well with the rest of the house. One might have said she 
was giving early evidences of a sybaritic temperament; 
but time and opportunity might have corrected many 
This approaching occasion of the Cowperwood ball had 
foreshadowed something better than she had known 
socially, and it gave her a sense of possible rivalry with 
girls of equal or better station whom she had never seen. 
She was conscious there would be a number of strange young 
men there, dandies of the class she had, in a way, been 
dreaming of, young men of sufficient refinement and force 
and station to suit her ideas of a matrimonial possibility; 
but since she had been meditating these things Cowper- 
wood had appeared as something more definite in her 
mind than he had been before, and to save herself she 
could not get him out of her consciousness. The things 
that he said and did interested her; the fact that his 
wife was older and not so fascinatingly good-looking was 
a point well taken. His commercial connections with her 
father; his handsome bank building, which she had noticed 
in Third Street; his new house, executed with so much 
taste by Mr. Ellsworth, stayed with her as impressive 
facts. She could recall, and did often without knowing 
why, his peculiarities of manner—a certain rigidity of eye, 
a certain elasticity of step, a lightness of curl to his hair; 
and he was growing a mustache. It became him, a fine, 
dark, bristly mustache. He was always so definite. He 
said exactly what he meant, and his soft, low, even voice 
had a sting in it. She could tell where he was in the 
room without looking for him or hearing him. 
To-night, when she was dressing in her boudoir, a vision 
of him had come to her. She had dressed in a way for 
him. She was never forgetful of the times he had looked 
at her in an interested way, the times he had said di- 
rectly and forcefully that she looked "stunning" or 
"beautiful." He had commented on her hands once, 
To-day, when she had worn her rather subdued street