The Quest of the Silver Fleece HTML version

Ten: Mr. Taylor Calls
"Thinking the matter over," said Harry Cresswell to his father, "I'm inclined to advise
drawing this Taylor out a little further."
The Colonel puffed his cigar and one eye twinkled, the lid of the other being at the
moment suggestively lowered.
"Was she pretty?" he asked; but his son ignored the remark, and the father continued:
"I had a telegram from Taylor this morning, after you left. He'll be passing through
Montgomery the first of next month, and proposes calling."
"I'll wire him to come," said Harry, promptly.
At this juncture the door opened and a young lady entered. Helen Cresswell was twenty,
small and pretty, with a slightly languid air. Outside herself there was little in which she
took very great interest, and her interest in herself was not absorbing. Yet she had a
curiously sweet way. Her servants liked her and the tenants could count on her spasmodic
attentions in time of sickness and trouble.
"Good-morning," she said, with a soft drawl. She sauntered over to her father, kissed
him, and hung over the back of his chair.
"Did you get that novel for me, Harry?"—expectantly regarding her brother.
"I forgot it, Sis. But I'll be going to town again soon."
The young lady showed that she was annoyed.
"By the bye, Sis, there's a young lady over at the Negro school whom I think you'd like."
"Black or white?"
"A young lady, I said. Don't be sarcastic."
"I heard you. I did not know whether you were using our language or others'."
"She's really unusual, and seems to understand things. She's planning to call some day—
shall you be at home?"
"Certainly not, Harry; you're crazy." And she strolled out to the porch, exchanged some
remarks with a passing servant, and then nestled comfortably into a hammock. She
helped herself to a chocolate and called out musically: