Stuyvesant-Knox happen to ask for a visit from me?" I ventured to wriggle out, like a worm who isn't sure whether it had better turn or not. I was certain that for some reason of her own, Mother had suggested the idea, if only hypnotically; but she seemed almost too frank as she answered, and it was frightening not even to be snubbed. "I told you to-day that she had taken a fancy to you, my dear.
Stuyvesant-Knox made her distinctions in snubbing some people and preening herself to others. "What are the Four Hundred? Are they a kind of Light Brigade, like the Six Hundred?" I asked. "Or is it a sort of governing body like like the Council of Three?"
While I read an account of the wedding, and gushing paragraphs about me, I wondered if there mightn't be things not so flattering in the same papers to-morrow. "If it got out that I had run away, would there be a scandal?" I asked Mr. Brett in the cab. But he said that I needn't be afraid; Mrs. Stuyvesant-Knox was much too clever a woman to let anything she wouldn't like get into the papers.
Ess Kay, she smiled; but her smile meant worse things than Stan's frown. "Hullo, dear boy," I chirped, nervously. "How do you do, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Knox?" Sally murmured something, too, and Stan had the grace to claw off his hat, showing how damp his poor hair was on his crimson forehead, but he didn't even pretend to smile. "A nice dance you've led us," said he.
"Perhaps Mrs. Stuyvesant-Knox and Miss Woodburn won't come," I said, for the sake of getting on safer ground. "Not come? Of course they will come.
Stuyvesant-Knox makes me do that, I shall have to go with him and stop with him, too," said I. And I almost hated Mr. Parker for a minute in spite of the walking-stick roses and the snowstorm of gardenias upstairs. "Of course, you shall keep the dog, if you want to," said Mrs.
Please have some lunch, I can afford it, and if you refuse I'll know it's because " I guessed what he might be going to say, so I stopped him. "Nonsense!" I exclaimed. "But I've run away from Mrs. Stuyvesant-Knox, and I don't want to be found. If she or her brother should have come to New York, or if anybody else " "I've thought of that," said he, quickly, "but we've no time to waste.
'He has never been to America, but it is one of the desires of his life to come, and your American beauties had better look out, for he is a gay young bachelor, and I shouldn't be surprised if he took a fancy to carry home a Duchess. Mrs. Stuyvesant-Knox will entertain him also, and maybe he will paint some of America red." "That's all about you, I see," Sally finished up.
"I suppose I shall have to go back to New York," I said gloomily, "and cable to my brother. I could stop at some pension and wait till I heard a quiet pension, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Knox wouldn't be likely to know about." "You alone in a New York boarding house!" exclaimed Mr. Brett. "Never." "Then could you find me a Chicago one?" "There'd be nothing to choose between.
"I think oh, I do think it's very silly of you to have any at all. I always supposed, till I knew you and Mrs. Stuyvesant-Knox, that one person was considered just as good as another in America. And it ought to be like that, in a new country, where you haven't an aristocracy." "We have two aristocracies," said she. "We go one better than you, for you have only one.