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derstand!" (Myra got that, almost
verbatim from Henry James.) "I
most beautifully don't understand
myself how I can permit myself
ever in the world to do it! That's the
charm of it, isn't it?"
"Oh, it's charming I perfectly
agree!" Mr. Prince had at last begun
to play up.
Myra smiled in triumph. This was
quite what he should say. Henry
James was right. "Well, if it seems
unconventional for you, an American,
fancy what it must mean to me, an
Englishwoman! You simply can't
and mustn't on any possible account,
ever in the world, meet me. That is
the condition, the only one, on which
I'm willing to talk to you."
"Talk to me! Can't I see you
about whatever you wish to say?"
"Am I quite, then, too bare-faced
about it? Am I an adventuress, do
"I'm sure I don't want to show any
lack of gallantry," he replied. But
even yet, I don't quite get what you
wish of me."
"Merely to talk to me. Is it too
"Are you married, may I ask? The
name implies "
"Oh, Lord Fessenden has been dead
two years. It is quite safe as to him !"
"I'm simply dying of curiosity al
ready." "I can easily imagine that, seeing
how much I have myself."
"Then you really don't know me?"
"I have never even seen you. How
could I do anything so atrocious,
"Then just what, may I ask, is to
"You're simply to talk to me when
ever I ring you up."
"Oh, if you only will!"
"I shall, tomorrow. Good-bye!"
The next morning Myra was again
at the telephone booth. Mr. Prince
had evidently awaited her coming
with some curiosity. His "Is that
you, Lady Fessenden?" delighted her,
though to hae the name put to her,
audibly, seriously, almost frightened
her. She assumed her English in
flection and replied.
For fifteen minutes she was a lady
the lady of her dreams. Her au
dience inspired her with flights of
fancy. She grew delicately jocose,
she rallied him playfully, she even
taunted him with her advantage. Oh,
she had him on the hook, surely
enough, now! The surety of it went
to her head. It was perilously ex
citing to have him take her at her
"But just exactly why can't I be
permitted to know you?" he asked.
"My dear Mr. Prince," she answer
ed, "it's simply not to be thought of
much less discussed. No matter
how much of a gentleman you are,
I can't entrust you with my secret.
A woman" of my position simply can't
take the risk. As long as you don't
meet me Fni safe. But fancy how it
would compromise me if it should be
"You might at least describe your
self!" he insisted.
"Well, I'm tall and willowy, a pro
nounced brunette. Oh, I suppose
you'd admit I had a certain carriage
and the grace of a woman of my sta
tion. Today I have a green velvet
suit with military frogs of bronze and
a picture hat. White gloves. An
emerald necklace but really not a
"It's your eyes I want most to know
"Oh, they're indescribable, my
eyes. Green, of course we're all
wearing green eyes, this season. But
I must positively go to my hair
Such was the beginning. Every
day, after that, she rang him up and
they had a half-hour's sprightly con
verse. Their talk soared to all
heights of persiflage and fancy, and,
as her confidence and her familiarity
increased, she became more and more
picturesque, holding his attention
during entrancmgly wmmsical monologues.
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