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was so awkward of me. And my shoe
heels are horribly common-sense; I
can't blame them at all,"
Chandler looked at the girl and
found her swiftly drawing his inter
est. She was pretty in a refined way;
and her eye was both merry and
land. She was inexpensively clothed
in a plain black dress that suggested
a sort of uniform such as shop girls
r showed its coils beneath a cheaD hat
of black straw whose only ornament
was a velvet ribbon and bow.
A sudden idea came into the head
of the young architect. He would
ask this girl to dine with him. Here
was the element that his splendid but
solitary periodic feasts had lacked.
His brief season of elegant luxury
would be doubly enjoyable'if he could
add to it a lady's society. This girl
was a lady, he was sure her man
ner -and speech settled that. And in
spite of her extremely plain attire he
felt that he would be pleased to sit
at table with her.
These thoughts passed swiftly
through his mind, and he decided to
ask her. It was a breach of etiquette,
of course, but oftentimes wage-earning
girls waived formalities in mat
ters of this kind. They were gener
ally shrewd judges of men; and
thought better of their own judgment
than they did of useless conventions.
His ten dollars, discreetly expended,
would enable the two to dine very
well, indeed. The dinner would, no
doubt, be a wonderful experience
thrown into the dull routine of the
girl's life; and her lively appreciation
of it would add to his own triumph
"I think," he said to her, with
frank gravity, "that your foot needs
a longer rest than you suppose. Now,
I am going to suggest a way in which
you can give it that and at the same
time do me a favor. I was on my way
to dine all by my lonely self when
you came tumbling around the cor
ner. You come with me and we'll
have a cozy dinner and a pleasant
talk together, and by that time your
game ankle will carry you home very
nicely, I am sure."
The girl looked quickly into Chan
dler's clear, pleasant countenance.
Her eyes twinkled once very brightly,
and then she smiled ingenuously.
"But we don't know each other
it wouldn't be right, would it?" she
"There is nothing wrong about it,"
said the young man, candidly. "I'll
introduce myself permit me Mr.
Towers Chandler. After our dinner,
which I will try to make as pleasant
as possible, I will bid you good-evening,
or attend you safely to your door,
whichever you prefer."
"But, dear me!" said the girl, with
a glance at Chandler's faultless at
tire. "In this old dress and hat!"
"Never mind that," said Chandler,
cheerfully. "I'm sure you look more
charming in them than anyone we
shall see in the most elaborate dinner
"My ankle does hurt yet," admitted
the girl, attempting. "I think I will
accept your invitation, Mr. Chandler.
You may call me Miss Marian."
"Come, then, Miss Marian," said
the young architect, gayly, but with
perfect courtesy; "you will not have
far to walk. There is a very respect
able and good restaurant in the next
block. You will have to lean on my
arm so and walk slowly. It is lone
ly dining all by one's self. I'm just a
bit glad that you slipped on the ice."
When the two were established at
a well-appointed table, with a promis
ing waiter hovering in attendance,
Chandler began to experience the
real joy that his regular outing al
ways brought to him.
The restaurant was not so showy
or pretentious as the one farther
down Broadway, which he always
preferred, but it was nearly so. The
tables were well filled with prosperous-looking
diners, there was a good
orchestra, playing softly enough to
make conversation a possible pleas
ure, and the cuisine and service were