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in the other hand, or the hollow of her remarking to her visitor that she hoped right arm, she had a largeish parcel. she had got all the things. “Well, I Though she had made him wait, she had a fiendish hunt for them, we have was evidently very glad to see him got so many,” Francie replied, with a there; and she as evidently required, curious, soft drawl. - There were a and enjoyed, a great deal of that few dozens of the pocket-handkerchiefs sort of indulgence. Her sister's atti I couldn't find; but I guess I've got tude would have told you so, even if most of them, and most of the gloves.” her own appearance had not. There “Well, what are you carting them was that in her manner to the young about for?" George Flack inquired, man—a perceptible but indefinable taking the parcel from her. “You shade—which seemed to legitimate the
had better let me handle them. Do oddity of his having asked in par you buy pocket-bandkerchiefs by the ticular for her, as if he wished to see hundred ?" her to the exclusion of her father and “Well, it only makes fifty apiece," sister : a kind of special pleasure said Francie, smiling. “They ain't which had the air of pointing to a nice--we're going to change them.” special relation. And yet a spectator, “Oh, I won't be mixed up with that looking from Mr. George Flack to —you can't work that game on these Miss Francie Dosson, would have Frenchmen,” the young man exclaimed. been much at a loss to guess what Oh, with Francie they will take special relation could exist between anything back," Delia Dosson declared. them. The girl was exceedingly, ex They just love her, all over.” traordinarily pretty, and without dis “Well, they're like me then," said coverable resemblance to her sister; Mr. Flack, with friendly hilarity. and there was a brightness in her- a “I'll take her back, if she'll come.” kind of still radiance—which was “Well, I don't think I am ready quite distinct from what is called quite yet,” the girl replied.
“ But I animation. Rather tall than short, hope very much we shall cross with slim, delicate, and evidently as light you again." of hand and of foot as it was possible “Talk about crossing—it's on these to be, she yet gave no impression of boulevards we want a life-preserver!” quick movement, of abundant chatter, Delia remarked. They had passed out of excitable nerves and irrepressible of the hotel and the wide vista of the life-no hint of being of the most Rue de la Paix stretched up and usual (which is perhaps also the most down. There were many vehicles. graceful) American type.
“Won't this thing do? I'll tie it brilliantly but quietly pretty, and to either of you,” George Flack said, your suspicion that she was a little holding out his bundle. “I
suppose stiff was corrected only by your per they won't kill you if they love you," ception that she was extremely soft. he went on to the younger girl. There was nothing in her to confirm “Well, you've got to know me first," the implication that she had rushed she answered, laughing and looking for about the deck of a Cunarder with a a chance, while they waited to pass newspaper-man. She was as straight as a wand and as fine as a gem : her “I didn't know you when I was neck was long, and her gray eyes had struck.” He applied bis disengaged colour; and from the ripple of her hand to her elbow and propelled her dark brown hair to the curve of her across the street. She took no notice unaffirmative chin every line in her of his observation, and Delia asked her, face was happy and pure. She had on the other side, wbether their father an unformed voice and no learning. had given her that money. She replied
Delia got up, and they came out of that he had given her loads—she felt the little reading-room—this young lady as if he had made his will ; which led
George Flack to say that he wished the families. It was to this last element old gentleman was his father.
that Mr. Dosson himself in some degree Why, you don't mean to say you contributed, but it must be added that want to be our brother!” Francie he had not the extremely bereft and exclaimed, as they went down the exhausted appearance of certain of his Rue de la Paix.
fellows. There was an air of meditative “I should like to be Miss Delia's, if patience, of habitual accommodation, in you can make that out," said the him ; but you would have guessed that
he was enjoying a holiday rather than "Well, then, suppose you prove it by panting for a truce, and he was not so calling me a cab,” Miss Delia returned. enfeebled but that he was able to get "I presume you and Francie don't up from time to time and stroll through think this is the deck."
the porte cochère to have a look at the “Don't she feel rich ?” George street. Flack demanded of Francie. “But we He gazed up and down for five do require a cart for our goods;" and minutes, with his hands in his pockets, be hailed a little yellow carriage, which and then came back : that appeared to presently drew up beside the pavement. content him : he asked for very little, The three got into it, and still emitting and had no restlessness that these innocent pleasantries proceeded on small excursions would not assuage. their way, while at the Hôtel de He looked at the heaped-up luggage, at l'Univers et de Cheltenham Mr. Dosson the tinkling bells, at the young women wandered down into the court again from the lingère, at the repudiated and took his place in his customary visitors, at everything but the other chair.
