like that, and, above all, would not have eyes of so rare a color. He had never been at Mrs Almond's before; he felt very much like a stranger; and it was very kind of Catherine to take pity on him. He was Arthur Townsend's cousin - not very near, several times removed - and Arthur had brought him to present him to the family. In fact, he was a great stranger in New York. It was his , native place; but he had not been there for many years. He had been knocking about the world, and living in queer corners; he had only come back a month or two before. New York was very pleasant, only he felt lonely.

'You see, people forget you,' he said, smiling at Catherine with his delightful gaze, while he leaned forward obliquely, turning toward her, with his elbows on his knees.

It seemed to Catherine that no one who had once seen him would ever forget him; but though she made this reflection she kept it to herself, almost as you would keep something precious.

They sat there for some time. He was very amusing. He asked her about the people that were near them; he tried to guess who some of them were, and he made the most laughable mistakes. He criticized them very freely, in a positive, off-hand way. Catherine had never heard anyone - especially any young man - talk just like that. It was the way a young man might talk in a novel; or , better still, in a play, on the stage, close before the foot-lights; looking at the audience, and with everyone looking at him, so that you wondered at his presence of mind. And yet Mr Townsend was not like an actor; he seemed so sincere, so natural. This was very interesting; but in the midst of it Marian Almond came pushing through the crowd, with a little ironical cry, when she found these young people still together, which made everyone turn round, and cost Catherine a conscious blush. Marian broke up their talk, and told Mr Townsend - whom she treated as if she were already cried, and he had become her cousin - to run away to her mother, who had been wishing for the last half hour to introduce. to Mr Almond.

'We shall meet again,' he said to Catherine as he left her, and Catherine thought it a very original speech.

Her cousin took her by the arm, and made her walk about. 'I needn't ask you what you think of Morris,' the young girl exclaimed.

Is that his name?' I don't ask you what you think of his name, but what you think himself,' said Marian. 'Oh, nothing particular,' Catherine answered, dissembling for first time in her life.

'I have half a mind to tell him that!' cried Marian. 'It will do him good; he's so terribly conceited.'

'Conceited?' said Catherine, staring.

'So Arthur says, and Arthur knows about him'.

'Oh, don't tell him!' Catherine murmured, imploringly.

'Don't tell him he's conceited! I have told him so a dozen times.'

At this profession of audacity Catherine looked down at her little companion in amazement. She supposed it was because Marian was going to be married that she took so much on herself; she wondered too, whether, when she herself should become engaged, such exploits would be expected of her.

Half an hour later she saw her aunt Penniman sitting in the embrasure of a window, with her head a little on one side, and her d eye-glass raised to her eyes, which were wandering about the room. In front of her was a gentleman, bending forward a little, h his back turned to Catherine. She knew his back immediately, though she had never seen it; for when he left her, at Marian's instigation, he had retreated in the best order, without turning around. Morris Townsend - the name had already become very familiar to her, as if some one had been repeating it in her ear for last half hour - Morris Townsend was giving his impressions the company to her aunt, as he had done to herself; he was saying clever things, and Mrs Penniman was smiling, as if she approved of them. As soon as Catherine had perceived

  By PanEris using Melati.

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