She hurriedly directed and sealed the letter and placed it in the box for outgoing mail; then, unquiet and apprehensive regarding what she had ventured to write, she began a restless tour of the house, upstairs and down, wandering aimlessly through sunny corridors, opening doors for a brief survey of chambers in which only the shadow-patterns of leaves moved on sunlit walls; still rooms tenanted only by the carefully dusted furniture which seemed to stand there watching attentively for another guest.
Duane had left his pipe in his bedroom. She was silly over it, even to the point of retiring into her room, shredding some cigarettes, filling the rather rank bowl, and trying her best to smoke it. But such devotion was beyond her physical powers; she rinsed her mouth, furious at being defeated in her pious intentions, and, making an attractive parcel of the pipe, seized the occasion to write him another letter.
“There is in my heart,” she wrote, “no room for anything except you; no desire except for you; no hope, no interest that is not yours. You praise my beauty; you endow me with what you might wish I really possessed; and oh, I really am so humble at your feet, if you only knew it! So dazed by your goodness to me, so grateful, so happy that you have chosen me (I just jumped up to look at myself in the mirror; I am pretty, Duane, I’ve a stunning colour just now and there is a certain charm about me—even I can see it in what you call the upcurled corners of my mouth, and in my figure and hands)—and I am so happy that it is true—that you find me beautiful, that you care for my beauty.... It is so with a man, I believe; and a girl wishes to have him love her beauty, too.
“But, Duane, I don’t think the average girl cares very much about that in a man. Of course you are exceedingly nice to look at, and I notice it sometimes, but not nearly as often as you notice what you think is externally attractive about me.
“In my heart, I don’t
believe it really matters much to a girl what
a man looks like; anyway, it matters very little after she once
“Of course women do notice handsome men—or what we consider handsome—which is, I believe, not at all what men care for; because men usually seem to have a desire to kick the man whom women find good-looking. I know several men who feel that way about Jack Dysart. I think you do, for one.
“Poor Jack Dysart! To-day’s papers are saying such horridly unpleasant things about the rich men with whom he was rather closely associated in business affairs several years ago. I read, but I do not entirely comprehend.
“The New York papers seem unusually gloomy this summer; nothing but predictions of hard times coming, and how many corporations the attorney-general is going to proceed against, and wicked people who loot metropolitan railways, and why the district-attorney