Jane's Gray Eyes
by Sewell Ford
When The Insurgent took its place among the “best six
sellers,” Decatur Brown formed several good resolutions. He would not
have himself photographed in a literary pose, holding a book on his
knee, or propping his forehead up with one hand and gazing dreamily
into space; he would not accept the praise of newspaper reviewers as
laurel dropped from Olympus; and he would not tell “how he wrote it.”
Firmly he held to this commendable programme, despite frequent
urgings to depart from it. Yet observe what pitfalls beset the path of
the popular fictionist. There came a breezy, shrewd-eyed young woman of
beguiling tongue who announced herself as a “lady journalist.”
“Now for goodness' sake don't shy,” she pleaded. “I'm not going to
ask about your literary methods, or do a kodak write-up of the way you
brush your hair, or any of that rot. I merely want you to say something
about Sunday Weeks. That's legitimate, isn't it? Sunday's a public
character now, you know. Every one talks about her. So why shouldn't
you, who know her best?”
It was the voice of the siren. Decatur Brown should have recognized
it as such. But the breezy young person was so plausible, she bubbled
with such enthusiasm for his heroine, that in the end he yielded. He
talked of Sunday Weeks. And such talk!
Obviously the “lady journalist” had come all primed with the rather
shop-worn theory that the Sunday Weeks who figured as the heroine of
The Insurgent must be a real personage, a young woman in whom
Decatur Brown took more than a literary interest. Possibly the cards
were ready to be sent out.
Had she put these queries point-blank, he would have denied them
definitely and emphatically, and there would have been an end. But she
was far too clever for that. She plied him with sly hints and deft
insinuation. Then, when he began to scent her purpose, she took another
tack. “Did he really admire women of the Sunday Weeks type? Did he
honestly think that the unconventional, wilful, whimsical Sunday, while
perfectly charming in the unmarried state, could be tamed to matrimony?
Was he willing to have his ideal of womanhood judged by this
disturbingly fascinating creature of the 'sober gray eyes and piquant
Naturally he felt called upon to endorse his heroine, to defend her.
Loyalty to his art demanded that much. Then, too, there recurred to him
thoughts of Jane Temple. He could truthfully say that Sunday was a
wholly imaginative character, that she had no “original.” And yet
subconsciously he knew that all the time he was creating her there had
been before him a vision of Jane. Not a very distinct vision, to be
sure. It had been some years since he had seen her. But that bit about
the sober gray eyes and the piquant chin Jane was responsible for. He
could never forget those eyes of Jane's. He was not so certain about
the chin. It might have been piquant; and then again, it might not. At
any rate, it had been adorable, for it was Jane's.
So, while some of his enthusiasm in the defence of Sunday Weeks was
due to artistic fervor, more of it was prompted by thoughts of Jane
Temple. He did not pretend, he declared, to speak for other men; but as
for himself, he liked Sunday—he liked her very much.
The shrewd eyes of the “lady journalist” glistened. She knew her cue
when she heard it. Throwing her first theory to the four winds, she
eagerly gripped this new and tangible fact.
“Then she really is your ideal?”
He had not thought much about it, but he presumed that in a sense
“But suppose now, Mr. Brown, just suppose you should some day run
across a young woman exactly like the Sunday Weeks you have described:
would you marry her?”
Decatur Brown laughed—a light, irresponsible, bachelor laugh. “I
should probably ask her if I might first.”
“But you would ask her?”
“And would you like to find such a girl?”
Decatur gazed sentimentally over the smart little polo-hat of the
“lady journalist” and out of the window at a sky—a sky as gray as
Jane's eyes had been that last night when they had parted, she to
travel abroad with her aunt, he to become a cub reporter on a city
“Yes, I would like very much to find her,” he replied.
Do you think, after this, that the interviewer waited for more? Not
she. Leaving him mixed up with his daydream, she took herself off
before he could retract, or modify, or in any way spoil the story.
