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Newspaper Page Text
EX CURIA BY ROBERT W. CHAMBERS
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(Continued From Saturday.)
A young girl in. furs turned toward
him as he entered-; he caught a
glimpse of blue eyes, a glint of bright
hair framed in fluffy fur; he heard
Courtlandt's cool, easy voice present
ing him to his wife; he took pie slim,
gloved hand outstretched, held it
stupidly until it was withdrawn; then
Courtland's voice again, promising to
"I'm sorry I can't remain and
dine with you and Mr. Edgerton on
this night before Christmas," added
Courtlandt blandly, making for the
"Oh!" she said, surprised, "I did
not understand that Mr. Edgerton in
The color stung Edgerton's face,
and he said in a low voice: "You are
at home, madam; it is for you to
invite us. Perhaps Mr. Courtlandt
will stay if you ask him; I will if
you ask me."
She gave him a confused, brilliant
little smile, a delicate tint mounting
to her cheeks.
"Thank you," she said; "you
everybody is so delightful to me. Will
you stay, Mr. Courtlandt? I we beg
of you! No? Then, until I until we
have the pleasure at nine, I be
lieve?" She turned to the dazed maid, who
opened the door which a second later
closed upon the most profoundly ex
cited attorney in Manhattan.
Mrs. Edgerton raised her blue eyes
to her husband as a maid relieved
her of her furs and little gilt-edged
"I I wonder if you are as embar
assed as I am?" she said, laughing.
"I saw you, too," she replied quick
ly. "You rode a bay. I never imag
ined she bent her head. "You
ride very well," she added. Then,
" after a moment's silence: "And you
"I recognized you at once," he
said, "the instant I entered this room.
It was that which startled me made
me appear stupid "
"You did not appear stupid "
He asked her how long it was since
she had been in America,
"Oh, many years I was only
three when mv father went to
France." Then the warm color came
into her face and she clasped her
hands impulsively. "I do not believe,"
she said, "that I have conveyed to
you in letters my deep appreciation,
of your loyalty to me. t I did not'
know how to express it I do not
"What have you to thank me for?"
he asked almost brusquely.
She turned a trifle, unprepared for
such a question. But she answered
very sweetly: "''You left me guard
ed by the honor of your own name.
I have never wanted for anything;
I have had the quiet and'seclusion I
desired. What more is there, Mr. Ed
gerton?" After a moment she said: "Mais
he is absent a long while'Mr. Court
landt." "He isn't coming until 9 o'clock,"
said Edgerton. He glanced across at
the clock. It was half-past seven.
"So in the meanwhile, we are to
discuss matters of importance," she
suggested seriously. "Mr. Courtlandt
said so. What, monsieur; are we to
"Nothing, except your .wishes, and
they admit of no discussion. You are
at home now."
"But I but I was staying at the
"We are merely about to exchange
quarters," he said pleasantly. "I shall
be more comfortable at the Holland."
"Oh, you shall not! no, it's all
wrong!" she pleaded, the color fading
in her face. "I cannot come intoour
house into your life "
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