He shot a curious look at them, as they were passing; then, to Katharine’s amazement, doffed his hat with a courteous “How do you do, Miss Minturn? Ah! Stanley! a fine day.”
Without slackening his pace, the physician turned a pair of blazing eyes upon the man, as he, in duty bound, lifted his own hat; and they had passed him before Katherine could do more than bestow an astonished look upon him.
Her companion turned and searched the puzzled face beside him.
“Miss Minturn, do you know that young man?” he gravely inquired.
She flashed a pair of startled eyes up at him, for his tone had a peculiar note in it.
“I don’t know. There was something familiar about him, and he seemed to recognize me,” she began, doubtfully. “Why!” she went on, her face clearing, “I remember now. I was introduced to him last spring; his name is Willard, I believe. Oh! what does he want down here?” she concluded, with a sudden heartthrob of fear.
“I do not know who may have introduced you,” her companion remarked, “but I feel it my duty to tell you that he is a man whose acquaintance is very undesirable. It is true he belongs to a fine family, but he is their thorn in the flesh. He is a drunkard and a gambler, and his associates are among the most reprobate. Two or three times I have been called to bring him out of a state bordering upon delirium tremens. A physician is not supposed to give away the weaknesses of his patients,” he interposed, in a deprecatory tone, “but under existing circumstances I feel justified in saying what I have said.”
“I had a suspicion that he might not be desirable,” Katherine returned, and feeling deeply disturbed, for she was sure the man had followed Sadie for no good purpose. “I never met him but once, and then under rather peculiar circumstances. I thank you for telling me about him, for, although I may never see him again, it may prove a warning to some one whom I know who has seen more of him.”
They had almost reached the station by this time, and a warning whistle told them that the inward-bound train was near at hand.
There was just time for Dr. Stanley to get his ticket, take a hurried leave of his fair companion, and then board his car, waving a last adieu.
The girl stood watching the train as it rolled from the station, a soft radiance in her large brown eyes, a happy smile parting her red lips; while the physician bore away with him the mental picture of a dainty little lady in pale yellow, her beautiful face looking out at him from beneath a most becoming shade hat, one slender hand holding aloft a white ruffled parasol surmounted by a gleaming satin bow.
Mrs. Seabrook takes A stand.
On her way back, after Dr. Stanley’s departure, Katherine stopped at the house of a friend to make a call.