THE FINANCIER 
He turned with a mock air of inquiry. The music 
was sounding. The dancers were rising. He arose. 
He had not intended to give this particular remark a 
serious turn; but, now that she was so near him, he 
looked into her eyes steadily but with a soft appeal 
and said, " Yes, why ?" 
They had come out from behind the palms. He had 
put his hand to her waist. His right arm held her left 
extended arm to arm, palm to palm. Her right hand was 
on his shoulder, and she was close to him, looking into 
his eyes. As they began the gay undulations of the waltz 
she looked away and then down without answering. She 
put a strange force into her movements, which were as 
light and airy as those of a butterfly. He felt a sudden 
lightness himself, communicated as by an invisible cur- 
rent. He wanted to match the suppleness of her body 
with his own, and did. Her arms, the flash and glint 
of the crimson sequins against the smooth, black silk of 
her closely fitting dress, her neck, her glowing, radiant 
hair, all combined to provoke a slight intellectual in- 
toxication. She was so vigorously young, so, to him, 
truly beautiful. 
" But you didn't answer," he continued. 
" Isn't that lovely music?" she said. 
He pressed her fingers. 
She lifted shy eyes to him, for, in spite of her gay, 
aggressive force, she was a little afraid of him. His per- 
sonality was obviously so superior. Now that he was 
so close to her, dancing, she conceived of him as some- 
thing quite wonderful, and yet she experienced a nervous 
reaction—a momentary desire to run away. 
" Very well, if you won't tell me," he smiled, mockingly. 
He thought she wanted him to talk to her so, to tease 
her with suggestions of this concealed feeling of his—this 
strong liking. He wondered if he could love her if he 
wanted to. There was his wife, his two children. What 
could come of any such an understanding as this, anyhow?