THE FINANCIER 
She was intrinsically as worth while as any one. Cowper- 
wood, so able, and rapidly becoming so distinguished, 
seemed to realize it. He was nice to her, and liked to 
talk to her. Whenever he was at her house now, or she 
was at his and he was present, he managed somehow to 
say a word. He would come over quite near and look at 
her in a warm, friendly way. 
" Well, Aileen,"—she could see his genial, significant 
eyes—" how is it with you ? How are your father and 
mother? Been out driving? That's fine. I saw you 
to-day. You looked beautiful." 
" Oh, Mr. Cowperwood!" 
" You did. You looked stunning. A black riding- 
habit becomes you. I can tell your gold hair a long way 
off." 
"Oh, now, you mustn't say that to me. You'll make 
me vain! My mother and father tell me I'm too vain 
as it is." 
"Never mind your mother and father. I say you 
looked stunning, and you did. You always do." 
"Oh!" 
She almost gave a little gasp of delight. The color 
mounted to her cheeks and up to her temples. Mr. 
Cowperwood was the kind of man to know. He was 
so intensely forceful. His own quiet intensity matched 
her restless force. He was the one man whose force did 
seem to be equal to hers. He knew what good looks were. 
He knew what style was. No one else had ever told 
her this in the same forceful, dramatic way. It made 
her like him better; and yet, perhaps—she wasn't sure— 
perhaps he ought not to talk to her in that way. But 
oh! he was so strong and so successful to be so young. 
Her own forceful father had said—she had heard him say 
it more than once—that he was one of the most able 
young men he had ever met. A coming man! 
On the night of the reception, then, among many others, 
and principally because she could not be reasonably elimi- 
211