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might think, that girl was not going to be taken in with any such simple device, and I must count upon the daily chances in the place to afford her the good time she had come for.

As I mounted the steps to the portico of the Grand Union with my head down, and lost in a calculation of these chances, I heard my name gaily called, and I looked up to see young Kendricks, formerly of our staff on « Every Other Week, and still a frequent contributor, and a great favorite of my wife's and my own. My heart gave a great joyful bound at sight of him.

« My dear boy, when in the world did you come ?»

« This morning by the steamboat train, and I am never, never going away! »

«You like it, then ? »

Like it! It's the most delightful thing in the universe. Why, I'm simply

ATM wild about it, Mr. March. I go round saying to myself, Why have I thrown away my life? Why have I never come to Saratoga before? It's simply supreme, and it's American down to the ground. Yes; that 's what makes it so delightful. No other people could have invented it, and it does n't try to be anything but what we made it.»

«I'm so glad you look at it in that way. We like it. We discovered it (AS I MOUNTED THE STEPS ... I LOOKED UP TO SEE three or four years ago, and we never

YOUNG KENDRICKS.) let a summer slip, if we can help it, without doctored; that 's what makes their gases so coming here for a week or a month. The healthful.» place,» I enlarged, « has the charm of ruin, «Why, anything might happen here,» Kenthough it 's in such obvious repair; it has a dricks mused, unheedful of me. « What a past; it's so completely gone by in a society scene! what a stage! Why has nobody done sense. The cottage life here has n't killed a story about Saratoga ? » he asked, with the the hotel life, as it has at Newport and Bar literary turn I knew his thoughts would be Harbor; but the ideal of cottage life every- taking. All Gerald Kendricks's thoughts were where else has made hotel life at Saratoga of literature, but sometimes they were not of ungenteel. The hotels are full, but at the immediate literary effect, though that was same time they are society solitudes.» never for long.

«How gay it is!» said the young fellow, as « Because,» I suggested, «one probably he gazed with a pensive smile into the street, could n't get his young lady characters to where all those festive vehicles were coming come here if they were at all in society. But and going, dappled by the leaf-shadows from of course there must be charming presences the tall trees overhead. «What air! what a here accidentally. Some young girl, say, sky! » The one was indeed sparkling, and the might come here from a country place, exother without a cloud, for it had rained in the pecting to see social gaiety --» night, and it seemed as if the weather could «Ah, but that would be too heart-breaking!) never be hot and close again.

«Not at all. Not if she met some young I forgot how I had been sweltering about, fellow accidentally don't you see?» and said: “Yes; it is a Saratoga day. It's « It would be difficult to manage; and has n't supposed that the sparkle of the air comes it been done ? » from the healthful gases thrown off by the « Everything has been done, my dear fellow. springs. Some people say the springs are Or, you might suppose a young lady who comes




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on here with her father, a veteran politician, looking up the ground of a story I should think delegate to the Republican or Democratic con- from what he said.>> vention, -all the conventions meet in Sara- «No matter what he's here for; he's here, toga, -and some ardent young delegate falls and that's enough. I never knew of anything in love with her. That would be new ground. so perfectly providential. Did you tell him, There you would have the political novel, Basil? Did you dare?» which they wonder every now and then some « Tell him what? » of us don't write.) The smile faded from «You know; about Miss Gage. Kendricks's lips, and I laughed. «Well, then, « Well, I came very near it. I dangled the there's nothing for it but the Social Science fact before his eyes once, but I caught it away Congress. Have a brilliant professor win the again in time. He never saw it. I thought I'd heart of a lovely sister-in-law of another better let you tell him.) member by a paper he reads before the Con- « Is he coming here to see us?» gress. No? You 're difficult. Are you stop- « He asked if he might.») ping here? »

