Could ’Lina have seen Hugh that morning as he emerged from a fashionable tailor’s shop, she would scarcely have recognized him. The hour passed rapidly away, and its close found Hugh waiting at the terminus of the Lexington and Cincinnati Railroad. He did not have to wait there long ere a wreath of smoke in the distance heralded the approach of the train, and in a moment the broad platform was swarming with passengers, conspicuous among whom were an old lady and a young, both entire strangers, as was evinced by their anxiety to know where to go.
“There are ours,” the young lady said, pointing to a huge pile of trunks, distinctly marked “A.J.,” as she held out her checks in her ungloved hand.
Hugh noticed the hand, saw that it was very small and white and fat, but the face he could not see, and he looked in vain for the magnificent hair about which even his mother had waxed eloquent, and which was now put plainly back, so that not a vestige of it was visible. Still Hugh felt sure that this was Alice Johnson, so sure that when he had ascertained the hotel where she would wait for the Frankfort train, he followed on, and entering the back parlor, the door of which was partly closed, sat down as if he, too, were a traveler, waiting for the train.
Meantime, in the room adjoining, Alice, for it was she, divested herself of her dusty wrappings, and taking out her combs and brushes, began to arrange her hair, talking the while to Densie, reclining on the sofa.
It would seem that Alice’s own luxuriant tresses suggested her first remark, for she said to Densie: “That Miss Worthington has beautiful hair, so black, so glossy, and so wavy, too. I wonder she never curls it. It looks as if she might.”
Densie did not know. It had struck her as singular taste, unless it were done to conceal a scar, or something of that kind.
“I did not like that girl,” she said, “and still she interested me more than any person I ever met. I never went near her without experiencing a strange sensation, neither could I keep from watching her continually, although I knew as well as you that it annoyed her, Alice,” and Densie lowered her voice almost to a whisper, “I cannot account for it, but I had queer fancies about that girl. Try now and bring her distinctly to your mind. Did you ever see any one whom she resembled; any other eyes like hers?” and Densie’s own fierce, wild orbs flashed inquiringly upon Alice, who could not remember a face like ’Lina Worthington’s.
“I did not like her eyes much,” she said; “they were too intensely black, too much like coals of fire, when they flashed angrily on that poor Lulu, who evidently was not well posted in the duties of a waiting maid, auntie,” and Alice’s voice was lowered, too. “If mother had not so decided, I should shrink from being an inmate of Mrs. Washington’s family. I like her very much, but ’Lina—I am afraid I shall not get on with her:”