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COURTSHIP A LA MODE By George Cobbett (Copyright by W. G. Chapman.) De Vincy, polished, Frenchman and man of the worlcTthough he was, felt strangely disconcerted as he found himself face to face with Miss Elsie Vining. They had never met face to face before without the presence of a third person. Indeed, from the beginning it had been quite obvious to observers that an excessive amount of world ly ceremony, amounting to the ridic ulous in the free land of America, surrounded the pair. In the big ballroom the cynics looked at each other and grinned. "They've gone in to the conserva tory together at last," said Charlie Twiss. "Look at old Mamma Vining! Doesn't she look conscious that she has pulled off a good thing." "And look at papa," said his friend, Bobby Brooks. "He seems to think his millions have worked something almost as good as a stock exchange coup." The heartlessness of the marriage de convenance in America is so much greater than in Prance just because it is so unnatural an institution. In France De Vincy would have been conscious that it was a fair exchange his title against the dowry. Indeed, he did not feel that he was about to perform a disreputable action when he started for America to win a wealthy bride and thus replete the family revenues. The only thing real ly upon his conscience was that the agent, Smith, as he chose to call him self, had specified Miss Vining as his prospective bride. "She's pretty enough, in the cold American way," he said to the vi comte. "She's nearer twenty than thirty, and she will inherit money enough, our American representative tells me, to pay all your debts hand somely, as well as our commission." What did unnerve the vicomte was the realization that the few short pe riods of their association had aroused in him a certain feeling toward which he had long been a stranger. In fact, the sight of the girl's beauty had aroused the latent chivalry of the man. As his prospective wife he re garded Miss Vining with that defer ence which lies in the heart of every Frenchman. "This is the first time we have been together," he said lightly. The girl stood facing him, her fin- IJililllSgr" n "This Is the First Time We Have Been Together." gers twining nervously about the fronds of a fern. "Yes," she answered in a mechan ical manner. Then, with a sudden outburst: "Cannot we be utterly frank with one another? I am so sur rounded by hypocrisies and deceits.