American parents. Something in his
breast told him that he knew all about II
these. It is not upon each other that
the animals in the same cage, in a zooThe court was roofed with glass : logical collection, most turn their eyes. the April air was mild : the cry of There was a silent sociability in him, women selling violets came in from and a superficial fineness of grain, that the street, and, mingling with the rich helped to account for his daughter hum of Paris, seemed to bring with it Francie's various delicacies. He was faintly the odour of the flowers. fair and spare and had no figure : you There were other odours in the court, would have seen in a moment that the warm, succulent and Parisian, which question of how he should hold himranged from fried fish to burnt sugar; self had never in his life occurred to and there were many things besides : him. He never held himself at all: little tables for the post-prandial coffee: providence held him rather (and very piles of luggage inscribed after the loosely), by an invisible string, at the initials, or frequently the name, R. P. end of which he seemed gently to Scudamore or D. Jackson Hatch), dangle and waver. His face was so Philadelphia, Pa., or St. Louis, Mo. : smooth that his thin light whiskers, rattles of unregarded bells, flittings of which grew only far back, scarcely tray-bearing waiters, conversations seemed native to his cheeks: they might with the second-floor windows of ad have been attached there for some monitory landladies, arrivals of young harmless purpose of comedy or disguise.
with coffin-like bandboxes He looked for the most part as if he covered with black oilcloth and depend were thinking over, without exactly ing from a strap, sallyings forth of understanding it, something rather persons staying and arrivals,just after droll which had just occurred : he was wards, of other persons to see them, contemplative, without being partitogether with vague prostrations on cularly attentive. His feet benches of tired heads of American remarkably small, and his clothes, in
of his prow.
which light colours predominated, were vase, but he believed she was cultivated visibly the work of a French tailor: up to the eyes. He had a recollection he was an American who still held the of tremendous school-bills, and in later tradition that it is in Paris that a man days, during their travels, of the way can dress himself best. His hat would
she was always leaving books behind have looked odd in Bond Street or the her. Moreover, was not her French Fifth Avenue, and his necktie was so good that he couldn't underloose and flowing.
stand it? Mr. Dosson, it may further be men The two girls, at any rate, were the tioned, was man of the simplest wind in his sail, and the only directcomposition, a character as cipherable ing, determining force he knew : they as a sum of two figures. He had a converted accident into purpose : withnative financial faculty of the finest out them, as he felt, he would have order, a gift as direct as a beautiful been the tail without the kite. The tenor voice, which had enabled him, wind rose and fell, of course : there without the aid of particular strength were lulls and there were gales : of will or keenness of ambition, to there were intervals during which he build up a large fortune while he was simply floated in quiet waters-cast still a youngish man.
He had a genius anchor and waited. This appeared to for happy speculation, the quick, un be one of them now; but he could be erring instinct of a “good thing;” and patient, knowing that he should soon as he sat there idle, amused, contented, again inhale the brine and feel the dip on the edge of the Parisian street, he
When his daughters might very well have passed for some were out the determining process rare performer who had sung
song gathered force, and their being out or played his trick and had nothing to with a brilliant young man only do till the next call. And he had deepened the pleasant calm. That grown rich, not because he
belonged to their superior life, and ravenous or bard, but simply because Mr. Dosson never doubted that George he had an ear, or a nose. He could M. Flack was brilliant. make out the tune in the discord of sented the newspaper, and the newsthe market-place: he could smell success paper for this man of genial assumpfar up the wind. The second factor tions represented Mind-it was the in his little addition was that he was great shining presence of our time. an unassuming father.
He had no To know that Delia and Francie were tastes, no acquirements nor curiosities, out with an editor, or a correspondent, and his daughters represented society was really to see them dancing in the for him. He thought much more and central glow. This is doubtless why much oftener of these young ladies Mr. Dosson bad slightly more than than of his bank-shares and railway- usual his air of recovering slowly stock: they refreshed much more his from a pleasant surprise. The visionsense of ownership, of accumulation. to which I allude hung before him, at He never compared them with other a convenient distance, and melted into girls, he only compared his present other bright, confused aspects : reminself to what he would have been with iscences of Mr. Flack in other relaout them. His view of them was tions-on the ship, on the dock, at perfectly simple. Delia had a more the hotel at Liverpool, and in the cars. unfathomable profundity, and Francie Whitney Dosson was a loyal father, a wider acquaintance with literature but he would have thought himself and art. Mr. Dosson had not perhaps simple had he not had two or three a fall perception of his younger strong convictions ; one of which was daughter's beauty: he would scarcely that the children should never go out have pretended to judge of that, more with a gentleman they had not seen thap he would of a valuable picture or before. The sense of their having, 1
and his having, seen Mr. Flack before and joked with each other, with a was comfortable to him now ; it made mixture of sociability and languor, on it mere placidity for him personally to the subject of what they had seen and forego the young man's society in done—a question into which he felt favour of Delia and Francie. He bad as yet a delicacy as to inquiring. But not hitherto been perfectly satisfied they had evidently done a good deal that the streets and shops, the general and had a good time: an impression immensity of Paris, were just the sufficient to rescue Mr. Dosson perright place for young ladies alone. sonally from the consciousness of But the company of a pleasant gentle failure. man made them right--a gentleman “Won't you just step in and take who was pleasant through being np to dinner with us?” he asked of the everything, as one connected with that
young man, with a friendliness bepaper (he remembered its name now, gotten of the circumstances. it was celebrated), would have to be. “Well, that's a handsome offer," To Mr. Dosson, in the absence of such George Flack replied, while Delia rehappy accidents, his girls somehow marked that they had each eaten about seemed lonely, which was not the way thirty cakes. he struck himself. They were his com
Well, I wondered what you were pany, but he was scarcely theirs : it doing so long. But never mind your was as if he had them more than they cakes. It's twenty minutes past six, had him.
