“I wouldn’t be afraid of it,” Marion said, in disgust. “I don’t believe there is the least danger.”
Mr. Charlie chose to consider this as a compliment, and bowed and smiled, and said:
“Thanks. Now tell me why, please.”
“You don’t look like that class of people who are affected in that way.”
He was wonderfully interested, and begged at once to know why. Marion had it in her heart to say, “Because they all look as though they had some degree of brain as well as body,” but even she had a little regard left for feelings; so she contented herself with saying, savagely:
“Oh, they, as a rule, are the sort of people who think there is something in life worth doing and planning for, and you look as though that would be too much trouble.”
Now, Mr. Charlie by no means liked to be considered devoid of energy, so he said:
“Oh, you mistake. I think there are several things worth doing. But this eternal going to meeting, and whining over one’s soul, is not to my taste.”
“You think that it is more worth your while to take ladies out to ride and walk, and carry their parasols and muffs for them, and things of that sort. Since we are made for the purpose of staying here and showing our fine clothes for all eternity, of course it is foolish to have anything to do with one’s soul, that can only last for a few years or so!”
She hardly realized herself the intense scorn there was in her voice, and as for Charlie Flint he muttered to himself:
“Upon my word, she is one of them; of the bitterest sort, too! What in creation is she doing here? Why didn’t she stay there and preach?”
HOW THE “FLITTING” ENDED.
As for Ruth Erskine, if she had been asked whether she was enjoying the day, she would hardly have known what answer to make; she could not even tell why the excursion was not in every respect all that it had promised in the morning. She had no realization of how much the atmosphere of the day before lingered around her, and made her notice the contrast between the people of yesterday and the people of to-day. Mrs. Smithe, if she were a Christian, as her nephew insisted, was one of the most unfortunate specimens of that class for Ruth Erskine to meet; because she was a woman who entered into pleasure and fashion, and entertainments of all sorts, with zest and energy and only in matters of religious interest seemed to lose all life and zeal.
Now Ruth Erskine, calm as a summer morning herself over all matters pertaining to the souls of people in general, and her own in particular, was yet exceedingly fond of seeing other people act in a manner that she chose to consider consistent with their belief; therefore she despised Mrs. Smithe for what she was pleased to term her “hypocrisy.” At the same time, while at Saratoga, she had quite enjoyed her