“Sue, you are the real sweet thing—and now notice me a bit, will you?” said my fine Mr. Buzz Clendenning with both emotion and a teasing in his voice. “I know I haven’t got French manners and don’t look like L’Aiglon, but I’m an affectionate rough jewel.”
“Please don’t mind Buzz, Mr. Carruthers—he just can’t help buzzing. Isn’t it great about the dance Tuesday night? I fought hard to save you from a horrid long banquet with a lot of solemn men. I ought to be the belle of that ball and you and Buzz will be ungrateful if you neglect me,” and as she made these remarks for laughter, I liked still more this new friend.
“You are the good, thoughtful little missionary to the foreigner, Susan. I suppose you wanted to stay at home and tat socks while Bobbie and I dined and wined—not,” was the very unappreciative answer that was made to her by that Buzz.
“For always I will be your humble slave, Mademoiselle Susan,” was the answer I made into her laughing eyes. “All the evening I will wait in loneliness for the small crumbs of dance that you throw to me.”
“That will do, Robert; you don’t know how spoiled Susan is and you’re making trouble for me. Besides, you haven’t seen the baby Belle in war paint yet. Let’s go call on her now!” And that Mr. Buzz Clendenning was in a moment ready for making more new friends for me. “Come on, Susan, we can tie Prince Bob on the running board.”
“Why, there’s Belle at the gate now and—yes—it’s Mrs. Whitworth with her. I wonder when she came from New York,” said Mademoiselle Susan as we went to meet the guests approaching, I on the one side of her and the Mr. Buzz on the other.
IN THE DRESS OF MAGNIFICENCE
“The beautiful Madam Whitworth came down upon the same train which I occupied,” I said as I remembered to raise from my head my hat by that action on the part of my Mr. Buzz.
“Oh, then you have been presented to L’Aiglon?” said Mr. Buzz to that Madam Whitworth who stood smiling while I was presented to the very lovely girl of great blondness, who both blushed and what is called giggled as I kissed her hand, though in her eyes I found a nice friendliness to me.
“We are old friends who know all about each other, aren’t we, Mr. Robert Carruthers?” and in her gay answer to that Mr. Buzz I detected a challenge as her eyes of blue flowers in snow looked into mine with the keenness of a knife, to detect if I had yet been told aught of her by my Uncle. And in the answering look of friendliness I gave her was concealed also a knife of great keenness, which came from a brain with which I hoped to do to the death that enemy of France. And also I felt my heart spring to the protection of the honor of great Gouverneur Faulkner, who had given me a comrade’s salute within a few hours past; and also to the protection of the honor of my house in the person of my Uncle, the General Robert.