Arthur Townsend stared.

'Why, he told me he talked with you for over half an hour the other night.'

'I mean before the other night. That was the first time.'

'Oh, he has been away from New York - he has been all round the world. He doesn't know many people here, but he's very sociable, and he wants to know everyone.'

'Everyone?' said Catherine.

'Well, I mean all the good ones. All the pretty young ladies - like Mrs Penniman!' And Arthur Townsend gave a private laugh.

'My aunt likes him very much,' said Catherine. 'Most people like him - he's so brilliant.'

'He's more like a foreigner,' Catherine suggested.

'Well, I never knew a foreigner,' said young Townsend, in a tone which seemed to indicate that his ignorance had been optional.

'Neither have I,' Catherine confessed, with more humility. 'They say they are generally brilliant,' she added, vaguely.

'Well, the people of this city are clever enough for me. I know some of them that think they are too clever for me; but they ain't.'

'I suppose you can't be too clever,' said Catherine, still with humility.

'I don't know. I know some people that call my cousin too clever.'

Catherine listened to this statement with extreme interest, and a feeling that if Morris Townsend had a fault it would naturally be that one. But she did not commit herself, and in a moment she asked, 'Now that he has come back, will he stay here always?'

'Ah!' said Arthur, 'if he can get something to do.' 'Something to do?'

'Some place or other; some business.'

'Hasn't he got any?' said Catherine, who had never heard of a young man - of the upper class - in this situation.

'No; he's looking around. But he can't find anything.'

'I am very sorry,' Catherine permitted herself to observe.

'Oh, he doesn't mind,' said young Townsend. 'He takes it easy - he isn't in a hurry. He is very particular.'

Catherine thought he naturally would be, and gave herself up for some moments to the contemplation of this idea, in several of its bearings.

'Won't his father take him into his business - his office?' she at last inquired.

'He hasn't got any father - he has only got a sister. Your sister can't help you much.'

It seemed to Catherine that if she were his sister she would disprove this axiom. 'Is she - is she pleasant?' she asked in a moment.

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