THE FINANCIER 
Aileen heard this with a strange feeling of curiosity 
and wonder. It was not customary for Butler to want 
to see his daughter in his office just when she was going 
out; and his manner indicated, in this instance, that the 
exceptional procedure portended a strange revelation of 
some kind. Aileen, like every other person who offends 
against a rigid convention of the time, was conscious of 
and sensitive to the possible disastrous results which 
would follow exposure. She had often thought what her 
family would think if they knew what she was doing; 
she had never been able to satisfy herself in her mind 
as to what they would do. Her father was a very vigorous 
man She had never known him to be cruel or cold in 
his attitude toward her or any other member of the 
family, but especially not toward her. Always he seemed 
too fond of her to be completely alienated by anything 
that might happen; yet she could not be sure. This thing 
that she was doing was completely beyond any experi- 
ence which had ever confronted him in his life, and she 
really could not imagine what he would think or do, 
once he knew. As in Cowperwood's case, his attitude 
to-day caused her to feel that, by some untoward fling of 
chance, he might have become aware of what she was 
doing. " The wicked flee when no man pursueth." 
Butler led the way, planting his big feet solemnly on 
the steps as he went up. Aileen followed with a single 
glance at herself in the tall pier-mirror which stood in 
the hall, realizing at once how charming she looked and 
how uncertain she was feeling about what was to follow. 
What could her father want? It made the color leave 
her cheeks for the moment, as she thought what he might 
want. 
Butler strolled into his stuffy room and sat down in 
the big leather chair, disproportioned to everything else 
in the chamber, but which, nevertheless, accompanied 
his desk. Before him, against the light, was the visitor's 
chair, in which he liked to have those sit whose faces he 
371