"Very pretty."

"I'm glad at last to see that poor child enjoying herself."

Mr. Smith frowned and stole a sidewise glance at his companion. Was it possible? Could Miss Maggie be showing at last a tinge of envy and jealousy? It was so unlike her! And yet—

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"Even Miss Flora seemed to be having a good time, in spite of that funereal black," he hazarded again.

"And I'm sure Mrs. James Blaisdell and Miss Bessie were very radiant and shining."

"Oh, yes, they—shone."

Mr. Smith bit his lip, and stole another sidewise glance.

"Er—how did you enjoy it? Did you have a good time?"

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"Oh, yes, very."

There was a brief silence. Mr. Smith drew a long breath and began again.

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"I had no idea Mr. James Blaisdell was so fond of—er—books. I had quite a chat with him in his den."

"He says Fred—"

"Did you see that Gaylord girl?" Miss Maggie was galvanized into sudden life. "He's perfectly bewitched with her. And she—that ridiculous dress—and for a young girl! Oh, I wish Hattie would let those people alone!"

"Oh, well, he'll be off to college next week," soothed Mr. Smith.

"Yes, but whom with? Her brother!—and he's worse than she is, if anything. Why, he was drunk to-night, actually drunk, when he came! I don't want Fred with him. I don't want Fred with any of them."

"No, I don't like their looks myself very well, but—I fancy young