THE FINANCIER 
"Oh, father," returned Aileen, with considerable his- 
trionic ability in her assumption of pettishness, " how 
can you talk like this when you know I'm not guilty ? 
When I tell you so ?" 
The old Irishman saw through her make-believe with 
profound sadness—the feeling that one of his dearest 
hopes had been shattered. He had believed so stead- 
fastly in her social virtue as he understood that quality. 
To see her coloring and pretending here was too terrible. 
He had expected so much of her socially and matri- 
monially. Why, any one of a dozen remarkable young 
men might have married her, and she would have had 
lovely children to comfort him in his old age. Was that 
gone, as many another important thing had gone in this 
world (as they go for all of us), leaving his hope un- 
satisfied? 
"Well, we'll not talk any more about it now, daughter," 
he said, wearily. " Ye've been so much to me during 
all these years that I can scarcely belave anythin' wrong 
of ye. I don't want to, God knows. Ye're a grown 
woman, though, now; and if ye are doin' anythin' 
wrong I don't suppose I could do so much to stop ye. 
I might turn ye out, of course, as many a father would; 
but I wouldn't like to do anythin' like that. But if ye 
are doin' anythin' wrong "—and he put up his hand to 
stop a proposed protest on the part of Aileen—" remem- 
ber, I'm certain to find it out in the long run, and 
Philadelphy won't be big enough to hold me and the man 
that's done this thing to me. I'll get him," he said, 
getting up dramatically. " I'll get him, and when I do—" 
He turned a livid face to the wall, and Aileen saw clearly 
that Cowperwood, in addition to any other troubles which 
might beset him, had her father to deal with. Was this 
why Frank had looked so sternly at her the night before? 
Was this why his face was so set? He had not told her. 
"Why, your mother would die of a broken heart if 
she thought there was anybody could say the least word 
375