and the table d'hôte's on time." They were out a long time, but he “You don't mean to say you dine at felt no anxiety, as he reflected that Mr. the table d'hôte !” Mr. Flack ejacuFlack's very profession was a prevision lated. of everything that could possibly hap · Why, don't you like that?" pen. The bright French afternoon Francie drawled sweetly. waned without bringing them back, “Well, it isn't what you most build but Mr. Dosson still revolved about on when you come to Paris. Too many the court, till he might have been flower-pots and chickens' legs." taken for a valet de place hoping to Well, would you like one of these pick up custom. The landlady smiled restaurants?” asked Mr. Dosson. at him sometimes, as she passed and don't care if you show us a good re passed, and even ventured to re one.” mark disinterestedly that it was “Oh, I'll show you a good onepity to waste such a lovely day in don't you worry.” doors—not to take a turn and see what “Well, you've got to order the was going on in Paris. But Mr. dinner then," said Francie. Dosson had no sense of waste: that Well, you'll see how I could do came to bim much more when he was it!” And the young man looked at confronted with historical monuments, her very hard, with an intention of or beauties of Nature, or art, which he softness. didn't understand or care for : then “He has got an interest in some he felt a little ashamed and uncomfort place,” Delia declared. “He has taken able—but never when he lounged un us to ever so many stores, and he gets pretentiously in the court. It wanted his commission." but a quarter of an hour to dinner “Well, I'd pay you to take them (that he could understand) when Delia round,” said Mr. Dosson ; and with and Francie at last met his view, still much agreeable trifling of this kind it accompanied by Mr. Flack and saunter
was agreed that they should sally forth ing in, at a little distance from each for the evening meal under Mr. Flack's other, with a jaded air which was not in the least a tribute to his possible If he had easily convinced them on solicitude. They dropped into chairs
this occasion that that was a
original proceeding than worrying fearless strain. Even more than by those old bones, as he called it, at the her fashion of hanging over the rehotel, he convinced them of other gisters she provoked him by appearthings besides, in the course of the ing to think that their little party was following month and by the aid of not sufficient to itself; by wishing, as repeated visits. What he mainly made he expressed it, to work in new stuff. clear to them was, that it was really He might have been easy, however, most kind of a young man who had so for he had sufficient chance to observe many great public questions on his how it was always the fate of the mind to find sympathy for problems Dossons to miss their friends. They which could fill the telegraph and the were continually looking out for meetpress so little as theirs.
ings and combinations that never came every day to set them in the right off, hearing that people had been in path, pointing out its charms to them Paris only after they had gone away, in a way that made them feel how or feeling convinced that they were much they had been in the wrong. there but not to be found through He made them feel indeed that they their not having registered, or wondidn't know anything about anything, dering whether they should overtake even about such a matter as ordering them if they should go to Dresden, shoes—an art in which they vaguely and then making up their minds to supposed themselves rather strong. start for Dresden, only to learn, at He had in fact great knowledge, and the eleventh hour, through some acciit was wonderfully various, and he dent, that the elusive party had gone knew as many people as they knew to Biarritz. “We know plenty of
He had appointments — very people if we could only come across often with celebrities—for every hour them," Delia had said more than of the day, and memoranda, sometimes once : she scanned the continent with in shorthand, on tablets with elastic a wondering, baffled gaze, and talked straps, with which he dazzled the sim of the unsatisfactory way in which ple folk at the Hôtel de l'Univers et friends at home would “ write out" de Cheltenham, whose social life, of that other friends were “somewhere narrow range, consisted mainly in in Europe." She expressed the wish reading the lists of Americans who that such correspondents as that might
registered” at the bankers, and at be in a place that was not at all vague. Galignani's. Delia Dosson, in par Two or three times people had called ticular, had a way of poring solemnly at the hotel when they were out, and over these records which exasperated had left cards for them without any Mr. Flack, who skimmed them and address, superscribed, with a mocking found what he wanted in the flash of dash of the pencil, “Off to-morrow !” an eye: she kept the others waiting The girl sat looking at these cards, while she satisfied herself that Mr. and handling them and turning them over Mrs. D. S. Rosenheim and Miss Cora for a quarter of an hour at a time : Rosenheim and Master Samuel Rosen she produced them days afterwards, heim had “left for Brussels."
brooding over them afresh, as if they Mr. Flack was wonderful on all were a mystic clue. George Flack occasions in finding what he wanted generally knew where they were, the (which, as we know, was what he be people who
" somewhere in lieved the public wanted), and Delia Europe.” Such knowledge came to was the only one of the party with him by a kind of intuition, by the whom he was sometimes a little sharp. voices of the air, by indefinable and He had embraced from the first the unteachable processes.
But he held idea that she was his enemy, and he his peace on purpose : he didn't want alluded to it with almost tiresome fre any outsiders : he thought their little quency, though always in a humorous, party just right. Mr. Dosson's place