The five musicians exchanged looks, then huddled in a group at the gate.
"He has quarrelled with his sweetheart," suggested one.
"I'm not surprised at that," declared another. "I never thought it would be a
"Shame if it were!" muttered the ungainly youth who had spoken first.
As the subject of this comment was the son of the gentleman whose house
they were just leaving, they necessarily spoke low; but their tones were rife
with curiosity, and it was evident that the topic deeply interested them. One of
the five who had not previously spoken now put in a word:
"I saw him when he first led out Miss Page to dance, and I saw him again
when he stood up opposite her in the last quadrille, and I tell you, boys, there
was a mighty deal of difference in the way he conducted himself toward her in
the beginning of the evening and the last. You wouldn't have thought him the
same man. Reckless young fellows like him are not to be caught by dimples
only. They want cash."
"Or family, at least; and she hasn't either. But what a pretty girl she is! Many a
fellow as rich as he and as well connected would be satisfied with her good
"Good looks!" High scorn was observable in this exclamation, which was
made by the young man whom I have before characterised as ungainly. "I
refuse to acknowledge that she has any good looks. On the contrary, I
consider her plain."
"Oh! Oh!" burst in protest from more than one mouth. "And why does she
have every fellow in the room dangling after her, then?" asked the player on
"She hasn't a regular feature."
"What difference does that make when it isn't her features you notice, but
"I don't like her."
A laugh followed this.
"That won't trouble her, Sweetwater. Sutherland does, if you don't, and that's
much more to the point. And he'll marry her yet; he can't help it. Why, she'd