“Why, I do believe,” she cried merrily, “I do believe you’re jealous of the man at the door.”
“Weren’t you speaking of a man in the drawing-room?” he asked, all her phrases recurring to his mind together.
“No,” she said laughing; “I was speaking of my footman. Oh, you are so funny.”
The way the sun shone suddenly again! His horizon glowed so madly that he quite lost his head and leaning quickly downward seized her hand in its little tan driving glove of stitched dogskin, and kissed it—reins and all.
“I’m not funny,” he said, “it was the most natural thing in the world.”
She was laughing, but she curbed it.
“You’d better not be foolish,” she said warningly. “It don’t mix well with college.”
“I’m thinking of cutting college,” he declared boldly.
“Don’t let us decide on anything definite until we’ve known one another twenty-four hours,” she said, looking at him with a gravity that was almost maternal; and then she turned the horse’s head toward home.
That evening Burnett felt it necessary to give his friend a word of warning.
“Holloway’s going to take Betty in to-night,” he said, as they descended the tower stairs together.
“Who’s Holloway?” Jack asked.
“You can’t expect to have her all the time, you know,” Burnett continued: “She’s really one of the biggest guns here, even if she is one of the family.”
“Last night the mater had her all mapped out for General Jiggs, and I had an awful time getting her off his hook and on to yours, and then you drove her all this morning and walked her all the afternoon, and the old lady says she’s got to play in Holloway’s yard to-night—jus’ lil’ bit, you know.”
“Who’s Holloway?” Jack demanded.
“You know Horace Holloway; we were up at his place once for the night. Don’t you remember?”
“I remember his place well enough; but he hadn’t got in when we came, and hadn’t got up when we left, so his features aren’t as distinctly imprinted on my memory as they might be.”
“That’s so,” said Burnett, pushing aside the curtains that concealed the foot of the wee stair; “I’d forgotten. Well, you’ll meet him to-night, anyhow; he came on the five-five. Holly’s a nice fellow, only he’s so darned over-full of good advice that he keeps you feeling withersome.”
“Did he ever give you any advice?” he asked.
“I don’t recollect your taking it.”
“I never take anything,” said Burnett; “I consider it more blessed to give than to receive—as regards good advice anyhow.”
“Who will I have for dinner?” Jack asked presently, glancing around to see if there were any silver tissues or distracting curls in sight.
“Well,” his friend replied, rather hesitatingly, “you must expect to balance up for last night, I reckon.”