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I said that I believed the fancy was mu- nize the splendors which she had heard of, tual, and that there was nothing my wife and I pointed out an old lady by the door, who liked better than telling people about stores. sat there displaying upon her vast bosom an I added, in generalization, that when a woman assortment of gems and jewels which she had spent all her own money on dress, it did seemed as personally indifferent to as if she her quite as much good to see other women were a show-window, and I was glad to have spending theirs; and Deering said he guessed the girl shrink from the spectacle in a kind that was about so. He gave me a push on the of mute alarm. I tried to make her share shoulder to make me understand how keenly my pleasure in a group of Cubans-fat father, he appreciated the joke, and I perceived that we had won his heart, too.

We joined the ladies, and I thought that my sufferings for her authorized me to attach myself more especially to Miss Gage, and to find out all I could about her. We walked ahead of the others, and I was aware of her making believe that it was quite the same as if she were going to the music with a young man. Not that she seemed disposed to trifle with my gray hairs; I quickly saw that this would not be in character with her; but some sort of illusion was essential to her youth, and she could not help rejuvenating me. This was quite like the goddess she looked, I reflected, but otherwise she was not formidably divine, and, in fact, I suppose the goddesses were, after all, only nice girls at heart. This one, at any rate, I decided, was a very nice girl when she was not sulking; and she was so brightened by her little adventure, which was really no adventure, that I could not believe I had ever seen her sulking.

The hotel people did not keep us from going into the court of the hotel, as I was afraid they might, and we all easily found places. In the pauses of the music I pointed out such notables and characters as I saw about us, and tried to possess her of as much

ENGRAVED BY PETER AITKEN. of the Saratoga world as I knew. It was

« I INVITED HER TO WALK ROUND THE COURT largely there in that bold evidence it loves, and in that social solitude to which the Sara- fat mother, fat daughter-who came down toga of the hotels condemns the denizens of the walk toward us in the halo of tropical her world. I do not mean that the Saratoga tradition; but she had not the taste for olives, crowd is at all a fast-looking crowd. There and I saw that I failed to persuade her of the are sporting people and gamblers; but the esthetic value of this alien element among great mass of the frequenters are plain, hon- us. She apparently could do almost as little est Americans, out upon a holiday from all with some old figures of bygone beaus specparts of the country, and of an innocence too trally revisiting the hotel haunts of their inveterate to have grasped the fact that youth; but she was charmed with the sylvan there is no fashion in Saratoga now but the loveliness of that incomparable court. It is, fashion of the ladies' dresses. These, I must in fact, a park of the tall, slim Saratoga say, are of the newest and prettiest; the trees inclosed by the quadrangle of the hotel, dressing of the women always strikes me exquisitely kept, and with its acres of greenthere. My companion was eager to recog- sward now showing their color vividly in the





light of the electrics, which shone from all with other company. She willingly told about sides on the fountain flashing and plashing their journey to Saratoga, and her story did in the midst. I said that here was that union not differ materially from the account Deerof the sylvan and the urban which was always ing had already given me; but even the outthe dream of art, and which formed the deli- ward form of adventure had fallen from their cate charm of pastoral poetry; and although experience since they had come to Saratoga. I do not think she quite grasped the notion, They had formed the habit of Congress Park I saw that she had a pleasure in the visible by accident; but they had not been to the fact, and that was much better. Besides, she lake, or the races, or the House of Pansa, or listened very respectfully, and with no signs Mount McGregor, or Hilton Park, or even of being bored.

