A Young Girl's Wooing eBook

Edward Payson Roe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 431 pages of information about A Young Girl's Wooing.

“Poor papa!” she sighed, “his securities are lacking, I suppose.  He does not write very cheerfully.”

“His security is the best in the city, in my estimation.  I’d take this little hand in preference to government bonds.”

“Oh, don’t lend papa anything on that basis, for you would surely manage to claim the collateral, or whatever you call it in your Wall Street jargon.”

“You are infinitely better off than the majority in these hard times.”

“How so?”

“By one word you can make three rich, yourself included.  Your father only needs to be tided over a few months.”

“Come, come, Mr. Arnault, this is Sunday, and you must not talk business.”

“My fault leans to virtue’s side for once.”

“I’m not just sure to which side it leans,” was her laughing reply.

“Are you going to accept Muir?”

“I’m not going to accept any one at present—­certainly not Mr. Muir before he asks me.”

“He will ask you.”

“Has he taken you into his confidence?”

“Oh, he’s as patent as a country borrower.”

“Mr. Arnault, we must change the subject; such questions and remarks are not in good taste, to say the least.  I appreciate your friendship, but it does not give you the right to forget that I am a free girl, or to ignore my assurance that I propose to remain free for the present.”

“That is all the assurance that I require just now,” he answered.  “I have been a frank, devoted suitor, Stella.  If you do not act precipitately you will act wisely in the end.  I shall not be guilty of the folly of depreciating Muir—­he’s a good fellow in his way—­but you will soon be convinced that you cannot afford to marry him.”

“I think I can afford not to marry any one until my heart prompts me to the act,” she replied, with well-assumed dignity.  Her swift thought was, “He also knows that the Muirs are embarrassed.  How is it that Graydon speaks and acts in the assured confidence of continued wealth?  Is he deceiving me?”

Mr. Arnault changed the subject, and none could do this with more adroitness than he, or be a more entertaining gallant if he so chose.  At the same time he maintained a subtle observance, in spite of his vaunted frankness, and he soon believed he had reason to hope that Miss Wildmere had been influenced by his words.  Almost imperceptibly she permitted additional favor to come into her manner, and when she said good-night and good-by also, in view of his early start for the city, it was at the foot of the stairway, she casually remarking that she would not come down again.

“My brief visit has not been in vain,” he thought.  “I have delayed matters, and that now means a great deal.  She will marry the survivor of this financial gale, and in every man’s philosophy the survival of the fittest is always the survival of the ego.”


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A Young Girl's Wooing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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