After this manner he reasoned as he walked up and down his chamber, while Maggie, on her sleepless pillow, was thinking, too, of him, wondering if she did hate him as much as she intended, and if Henry would be offended at her sitting up with him until after twelve o’clock.
It was nearly half-past nine when Maggie awoke next morning, and making a hasty toilet she descended to the dining room, where she found Mr. Carrollton awaiting her. He had been up a long time; but when Anna Jeffrey, blessed with an uncommon appetite, fretted at the delay of breakfast, and suggested calling Margaret, he objected, saying she needed rest, and must not be disturbed. So, in something of a pet, the young lady breakfasted alone with her aunt, Mr. Carrollton preferring to wait for Maggie.
“I am sorry I kept you waiting,” said Maggie, seating herself at the table and continuing to apologize for her tardiness.
But Mr. Carrollton felt more than repaid by having her thus alone with him, and many were the admiring glances he cast toward her, as, with her shining hair, her happy face, her tasteful morning gown of pink, and her beautiful white hands which handled so gracefully the silver coffee-urn, she made a living, glowing picture such as any man might delight to look upon. Breakfast being over, Mr. Carrollton proposed a ride, and as Anna Jeffrey at that moment entered the parlor he invited her to accompany them. There was a shadow on Maggie’s brow as she left the room to dress, a shadow which had not wholly disappeared when she returned; and, observing this, Mr. Carrollton said, “Were I to consult my own wishes, Maggie, I should leave Miss Jeffrey at home; but she is a poor girl whose enjoyments are far less than ours, consequently I invited her for this once, knowing how fond she is of riding.”
“How thoughtful you are of other people’s happiness!” said Maggie, the shadow leaving her brow at once.
“I am glad that wrinkle has gone, at all events,” returned Mr. Carrollton laughingly, and laying his hand upon her forehead he continued: “Were you my sister Helen I should probably kiss you for having so soon got over your pet; but as you are Maggie Miller, I dare not,” and he looked earnestly at her, to see if he had spoken the truth.
Coloring crimson, as it became the affianced bride of Henry Warner to do, Maggie turned away, thinking Helen must be a happy girl, and half wishing she too were Arthur Carrollton’s sister. It was a long, delightful excursion they took, and Maggie, when she saw how Anna Jeffrey enjoyed it, did not altogether regret her presence. On their way home she proposed calling upon Hagar, whom she had not seen for “three whole days.”