« He's always nice. I don't know that I « Yes; are you? »

shall ask him to do anything for them, after «I try to give myself the air of it when I all; I'm not sure that she's worth it. I wish am feeling very proud. But really, we live at some commoner person had happened along. a most charming little hotel on a back street, Kendricks is too precious. I shall have to out of the whirl and rush that we should pre- think about it; and don't you tease me, Basil, fer to be in if we could afford it.» I told him will you ? » about our place, and he said it must be de- «I don't know. If I'm not allowed to have lightful, and he made the proper inquiries any voice in the matter, I'm afraid I shall about Mrs. March, and asked if he might come take it out in teasing. I don't see why Miss to see us. Kendricks never forgot the gentle- Gage is n't quite as good as Kendricks. I man in the artist, and he was as true to the believe she's taller, and though he's pretty convenances as if they had been principles. good-looking, I prefer her style of beauty. I That was what made Mrs. March like his dare say his family is better, but I fancy stories so much more than the stories of some she's richer; and his family is n't good bepeople who wrote better. He said he would yond New York city, and her money will go drop in during the afternoon, and I went in- anywhere. It's a pretty even thing. doors on the pretext of wanting to buy a «Good gracious, Basil! you talk as if it newspaper. Then, without engaging rooms for were a question of marriage.» Mrs. Deering and Miss Gage, I hurried home. « And you think it is.)

« Now I see that you 're bent upon teasing,

and we won't talk any more, please. What VIII.

time did he say he would call ? » « WELL, did you get the rooms? » asked my « If I may n't talk, I can't tell.» wife as soon as she saw me. She did not quite « You may talk that much. call it across the street to me as I came up « Well, then, he did n't say.» from where she sat on the piazza.

« Basil,» said my wife, after a moment, « if « No, I did n't,» I said boldly, if somewhat you could be serious, I should like very much breathlessly.

to talk with you. I know that you 're excited « Why did n't you? You ought to have by meeting Mr. Kendricks, and I know what gone to the States if they were full at the you thought the instant you saw him. But, Grand Union.»

indeed, it won't do, my dear. It's more than « They were not full, unless Kendricks got we've any right to ask, and I shall not ask it, their last room.)

and I shall not let you. She is a stiff, awkward « Do you mean that he was there? Mr. village person, and I don't believe she 's amiKendricks? If you are hoaxing me, Basil!» able or intelligent; and to let a graceful, re

«I am not, my dear; indeed I'm not,» said fined, superior man like Mr. Kendricks throw I, beginning to laugh, and this made her doubt away his time upon her would be wicked, simme the more.

ply wicked. Let those people manage for them« Because if you are I shall simply never selves from this out. Of course you must n't forgive you. And I'm in earnest this time,) get them rooms at the Grand Union now, for she replied.

he'd be seeing us there with them, and feel «Why should I want to hoax you about such bound to pay her attention. You must try for a vital thing as that. Could n't Kendricks them at the States, since the matter 's been come to Saratoga as well as we? He's here spoken of, or at Congress Hall. But there's

no hurry. We must have time to think « Of course, of course! I understand that whether we shall use Mr. Kendricks with any heroine of your acquaintance must be in them. I suppose it will do no harm to intro- society. But I thought-I did n't know but duce him. If he stays we can't very well for the moment-Saratoga seems to be so treavoid it; and I confess I should like to see mendously mixed; and Mr. March says there how she impresses him. Of course we shall is no society here. But if she is from Bosintroduce him! But I insist I shall just do it ton—» merely as one human being to another; and «I did n't say she was from Boston, Mr. don't you come in with any of your romantic Kendricks.» nonsense, Basil, about her social disappoint- « Oh, I beg your pardon! >> ment. Just how much did you give the situa- «She is from De Witt Point,» said Mrs. tion away ? »

March, and she apparently enjoyed his conI told as well as I could remember. fusion, no less than my bewilderment at the

«Well, that 's nothing. He 'll never think course she was taking. of it, and you must n't hint anything of the I was not going to be left behind, though, kind again.”

and I said: «I discovered this heroine myself, I promised devoutly, and she went on: Kendricks, and if there is to be any giving

