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Timothy Shay Arthur
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about The Hand but Not the Heart.

“There existed no cause for it, Paul.  Mr. Dexter had an equal right with yourself to visit Miss Loring.”

“True.”

“And an equal right to choose his own time.”

“I will not deny it.”

“Therefore, there was no reason in the abstract, why his complimentary call upon the lady should create in your mind unpleasant feelings towards the man.  You had no more right to complain of his presence there, than he had to complain of yours.”

“I confess it.”

“There is one thing,” pursued Mrs. Denison, “in which you disappoint me, Paul.  You seem to lack a manly confidence in yourself.  You are as good as Leon Dexter—­aye, a better, truer man in every sense of the word—­a man to please a woman at all worth pleasing, far better than he.  And yet you permit him to elbow you aside, as it were, and to thrust you into a false position, if not into obscurity.  If Miss Loring is the woman God has created for you, in the name of all that is holy, do not let another man usurp your rights.  Do not let one like Dexter bear her off to gild a heartless home.  Remember that Jessie is young, inexperienced, and unskilled in the ways of the world.  She is not schooled in the lore of love; cannot understand all its signs; and, above all, can no more look into your heart, than you can look into hers.  How is she to know that you love her, if you stand coldly—­I might say cynically—­observant at a far distance.  Paul!  Paul!  Women are not won in this way, as many a man has found to his sorrow, and as you will find in the present case, unless you act with more self-confidence and decision.  Go to Miss Loring then, and show her, by signs not to be mistaken, that she has found favor in your eyes.  Give her a chance to show you what her real feelings are; and my word for it, you will not find her as indifferent as you fear.  If you gain any encouragement, make farther advances; and let her comprehend fully that you are an admirer.  She will not play you false.  Don’t fear for a moment.  She is above guile.”

Mrs. Denison ceased.  Her words had inspired Hendrickson with new feelings.

“As I parted from her to-day,” he remarked, “she said, ’I shall be pleased to see you again.’  I I felt that there was meaning in the words beyond a graceful speech.  ’Not if I show myself as stupid as I have been this morning,’ was my answer.  Very quickly, and with some earnestness, she returned:  ’I have never thought you stupid, Mr. Hendrickson.’”

“Well?  And what then?  Did you compliment her in return; or say something to fill her ears with music and make her heart tremble?  You could have asked no better opportunity for giving the parting word that lingers longest and is oftenest conned over.  What did you say to that, Paul?”

“I blundered out some meaningless things, and left her abruptly,” said Hendrickson, with an impatient sweep of his hand.  “I felt that her eyes were upon me, but had not the courage to lift my own and read their revelation.”

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