Still, considering what she might have printed, she was really quite
decent about it. Leaving out the startling head-lines, hers was a nice,
readable, chatty article. It contained no bald announcement that the
author of The Insurgent was hunting, with matrimonial intent,
for a gray-eyed prototype of Sunday Weeks. Yet that was the impression
conveyed. Where was there a girl with sober gray eyes and a piquant
chin who could answer to certain other specifications, duly set forth
in one of the most popular novels of the day? Whoever she might be,
wherever she was, she might know what to expect should she be
Having survived the first shock to his reticence, Decatur Brown was
inclined to dismiss the matter with a laugh. He had been cleverly
exploited, but he could not see that any great harm had been done. He
supposed that he must become used to such things. Anyway, he was
altogether too busy to give much thought to the incident, for he was in
the middle of another novel that must be ready for the public before
The Insurgent was forgotten.
He was yet to learn the real meaning of publicity. First there
appeared an old friend, one who should have understood him too well to
put faith in such an absurdity.
“Say, Deck, you've simply got to dine with us Thursday night. My
wife insists. She wants you to meet a cousin of hers—Denver girl,
mighty bright, and”—this impressively—“she has gray eyes, you know.”
Decatur grinned appreciatively, but he begged off. He was really
very sorry to miss a gray-eyed girl, of course, but there was his work.
One by one his other friends had their little shy at him. Mayhew
sent by messenger a huge placard reading, “Wanted, A Wife.” Trevors
called him up by telephone to advise him to see Jupiter Belles
“Get a seat in A,” he chuckled, “and take a good look at the third
from the left, first row. She has gray eyes.”
By the time he received Tiddler's atrocious sketch, representing the
author of The Insurgent as a Diogenes looking for gray-eyed
girls, he had ceased to smile over the thing. The joke was becoming a
Then the letters began to come in, post-marked from all over the
country. They were all from young persons who had read The Insurgent, and evidently the interview; for, no matter what else was said, each
missive contained the information that the writer of it possessed gray
eyes. All save one. That was accompanied by a photograph on which an
arrow had been drawn pointing towards the eyes. Under the arrow was
naively inscribed, “Gray.”
Decatur was not flattered. His dignity suffered. He felt cheapened,
humiliated. The fact that the waning boom of his novel had received new
impetus did not console him. His mildly serious expression gave place
to a worried, injured look.
And then Mrs. Wheeler Upton swooped down on him with a demand for
his appearance at one of her Saturday nights. For Decatur there was no
choice. He was her debtor for so many helpful favors in the past that
he could not refuse so simple a request. Yet he groaned in spirit as he
viewed the prospect. Once it would have been different. Was it not in
her pleasant drawing-rooms that he had been boosted from obscurity to
shine among the other literary stars? Mrs. Upton knew them all. She
made it her business to do so, bless the kindly heart of her, and to
see that they knew each other. No wonder her library table groaned
under the weight of autographed volumes.
But to face that crowd at Mrs. Wheeler Upton's meant to run a
rapid-fire gauntlet of jokes about gray-eyed girls. However, go he
must, and go he did.
He was not a little relieved to find so few there, and that most of
them were young women. A girl often hesitates at voicing a witticism,
because she is afraid, after all, that it may not be really funny. A
man never doubts the excellence of his own humor. So, when a quarter of
an hour had passed without hint of that threadbare topic, he gradually
threw off his restraint and began to enjoy himself. He was talking
Meredith to a tall girl in soft-blue China silk, when suddenly he
became aware that they had been left entirely to themselves. Every one
else seemed to have drifted into an adjoining room. Through the doorway
he could see them about Mrs. Upton, who was evidently holding their
“Why, what's up, I wonder? Why do they leave us out, I'd like to
know?” and he glanced inquiringly at the girl in soft blue. She flushed
consciously and dropped her lashes. When she looked at him again, and
rather appealingly, he saw that she had gray eyes.
It was Decatur's turn to flush. Could Mrs. Upton have done this
deliberately? He was loath to think so. The situation was awkward, and
awkwardly he got himself out of it.
“I say, let's see what they're up to in there,” he suggested, and
marched her into the other room, wondering if he showed his
embarrassment as much as she did. As he sidled away from her he
determined to pick out a girl whose eyes were not gray, and to stick to
her for the remainder of the evening. Accordingly he began his
inspection. A moment later and the whole truth blazed enlighteningly
upon him. They were all gray-eyed girls, every last one of them.
