“Just as you say, Maria,” answered Jedidiah, submissively; “only don’t call me Mr. Burbank.”
“Why? Ain’t that your name?” asked the young lady demurely.
“Not to you, Maria.”
“Well, I won’t, if you’ll take me up and introduce me to Mr. Gray.”
“What for?” asked Jedidiah jealously.
“Because I want to know him.”
Mr. Burbank was obliged to obey the request of his partner.
“Oh, Mr. Gray, you play just lovely!” said Miss Snodgrass rapturously.
“Thank you for the compliment,” said Philip, with a low bow.
“I like your playing ever so much better than Paul Beck’s.”
“You are too kind,” said Philip, with another bow.
“Isn’t he just lovely, Jedidiah!” said Maria, as she walked away with her lover.
“Maybe he is—I ain’t a judge!” said Mr. Burbank, not very enthusiastically.
So the evening passed. Philip continued to win the favorable opinion of the merry party by his animated style of playing.
When at half-past eleven the last dance was announced, he was glad, for after his long walk, and the efforts of the evening, he felt tired.
At the conclusion, Mr. Ingalls handed him three dollars, saying:
“Here’s your money, Mr. Gray, and we are much obliged to you besides.”
“Thank you!” said our hero, carelessly slipping the money into his vest pocket.
The manager little imagined that it constituted his entire capital.
“I hope we may have you here again some time, Mr. Gray,” continued the manager.
“Perhaps so,” said Philip; “but I am not sure when I shall come this way again.”
“Good night, Mr. Gray,” said Miss Snodgrass effusively. “I should be glad to have you call at our house.”
Philip bowed his thanks. He did not notice the dark cloud on the brow of the young lady’s escort.
Fortune smiles again.
Notwithstanding his exertions during the day and evening, Philip rose the next day at his usual hour, and was in time for the family breakfast, at seven o’clock.
“Don’t you feel tired, Mr. Gray?” asked Mrs. Webb.
“No, thank you. I slept well, and feel quite refreshed.”
“He’s used to it, Lucy,” remarked her husband.
“They look upon me as a professional player,” thought Philip.
“I think you and I ought to be more tired, for we were dancing all the evening,” continued the farmer.
When they rose from the table, Philip looked for his hat.
“You’re not going to leave us so soon, Mr. Gray?” said Mrs. Webb hospitably. “We shall be glad to have you stay with us a day or two, if you can content yourself.”
“That’s right, Lucy. I’m glad you thought to ask him,” said her husband.
Philip was tempted to accept this kind invitation. He would have free board, and be at no expense, instead of spending the small sum he had earned the evening previous; but he reflected that he would be no nearer solving the problem of how he was to maintain himself, and while this was in uncertainty, he was naturally anxious.