The woman smiled, but the smile was only on the lips. All those happy frolics were to be no more. Heigh-ho! Over the mantel there were several photographs of herself. Like all celebrities of her kind, the camera was a constant source of amusement. It was not necessarily vanity. The rose is not vain, yet it repeats its singular beauty as often as the seasons permit it. Across these pictures she had scrawled numerous signatures, “Kate” and “Kit” and “Kitty” and “Katherine Challoner,” with here and there a phrase in French and Italian.
“You wouldn’t return those under any circumstances?”
“No, indeed! That’s all I’ll have. And besides, you wouldn’t ask me to give them up?”
Her answer remained unspoken. The valet appeared deferentially.
“Well?” said Warrington.
“A gentleman to see you, sir. He said he wouldn’t need any card. Mr. John Bennington, sir.
“John Bennington!” Warrington sprang from his chair, his face joyous. “Old John here to-night! Finest chap on earth, Kate; my roommate at college, and the only chap in my town who was my friend when I was a nobody. Old John ...”
“Richard, you must hide me quickly. I mustn’t be seen here. There is no way of passing him the hall.”
“Good Lord!” He did not notice her pallor. “The butler’s pantry,” he said hastily.
She slipped out of sight noiselessly. Presently she heard sounds, men’s voices, a hearty greeting and for a moment the world seemed gliding from under her feet. Her gloves! She had forgotten her gloves!
Men have a way of greeting which is all their own. It is unlike the kiss and flutter of women, which may signify frankness or deceit, generosity or selfishness, some favor to gain, some treachery to forestall. Men’s likes and dislikes are generally visible. The dog wags his tail, or he warns you away with a growl; there is no mistaking his attitude. On the other hand, the cat purrs and rubs against your leg, and when you reach down to smooth her, as likely as not she gives you a dig for your pains. True, there are always exceptions to this rule.
With their hands on each other’s shoulders, at arm’s length they stood, a likely pair to look at, smiling frankly and joyfully into each other’s eyes. When it is without self-interest, friendship between man and man is a fine and noble thing. It is known best in the stress of storms, in the hour of sorrow and adversity. Friendship, to be perfect, must be without any sense of obligation; for obligation implies that one or the other is in debt, and the debtor is always wondering when he will have to pay. Between these two men only the slightest favors had been exchanged. They had grown up together, one the son of a rich steel-mill owner, the other the son of a poor farmer. The one had entered college to the sounding of golden cymbals, the other had marched