« It would n't be nice-it would n't be de- away—» licate-to let him into the conspiracy. That «Now, Basil! must be entirely our affair, don't you see? «I am going to do it. Mrs. March would And I don't want you to take a single step never have cared anything about her if it without me. I don't want you even to discuss had n't been for me. I can't let her impose her with him. Will you? Because that will upon you. This heroine is no more in society tempt you further.»

than she is from Boston. That is the trouble That afternoon Kendricks came promptly to with her. She has come here for society, and call, like the little gentleman he was, and he she can't find any.» was more satisfactory about Saratoga than « Oh, that was what you were hinting at he had been in the morning even. Mrs. March this morning,” said Kendricks. « I thought catechized him, and she did n't leave an emo- it a pure figment of the imagination.» tion of his unsearched by her vivid sympathy. « One does n't imagine such things as that, She ended by saying:

my dear fellow. One imagines a heroine com« You must write a story about Saratoga. ing here, and having the most magnificent And I have got just the heroine for you.» kind of social career, - lawn-parties, lunches,

I started, but she ignored my start. teas, dinners, picnics, hops, -and going back Kendricks laughed, delighted, and asked, to De Witt Point with a dozen offers of mar« Is she pretty ? »

riage. That's the kind of work the imagina«Must a heroine be pretty?»

tion does. But this simple and appealing « She had better be. Otherwise she will situation-this beautiful young girl, with her have to be tremendously clever and say all poor little illusions, her secret hopes half sorts of brilliant things, and that puts a great hidden from herself, her ignorant past, her burden on the author. If you proclaim boldly visionary future—» at the start that she's a beauty, the illustra- « Now, I am going to tell you all about her, tor has got to look after her, and the author Mr. Kendricks,» Mrs. March broke in upon me, has a comparative sinecure.»

with defiance in her eye; and she flung out Mrs. March thought a moment, and then she the whole fact with a rapidity of utterance said: «Well, she is a beauty. I don't want to that would have left far behind any attempt of

a make it too hard for you.)

mine. But I made no attempt to compete with « When shall I see her?» Kendricks de- her; I contented myself with a sarcastic silence manded, and he feigned an amusing anxiety. which I could see daunted her a little at last.

«Well, that depends upon how you behave, , « And all that we've done, my dear fellow,) Mr. Kendricks. If you are very, very good– I took in irony the word she left to me, perhaps I may let you see her this evening. «is to load ourselves up with these two imWe will take you to call upon


possible people, to go their security to des« Is it possible? Do you mean business? tiny, and answer for their having a good Then she is-in society?»

time. We 're in luck. « Mr. Kendricks!» cried Mrs. March, with «Why, I don't know,» said Kendricks, and burlesque severity. «Do you think that I I could see that his fancy was beginning to would offer you a heroine who was not in so- play with the situation; « I don't see why it ciety? You forget that I am from Boston! » is n't a charming scheme.»

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« Of course it is,) cried Mrs. March, taking upon me to aid and abet you in your generous a little heart from his courage.

conspiracy, Mrs. March, to the best of my « We can't make out yet whether the girl ability. There's nothing I should like better is interesting," I put in maliciously, than to help you—»

« That is what you say,» said my wife. «She « Throw (dust in her beautiful eyes, » I is very shy, and of course she would n't show quoted. out her real nature to you. I found her very « Not at all,» said my wife. «But to spread interesting.”

a beatific haze over everything, so that as «Now, Isabel! » I protested.

long as she stays in Saratoga she shall see « She is fascinating,» the perverse woman life rose-color. Of course you may say that persisted. «She has a fascinating dullness. it's a kind of deception->

Kendricks laughed and I jeered at this « Not at all!» cried the young fellow in complex characterization.

his turn. «We will make it reality. Then « You make me impatient to judge for my- there will be no harm in it.» self,” he said.

«What a jesuitical casuist! You had bet«Will you go with me to call upon them ter read what Cardinal Newman says in his this evening ?» asked Mrs. March.