the outlying springs. It was the first time In the wait between the two parts of the they had been inside of the Grand Union. concert, I invited her to walk round the « Then you have never seen the parlor?» I court with me, and under the approving eye asked; and after the concert I boldly led the of Mrs. March we made this expedition. way into the parlor, and lavished its magnifiIt seemed to me that I could not do a wiser cence upon them as if I had been the host, or thing, both for the satisfaction of my own one of the hotel guests at the very least. I curiosity and for the gratification of the enjoyed the breathlessness of the Deerings autobiographical passion we all feel, than to so much, as we walked up and down the vast lead her on to speak of herself. But she drawing-rooms accompanied by our images had little or nothing to say of herself, and in the mirrors, that I insisted upon sitting what she said of other things was marked by down with them all upon some of the richest a straightforward good sense, if not a wide pieces of furniture; and I was so flown with intelligence. I think we make a mistake my success as cicerone that I made them when we suppose that a beautiful woman come with me to the United States. I showed must always be vain or conscious. I fancy them through the parlors there, and then led that a beauty is quite as often a solid and them through to the inner verandas, which sensible person, with no inordinate wish to commanded another wooded court like that be worshiped, and this young lady struck me of the Grand Union. I tried to make them as wholly unspoiled by flattery. I decided feel the statelier sentiment of the older hotel, that she was not the type that would take and to stir their imaginations with a picture the fancy of De Witt Point, and that she had of the old times, when the Southern planters grown up without local attention for that used to throng the place, and all that was reason, or possibly because a certain coldness gay and brilliant in fashionable society was in her overawed the free spirit of rustic love- to be seen there some time during the summaking. No doubt she knew that she was mer. I think that I failed in this, but apparbeautiful, and I began to think that it was ently I succeeded in giving them an evening not so much disappointment at finding Sara- of dazzling splendor. toga as indifferent as De Witt Point which «Well, sir, this has been a great treat,» said gave her the effect of disgust I had first Mr. Deering, when he bade us good-by as well as noted in her the night before. That might good night; he was going early in the morning. rather have come from the sense of feeling The ladies murmured their gratitude, Mrs. herself a helpless burden on her friends, and Deering with an emotion that suited her from that young longing for companionship thanks, and Miss Gage with a touch of somewhich is as far as may be from the desire of thing daughterly toward me that I thought conquest, of triumph. Finding her now so pretty. gratefully content with the poor efforts to amuse her which an old fellow like me could make, I perceived that the society of other «WELL, what did you make of her, my dear?» girls would suffice to make Saratoga quite Mrs. March demanded the instant she was beanother thing for her, and I cast about in yond their hearing. «I must say, you did n't my mind to contrive this somehow.

spare yourself in the cause; you did bravely. I confess that I liked her better and better, What is she like?» and before the evening was out I had quite «Really, I don't know, I answered, after a transferred my compassion from the Deerings moment's reflection. «I should say she was to her. It was forlorn and dreary for her to be almost purely potential. She's not so much attached to this good couple, whose interests this or that kind of girl; she 's merely a were primarily in each other, and who had not radiant image of girlhood.» the first of those arts which could provide her « Now, you're chicquing it, you 're faking

Vol. LII.-77-78.



it,» said Mrs. March, borrowing the verbs tell me how she really impressed you. Does severally from the art editor and the pub- she know anything? Has she read anything? lisher of « Every Other Week.» «You have Has she any ideas ? » got to tell me just how much and how little «Really, I can't say whether they were there really is of her before I go any further ideas or not. She knew what Every Other with them. Is she stupid ? »

Week) was; she had read the stories in it; but «No-no; I should n't say stupid exactly. I'm not sure she valued it at its true worth. She is—what shall I say?-extremely plain- She is very plain-minded.» minded. I suppose the goddesses were plain- « Don't keep repeating that! What do you

mean by plain-minded ? »

«Well, honest, single, commonthy Rolling

sense, coherent, arithmetical.

«Horrors! Do you mean that she is mannish ? »

«No, not mannish. And yet she gave me the notion that, when it came to companionship, she would be just as well satisfied with a lot of girls as young men.»

Mrs. March pulled her hand out of my arm, and stopped short under one

of those tall Saratoga shadetrees to dramatize her inference. «Then she is the slyest of all possible pusses! Did she give you the notion that she would be just as well satisfied with you as with a young man?»

«She could n't deceive me so far as that, my dear.

« Very well; I shall take her in hand myself to-morrow, and find out what she really is.

