. . rtiVtimwimmi' '
the board walk and, taking off his
hat, reminded her who he was. Elsie
Rayden was at once amused and in
terested. She was tired of society
life, and she had begun to suspect
that she was in love with Mr. Gerald
Lomax, who had been reported in the
newspapers several times as paying
The result of that conversation was
that Billy was invited to call at the
hotel. Miss Elsie had a plan in mind.
She wanted to discover whether Ger
ald loved her, by the simple process
of trying to make him jealous.
She timed Billy's second visit so
that it should coincide with Gerald's
regular Sunday trip to Atlantic City,
and for an hour the two men sized
each other up, while Miss Elsie chat
ted amiably and impartially with each
in' turn, and both together.
Billy was the first to leave and
something which might have been
called a "scene" in less exalted cir
cles happened afterward. The next
time Billy called Miss Elsie was more
encouraging than ever. That was
the beginning of a week of ecstacy
for the young fellow. They went for
long country walks, they swam and
drove, they patronized theaters and
all the amusements. And presently
the inevitable society item found its
way into the New York papers.
"Rumor has it that Mr. William
Durham and Miss Elsie Rayden will
shortly announce their engagement."
Billy read the item and turned
white with indignation. He went
straight to Miss Elsie's hotel and
slapped the newspaper down on the
table before her.
"I don't know what cur put that
in," he said, "but I want to make it
true. Will you, dear?"
Miss Elsie, who had also seen it,
and had taken alarm, looked scorn
fully at Billy.
"My dear boy, you don't under
stand," she said. "I am engaged to
marry Mr. Gerald Lomax."
Billy stared at her incredulously.
"But you have .gone for walks and
drives with me," he exclaimed.
"0, go away, Billy, and learn some-
thing of the world," Miss Elsie an
swered. Billy went away to learn. Then
she regretted her words. The fact
was that she had received a letters
from her father that morning de--manding
pointedly to know "what,
she was doing fooling with one of his
clerks at Atlantic City." He also de
manded that she go home.
Elsie went home, and a hard weekr
followed. There was Mr. Lomax, ex
postulating and indignant, and her
father, furious, at the publicity.
Three days later, when Billy got
back to his lodging, he found a letter
stating that his services would no
longer be required in the insurance
Now ninety-nine men out of a hun
dred would have whistled and gone
out to look for a job. But Billy's ab
surd faith took him right round to
the house on Madison avenue. As
Mr. Rayden had no expectation of
seeing him ae;ain, he had left no in
structions with the butler concerning
him. So Billy, walking in, found
himself in the midst of anmiated fam
"I beg your pardon," said Billy to
Mr. Rayden. "It's about that letter,
you know. Why don't you want me?
Isn't there some misunderstanding
"Yes, there has been a misunder
standing," growled Mr. Rayden, who,
being a self-made man. had not much
tact. "I misunderstood your sense of
honor when you went to Atlantic City
and got my daughter talked about."
"But I wanted to I mean, I 0,
Elsie, won't you think it over?" stam
mered Billy, utterly at a loss, but still
preserving his absurd faith in human
"Shall I throw him out?" inquired
Mr. Lomax, turning up his coat
Miss Elsie looked from one to an
other, and perhaps at that moment
some deeper instinct thaa she had.
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