(Apologia about lying, young man.) « I shall be delighted. And you can count Neither of them minded me, for just then

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there was a stir of drapery round the corner voice was a tone-scene of a toppling hope of the piazza from where we were sitting, and and a wide-spread desolation. «Why, you the next moment Mrs. Deering and Miss Gage must n't! » showed themselves.

« We must, I guess. It had begun to be « We were just talking of you,» said Mrs. very pleasant, and- I guess I have got to go. March. « May I present our friend Mr. I can't feel easy about him.) Kendricks, Mrs. Deering? And Miss Gage ? » «Why,of course,» Mrs. March now assented,

At sight of the young man, so well dressed and she waved her fan thoughtfully before her and good-looking, who bowed so prettily to face. I knew what she was thinking of, and her, and then bustled to place chairs for them, I looked at Miss Gage, who had involuntarily a certain cloud seemed to lift from Miss Gage's taken the pose and expression of the moment beautiful face, and to be at least partly broken when I first saw her at the kiosk in Congress on Mrs. Deering's visage. I began to talk to Park. «And Miss Gage ? » the girl, and she answered in good spirits, and « Oh, yes; I must go, too,” said the girl, wistwith more apparent interest in my conversa- fully, forlornly. She had tears in her voice, tion than she had yet shown, while Kendricks tears of despair and vexation, I should have very properly devoted himself to the other said. ladies. Both his eyes were on them, but I felt « That's too bad,» said Mrs. March, and, as that he had a third somehow upon her, and she did not offer any solution of the matter, that the smallest fact of her beauty and grace I thought it rather heartless of her to go on was not lost upon him. I knew that her rich, and rub it in. «And we were just planning tender voice was doing its work, too, through some things we could do together.» the commonplaces she vouchsafed to me. «It can't be helped now, returned the There was a moment when I saw him lift a girl. questioning eyebrow upon Mrs. March, and « But we shall see you again before you saw her answer with a fleeting frown of go? » Mrs. March asked of both. affirmation. I cannot tell just how it was «Well, I don't know,» said the girl, with a that, before he left us, his chair was on the look at Mrs. Deering, who now said: other side of Miss Gage's, and I was eliminated «I guess so. We 'll let you know when from the dialogue. These are the secrets of we're going. And they got away rather youth, which we lose as we live on.

stiffly. He did not stay too long. There was an- «Why in the world, my dear,» I asked, «if other tableau of him on foot, taking leave of you were n't going to promote their stay, need Mrs. March, with a high hand-shake, which you prolong the agony of their acquaintance ? » had then lately come in, and which I saw the « Did you feel that about it, too? Well, I girl note, and then bowing to her and to wanted to ask you first if you thought it Mrs. Deering.

would do.) « Don't forget, my wife called after him, « What do ? » with a ready invention not lost on his quick « You know; get her a room here. Because intelligence, « that you're going to the if we do we shall have her literally on our concert with us after tea. Eight o'clock, hands as long as we are here. We shall have remember.)

to have the whole care and responsibility of « You may be sure I shall remember that,» her, and I wanted you to feel just what you he returned gaily.

were going in for. You know very well I

can't do things by halves, and that if I underIX.

take to chaperon this girl I shall chaperon The countenances of the two ladies fell in- her-> stantly when he was gone. «Mrs. March,» said « To the bitter end. Yes; I understand the Mrs. Deering, with a nervous tremor, «did Mr. conditions of your uncompromising conMarch get us those rooms at theGrand Union?» science. But I don't believe it will be any

« No-no,) my wife began, and she made a such killing matter. There are other semilittle pause, as if to gather plausibility. «The detached girls in the house; she could go Grand Union was very full, and he thought round with them.) that at the States— »

We talked on, and, as sometimes happens, « Because,» said Mrs. Deering, «I don't we convinced each other so thoroughly that know that we shall trouble him, after all. she came to my ground and I went to hers. Mr. Deering is n't very well, and I guess we Then it was easier for us to come together, have got to go home—»

and after making me go to the clerk, and find « Go home ! » Mrs. March echoed, and her out that he had a vacant room, Mrs. March

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