Mrs. March went shopping the next forenoon with what was left of the Deering

party; Deering had taken the early train north, and she seemed to have found the ladies livelier without him. She formed the impression from their more joyous behavior that he kept his wife from spending as much money as she would naturally have done,

and that, while he was not perhaps minded. I'm a little puzzled by her attitude exactly selfish, he was forgetful of her youth, toward her own beauty. She does n't live her of the difference in years between them, and beauty any more than a poet lives his poetry of her capacity for pleasures which he could or a painter his painting; though I've no doubt not care for. She said that Mrs. Deering and she knows her gift is hers just as they do.» Miss Gage now acted like two girls together,

«I think I understand. You mean she is n't and, if anything, Miss Gage seemed the elder conscious.»

of the two. « No. Conscious is n't quite the word,» I « And what did you decide about her? » I said fastidiously. «Is n't there some word inquired. that says less, or more, in the same direction ?» «Well, I helped her buy a hat and a jacket

«No, there is n't; and I shall think you don't at one of these nice shops just below the hotel mean anything at all if you keep on. Now, where they're stopping, and we've started an




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evening dress for her. She can't wear that does n't seem to go with her beauty; it takes white duck morning, noon, and night.) away from that I don't know how to express « But her character-her nature ? »

it exactly. « Oh! Well, she is rather plain-minded, as « You mean that she has no charm.» you call it. I think she shows out her real «No: I don't mean that at all. She has a feelings too much for a woman.»

great deal of charm of a certain kind, but « Why do you prefer dissimulation in your it's a very peculiar kind. After all, the truth sex, my dear ? »

is the truth, Basil, is n't it?» «I don't call it dissimulation. But of course «It is sometimes, my dear,» I assented. a girl ought to hide her feelings. Don't you « And the truth has its charm, even when think it would have been better for her not it 's too blunt.» to have looked so obviously out of humor when « Ah, I 'm not so sure of that.) you first saw her the other night?»

« Yes-yes, it has. You must n't say so, «She would n't have interested me so much, Basil, or I shall lose all my faith in you. then, and she probably would n't have had If I could n't trust you I don't know what I your acquaintance now.»

should do.) « Oh, I don't mean to say that even that «What are you after now, Isabel ? » kind of girl won't get on, if she gives her mind «I am not after anything. I want you to to it; but I think I should prefer a little less go round to all the hotels and see if there is plain-mindedness, as you call it, if I were a not some young man you know at one of man.)

them. There surely must be.» I did not know exactly what to say to this, « Would one young man be enough?» and I let Mrs. March go on.

« If he were attentive enough, he would be. « It 's so in the smallest thing. If you ’re One young man is as good as a thousand if the choosing a thing for her, and she likes another, girl is the right kind.» she lets you feel it at once. I don't mean that « But you have just been implying that she's rude about it, but she seems to set her- Miss Gage is cold and selfish and greedy. self so square across the way, and you come Shall I go round exploring hotel registers for up with a kind of bump against her. I don't a victim to such a divinity as that? » think that 's very feminine. That's what I « No; you need n't go till I have had a talk

a meant by mannish. You always knew where with her. I am not sure she is worth it; I am to find her.»

not sure that I want to do a single thing for I don't know why this criticism should have her.» amused me so much, but I began to laugh

VII. quite uncontrollably, and I kept on and on. Mrs. March kept her temper with me ad- The next day, after another forenoon's shopmirably. When I was quiet again, she said: ping with her friends, Mrs. March announced:

« Mrs. Deering is a person that wins your « Well, now, it has all come out, Basil, and I heart at once; she has that appealing quality. wonder you did n't get the secret at once from You can see that she's cowed by her husband, your Mr. Deering. Have you been supposing though he means to be kind to her; and yet that Miss Gage was a poor girl whom the Deeryou may be sure she gets round him, and has ings had done the favorof bringing with them ?» her own way all the time. I know it was her «Why, what of it? » I asked provisionally. idea to have him go home and leave them here, « She is very well off. Her father is not and of course she made him think it was his. only the president, as they call it, of the She saw that as long as he was here, and village, but he's the president of the bank.) anxious to get back to his (stock, there was « Yes; I told you that Deering told me so—» no hope of giving Miss Gage the sort of « But he is very queer. He has kept her chance she came for, and so she determined very close from the other young people, and to manage it. At the same time, you can see Mrs. Deering is the only girl friend she's ever that she is as true as steel, and would abhor had, and she's grown up without having been anything like deceit worse than the pest.) anywhere without him. They had to plead

«I see; and that is why you dislike Miss with him to let her come with them, -or Gage?»

