As for Laurence, he and Hunter met continually, both being in constant social demand. If Laurence did not naturally gravitate toward that bright particular set of rather rapid young people which presently formed itself about the brilliant figure of Hunter, the two did not dislike each other, though Hunter, from an older man’s sureness of himself, was the more cordial of the two. I fancy each watched the other more guardedly than either would like to admit. They represented opposite interests; one might at any moment become inimical to the other. Of this, however, no faintest trace was allowed to appear upon the calm unruffled surface of things.
If Inglesby had chosen this man by design, it had been a wise choice. For he was undoubtedly very popular, and quite deservedly so. He had unassailable connections, as we all knew. He brought a broader culture, which was not without its effect. And in spite of the fact that he represented Inglesby, there was not a door in Appleboro that was not open to him. Inglesby himself seemed a less sinister figure in the light of this younger and dazzling personality. Thus the secretary gradually removed the thorns and briars of doubts and prejudices, sowing in their stead the seeds of Inglesby’s ambition and rehabilitation, in the open light of day. He knew his work was well done; he was sure of ultimate success; he had always been successful, and there had been, heretofore, no one strong enough to actively oppose him. He could therefore afford to make haste slowly. Even had he been aware of the Butterfly Man’s acrid estimate of him, it must have amused him. When all was said and done, what did a Butterfly Man—even such a one as ours—amount to, in the world of Big Business He hadn’t stocks nor bonds nor power nor pull. He hadn’t anything but a personality that arrested you, a setter dog, a slowly-growing name, a room full of insects in an old priest’s garden. Of course Hunter would have smiled! And there wasn’t a soul to tell him anything of Slippy McGee!
A LITTLE GIRL GROWN UP