“It is a great inconvenience not having a bank in Banbridge,” she remarked, accusingly, as she went out of the door with a slight nod of her pretty head. Then suddenly she turned and looked back. “I am very much obliged,” she said, in an entirely different voice. Her natural gentleness and courtesy had all at once reasserted themselves. “I trust I have not inconvenienced you,” she added, very sweetly. “I would have waited until papa came home to-night and got him to cash the check. He was a little short this morning, and had to use some money before he could go to the bank, but my sister and I are very anxious to take the eleven-thirty train to New York, and we had only a dollar and six cents between us.” She laughed as she said the last, and Anderson echoed her.
“That is not a very large amount, certainly, to equip two ladies to visit the shopping district,” he said.
“I am very glad to accommodate you, and it is not the slightest inconvenience, I assure you.”
“Well, I am very much obliged, very much,” she repeated, with a pretty smile and nod, and she was gone with a little fluttering hop like a bird down the steps.
“He’s got stuck,” the boy motioned with his lips to the old clerk as Anderson re-entered the office, and the man nodded in assent. Neither of them ventured to express the opinion to Anderson. Both stood in a certain awe of him. The former lawyer still held familiarity somewhat at bay.
However, there followed a whispered consultation between the two clerks, and both chuckled, and finally Sam Riggs advanced with bravado to the office door.
“Mr. Anderson,” he said, with mischief in his tone, and Anderson turned and looked at him inquiringly. “Oh, it is nothing, not worth speaking of, I suppose,” said Sammy Riggs, “but that kid, the Carroll boy, swiped an apple off that basket beside the door when he went out with his sister. I saw him.”
Anderson was in the state of mind of a man who dreams and is quite aware all the time that he is dreaming. He deliberately indulged himself in this habit of mind. “When I am ready, I shall put all this away,” he continually assured his inner consciousness. Then into the delicious charm of his air-castle he leaped again, mind and body. In those days he grew perceptibly younger. The fire of youth lit his eyes. He fed on the stimulants of sweet dreams, and for the time they nourished as well as exhilarated. Everybody whom he met told him how well he looked and that he was growing younger every day. He was shrewd enough to understand fully the fact that they considered him far from youth, or they would not have thus expressed themselves, but the triumph which he felt when he saw himself in his looking-glass, and in his own realization of himself, caused him to laugh at the innuendo. He felt that he was young, as young as man could wish