Mrs. Deering had, - but when he once con« Dislike her? No, I don't dislike her; but sented, he consented handsomely. He gave she is disappointing. If she were a plain girl her a lot of money, and told them he wanted her plain-mindedness would be all right; it her to have the best time that money could would be amusing; she would turn it to ac- buy; and of course you can understand how count and make it seem humorous. But it such a man would think that money would buy

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a good time anywhere. But the Deerings «Have you been putting them up to that, did n't know how to go about it. She con- Isabel ? » fessed as much when we were talking the «I knew you would suspect me, and I girl over. I could see that she stood in awe would n't have asked for your opinion if I had of her somehow from the beginning, and that cared anything for it, really. What would be she felt more than the usual responsibility for the harm of their doing it?» her. That was the reason she was so eager « None whatever, if you really want my to get her husband off home; as long as he worthless opinion. But what could they do was with them she would have to work every- there?» thing through him, and that would be double « They could see something if they could n't labor, because he is so hopelessly villaginous, do anything, and as soon as Miss Gage has don't you know, that he never could rise to the got her new gowns I 'm going to tell them conception of anything else. He took them you thought they could do it. It was their to a cheap, second-class hotel, and he was own idea, at any rate.» afraid to go with them anywhere because he « Miss Gage's? » never was sure that it was the right thing to « Mrs. Deering's. She has the courage of do; and he was too proud to ask, and they had a-I don't know what. She sees that it 's a to keep prodding him all the time.»

desperate case, and she would n't stop at « That's delightful!»

anything.” « Oh, I dare say you think so; but if you « Now that her husband has gone home. knew how it wounded a woman's self-respect « Well, which hotel shall they go to?» you would feel differently; or you would n't, «Oh, that requires reflection. rather. But now, thank goodness! they 've «Very well, then, when you 've reflected I got him off their hands, and they can begin want you to go to the hotel you 've chosen, to breathe freely. That is, Mrs. Deering could, and introduce yourself to the clerk, and tell if she had n't her heart in her mouth all the him your wife has two friends coming, and time, wondering what she can do for the girl, you want something very pleasant for them. and bullying herself with the notion that she Tell him all about yourself and “Every Other is to blame if she does n't have a good time. Week.)» You can understand just how it was with « He 'll think I want them deadheaded. them always. Mrs. Deering is one of those « No matter, if your conscience is clear; meek little things that a great, splendid, lonely and don't be so shamefully modest as you alcreature like Miss Gage would take to in a ways are, but speak up boldly. Now, will you? small place, and perfectly crush under the Promise me you will! » weight of her confidence; and she would want « I will try, as the good little boy says. But, to make her husband live up to her ideal of Isabel, we don't know these people except the girl, and would be miserable because he from their own account.) would n't or could n't.»

« And that is quite enough.) «I believe the good Deering did n't even « It will be quite enough for the hotelthink her handsome.»

keeper if they run their board. I shall have « That's it. And he thought anything that to pay it. was good enough for his wife was good enough Now, Basil dear, don't be disgusting, and for Miss Gage, and he'd be stubborn about go and do as you ’re bid.» doing things on her account, even to please It was amusing, but it was perfectly safe, his wife.

and there was no reason why I should not en« Such conduct is imaginable of the good gage rooms for the ladies at another hotel. Deering. I don't think he liked her.» I had not the least question of them, and I

« Nor she him. Mrs. Deering helplessly had failed to worry my wife with a pretended hinted as much. She said he did n't like to doubt. So I decided that I would go up at have her worrying so much about Miss Gage's once and inquire at the Grand Union. I chose not having a good time, and she could n't this hotel because, though it lacked the fine make him feel as she did about it, and she flower of the more ancient respectability and was half glad for his own sake that he had the legendary charm of the States, it was so to go home.»

spectacular that it would be in itself a per« Did she say that? »

petual excitement for those ladies, and would « Not exactly; but you could see that she form an effect of society which, with some meant it. Do you think it would do for them help from us, might very well deceive them. to change from their hotel, and go to the This was what I said to myself, though in my Grand Union or the States or Congress Hall?» heart I knew better. Whatever Mrs. Deering

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