The simple manner and pleasant demeanor of the young man greatly attracted Eunice, who smiled at him kindly.
“I came here very sceptical,” she admitted; “and even now I can’t feel entirely convinced—”
“Well, I can!” declared Aunt Abby. “I am willing to own it, too. These people who really believe in your sincerity, Mr. Hanlon, and refuse to confess it, make me mad! I wish you’d give an exhibition in New York.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you, madam, but this is my last performance.”
“Good gracious why?” Aunt Abby looked curiously at him.
“I have good reasons,” Hanlon smiled. “You may learn them later, if you care to.”
“I do. How can I learn them?”
“Read the Newark Free Press next Monday.”
“Oh!” and Eunice had an inspiration—a premonition of the truth. “May I speak to you alone a minute, Mr. Hanlon?”
She got out of the car and walked a few steps with the young man, who politely accompanied her.
They paused a short distance away, and held a brief but animated conversation. Eunice laughed gleefully, and it was plain to be seen her charming smiles played havoc with Hanlon’s reserved demeanor. Soon he was willingly agreeing to something she was proposing and finally they shook hands on it.
They returned to the car; he assisted Eunice in, and then he told Mr. Mortimer they had stayed as long as was permissible and were being eagerly called back to the committee in charge of the day’s programme.
“That’s so,” said Mortimer. “I begged off for a few minutes. Good-by, all.” He raised his hat and hurried away after Hanlon.
“Well,” said Hendricks as they started homeward, “what did you persuade him to do, Eunice? Give a parlor exhibition for you?”
“The boy guessed nearly right the very first time!” cried Eunice, gleefully; “it was all a fake, and he’s coming to our house Sunday afternoon to tell how he did it. It’s all coming out in the paper on Monday.”
“My good land!” and Aunt Abby sank back in her seat, utterly disgusted.
“And that’s my last word on the subject.”
Embury lighted one cigarette from the stub of another, and deposited the stub in the ash-tray at his elbow. It was Sunday afternoon, and the peculiar relaxedness of that day of rest and gladness had somewhat worn on the nerves of both Sanford and Eunice.
Aunt Abby was napping, and it was too early yet to look for their expected visitor, Hanlon.
Eunice had been once again endeavoring to persuade her husband to give her an allowance—a stated sum, however small, that she might depend upon regularly. The Emburys fulfilled every requirement of the condition known as “happily married” save for this one item. They were congenial, affectionate, good-natured, and quite ready to make allowances for each other’s idiosyncrasies or whims.