“You mean rival in your club election,” returned Miss Ames, “but he is also your rival in another way.”
“Don’t speak so cryptically, Aunt, dear. We all know of his infatuation for Eunice, but he’s only one of many. Think you he is more dangerous than, say, friend Elliott?”
“Mason Elliott? Oh, of course, he has been an admirer of Eunice since they made mud-pies together.”
“That’s two, then,” Embury laughed lightly. “And Jim Craft is three and Halliwell James is four and Guy Little—”
“Oh, don’t include him, I beg of you!” cried Eunice; “he flats when he sings!”
“Well, I could round up a round dozen, who would willingly cast sheeps’ eyes at my wife, but—well, they don’t!”
“They’d better not,” laughed Eunice, and Embury added, “Not if I see them first!”
“Isn’t it funny,” said Aunt Abby, reminiscently, “that Eunice did choose you out of that Cambridge bunch.”
“I chose her,” corrected Embury, “and don’t take that wrong! I mean that I swooped down and carried her off under their very noses! Didn’t I, Firebrand?”
“The only way you could get me,” agreed Eunice, saucily.
“Oh, I don’t know!” and Embury smiled. “You weren’t so desperately opposed.”
“No; but she was undecided,” said Aunt Abby; “why, for weeks before your engagement was announced, Eunice couldn’t make up her mind for certain. There was Mason Elliott and Al Hendricks, both as determined as you were.”
“I know it, Aunt. Good Lord, I guess I knew those boys all my life, and I knew all their love affairs as well as they knew all mine.”
“You had others, then?” and Eunice opened her brown eyes in mock amazement.
“Rather! How could I know you were the dearest girl in the world if I had no one to compare you with?”
“Well, then I had a right to have other beaux.”
“Of course you did! I never objected. But now, you’re my wife, and though all the men in Christendom may admire you, you are not to give one of them a glance that belongs to me.”
“No, sir; I won’t,” and Eunice’s long lashes dropped on her cheeks as she assumed an absurdly overdone meekness.
“I was surprised, though,” pursued Aunt Abby, still reminiscent, “when Eunice married you, Sanford. Mr. Mason is so much more intellectual and Mr. Hendricks so much better looking.”
“Thank you, lady!” and Embury bowed gravely. “But you see, I have that—er—indescribable charm—that nobody can resist.”
“You have, you rascal!” and Miss Ames beamed on him. “And I think this a favorable moment to ask a favor of your Royal Highness.”
“Out with it. I’ll grant it, to the half of my kingdom, but don’t dip into the other half.”
“Well, it’s a simple little favor, after all. I want to go out to Newark to-morrow in the big car—”
“Newark, New Jersey?”