of him.

The loss made her miserable; and, compared with her present depression, the lament of the sandpipers was a skylarking song.

So long as her mother's surveillance continued, Slade continued to be unseen, except by flashes. Anne afterward learned that he spent the time fishing. Then the surveillance ceased, and as nothing is done or left undone without affecting the whole system of created things, the sensitive cod ceased to find his bait attractive.

He did not, however, at once return to Anne's unprotected side, but contented himself with pacing up and down at a distance, in the society of the friend who shadowed him, or whom he shadowed. They had taken their bath, and, as they sunned themselves on the beach, Barney occasionally paused, and, making little holes in the sand with the end of his stick, continued a somewhat irritated conversation, which Slade tried to soothe. He himself seemed imperturbable, and even hopeful. Each time he approached, Anne's sensations were those of a timid surf-bather, who watches the inrolling wave; and at the end of half an hour they were those of a person who had been too long in the water. It began to seem probable that his honorable regard for her mother's disfavor would overrule his interest in herself; and she waited, with growing suspense, the result of the contest between the temptation her presence afforded and the scruples his honor opposed.

Meanwhile, all the bathers and idlers upon the beach were beginning to return to the hotels. She longed to tell him how groundless were her mother's objections, and how foolish were prejudices that were merely intuitive; to tell him that the difference between the noble and the spurious, the clever and the cunning, the cautious and the cowardly, the liberal and the loose, was often a mere matter of opinion, depending upon a chance point of view; and that her mother's point of view she knew to be movable. As she groped after these ideas, Slade removed her embarrassment by stopping, as he passed, and speaking to her as if nothing had interrupted their intercourse for days which had seemed like weeks. He remarked, with a

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