“You—you—” Hendricks looked at Eunice in speechless admiration. The dancing eyes were impudent, the red lips curved scornfully, and she made a daring little moue at him as she readjusted her black lace veil so that a heavy bit of its pattern covered her mouth.
“What do you do that for? Move that darned flower, so I can see you talk!”
She laughed then, and wrinkled her straight little nose until the veil billowed mischievously.
“I wish you’d take that thing off,” Hendricks said, irritatedly; “it annoys me.”
“And pray, sir, who are you, that I should shield you from annoyance? My veil is a necessary part of my costume.”
“Necessary nothing! Take it off, I tell you!”
“Merry Christmas!” and Eunice gave him such a scornful shrug of her furred shoulders that Hendricks laughed out, in sheer enjoyment of her audacity.
“Tell me about the Merediths, and I’ll take off the offending veil,” she urged, looking at him very coaxingly.
“All right; off with it.”
Slowly, and with careful deliberation, Eunice unpinned her veil, took it off and folded it in a small, compact parcel. This she put in her handbag, and then, with an adorable smile, said: “Now!”
“You beautiful idiot,” and Hendricks devoured her with his eyes. “All I can tell you about the Merediths is, that I don’t know anything about their stand on the election.”
“What do you guess, assume, surmise, imagine or predict?” she teased, still fascinating him with her magnetic charm.
“Well, I think this: they’re a little too old-timey to take up all my projects. But, on the other hand, they’re far from willing to subscribe to your husband’s views. They do not approve of the Sunday-school atmosphere he wants to bring about, nor do they shut their eyes to the fact that the younger element must be considered.”
“Younger element! Do you call Sanford old?”
“No; he’s only twenty-eight this minute. But there are a lot of new members even younger than that strange as it may seem! These boys want gayety—yea, even unto the scorned movies and the hilarious prize-fights—and as they are scions of the wealthy and aristocratic families of our little old town, I think we should consider them. And, since you insist on knowing, it is my firm belief, conviction and—I’m willing to add—my hope that the great and influential Meredith brothers agree with me! So there now, Madam Sanford Embury!”
“Thank you, Alvord; you’re clear, at least. Do you think I could persuade them to come over to Sanford’s side?”
“I think you could persuade the statue of Jupiter Ammon to climb down from his pedestal and take you to Coney Island, if you looked at him like that! But I also think that friend husband will not consent to your electioneering for him. It isn’t done, my dear Eunice.”
“As if I cared what is ‘done’ and what isn’t, if I want to help Sanford.”