She tried to call him a goose, though she knew that g’s were fatal.
A moment later she sat at one end of the sofa in pretended dudgeon, while Sandy tried to make his peace from the other.
“May the lightning strike me dead if I ever do it again without the asking! I’ll be good now—honest to goodness, Nettie. I’ll shut me eyes when you take the hurdles, and be blind to temptation. Won’t ye be putting me on about the hop now, and what I must do?”
Annette counted her fraternity pins and tried to look severe. She used them in lieu of scalps, and they encircled her neck, fastened her belt, and on state occasions even adorned her shoe-buckles.
“Well,” she at last said, “to b-begin with, you must be nice to everyb-body. You mustn’t sit out more than one d-dance with one g-girl, and you must b-break in on every dance I’m not sitting out.”
“Break in? Sit out?” repeated Sandy, realizing that the intricacies of society are manifold.
“Of course,” said his mentor. “Whenever you see the g-girl you like dancing with any one else, you just p-put your hand on the man’s shoulder, and then she d-dances with you.”
“And will they all stop for me?” cried Sandy, not understanding at all why he should have the preference.
“Surely,” said Annette. “And sitting out is when you like a girl so m-much that you would rather take her away to some quiet little corner and talk to her than to d-dance with her.”
“That’ll never be me,” cried Sandy—“not while the band plays.”
“Shall we try it again?” she asked; and with much scoffing and scolding on her part, and eloquent apologies and violent exertion on his, they struggled onward toward success.
In the midst of the lesson there was a low whistle at the side window. Annette dropped Sandy’s hands and put her finger to her lips.
“It’s Carter,” she whispered. “D-dad doesn’t allow him to come here.”
“Little’s the wonder,” grumbled Sandy.
Annette’s eyes were sparkling at the prospect of forbidden fruit. She tiptoed to the window and opened the shutter a few inches.
At the opening Carter’s face appeared. It was a pale, delicate face, over-sensitive, over-refined, with the stamp of weakness on every feature. His restless, nervous eyes were slightly bloodshot, and there was a constant twitching about his lips. But as he pushed back the shutter and leaned carelessly against the sill, there was an easy grace in his figure and a devil-may-care light in his eyes that would have stirred the heart of a maiden less susceptible than the one who smiled upon him from between the muslin curtains.
He laughed lightly as he caught at a flying lock of her hair.
“You little coward! Why didn’t you meet me?”
She frowned significantly and made warning gestures toward the interior of the room.