If he had been waiting for a climax, he was entirely satisfied. Of
course it was rather silly of him to take it all so seriously, but,
sitting safely in his rooms long after his panicky retreat from Mrs.
Upton's collection, he could not make light of the situation. It was
serious. He was losing sleep, appetite, and self-respect over it.
Not that he was vain enough to imagine that every gray-eyed girl in
the country, or any one of them, wished to marry him. No; he was fairly
modest, as men go. He suspected that the chief emotions he inspired
were curiosity and mischievousness. It was the thought of what those
uncounted thousands of gray-eyed girls must conceive as his attitude
towards them that hurt. Why, it was almost as though he had put a
matrimonial advertisement in the newspapers. When he pictured himself
looked upon as assuming to be a connoisseur of a certain type of
femininity he felt as keenly disgraced as if he had set himself up for
In next morning's mail he noted an increased number of letters from
unknown gray-eyed correspondents. That settled it. Hurriedly packing a
capacious kit-bag, with the uncompleted manuscript on top, he took the
first train for Ocean Park. Where else could he find a more habitable
solitude than Ocean Park in early June? Once previously he had gone
there before the season opened, and he knew. Later on the popular big
seashore resort would seethe with vacationists. They would crowd the
hotels, over-flow the board walk, cover the sands, and polka-dot the
ocean. But in June the sands would be deserted, the board walk untrod,
the hotels empty.
And so it was. The landlord of The Empress welcomed him effusively,
not as Decatur Brown, author of The Insurgent and seeker of an
ideal girl with gray eyes, but as plain, every-day Mr. Brown, whom
Providence had sent as a June guest. Decatur was thankful for it. The
barren verandas were grateful in his sight. When he had been installed
in a corner suite, spread out his writing things on a flat-topped table
that faced the sea, filled his ink-well, and lighted his pipe, he
seemed to have escaped from a threatening presence.
He could breathe freely here, thank goodness, and work. He was just
settling down to it when through the open transom behind him came the
sound of rustling skirts and a voice which demanded:
“But how do you suppose he found that we were here? You're certain
that it was Decatur Brown, are you?”
“Oh yes, quite certain. He has changed very little. Besides, there
was the name on the register.”
Decatur thrilled at the music of that answering voice. There was a
little quaver in it, a faint but fascinating breaking on the low notes,
such as he had never heard in any voice save Jane Temple's.
“Then Mabel must not come down to dinner to-night. She must—” The
rest was lost around the corner of a corridor.
What Mabel must do remained a mystery. Must she go without her
dinner altogether? He hoped not, for evidently his arrival had
something to do with it. Why? Decatur gave it up. Who was Mabel,
anyway? The owner of the other voice he could guess at. That must be
Mrs. Philo Allen, Jane's aunt Judith, the one who had carried her off
to Europe and forbidden them to write to each other. But Mabel? Oh yes!
He had almost forgotten that elaborately gowned miss who at sixteen had
assumed such young-ladyfied airs. Mabel was Jane's young cousin, of
course, the one to whom he used to take expensive bonbons, his intent
being to propitiate Aunt Judith.
So they were guests at The Empress, too—Jane and her aunt and the
pampered Mabel? Chiefly, however, there was Jane. The others did not
matter much. Ah, here was a gray-eyed girl that he did not dread to
meet. And she had not forgotten him!
An hour later he was waiting for her in the lower hallway. Luckily
she came down alone, so they had the hall seat to themselves for those
first few minutes. She was the same charming Jane that he had known of
old. There was an added dignity in the way she carried her shapely
little head, a deeper sweetness in the curve of her thin lips. Perhaps
her manner was a little subdued, too; but, after all those years with
Mrs. Philo Allen, why not?
“How nice of you,” she was saying, “to hunt us up and surprise us in
this fashion. Auntie has been expecting you at home for weeks, you
know, but when Mabel's rose-cold developed she decided that we must go
to the seashore, even though we did die of lonesomeness. And here we
find you—or you find us. The sea air will make Mabel presentable in a
day or so, we hope.”
“I'm sure I hope so, too,” he assented, without enthusiasm. Really,
he did not see the necessity of dragging in Mabel. Nor did he
understand why Mrs. Allen had expected him, or why Jane should assume
that he had hunted them up. Now that she had assumed it, though, he
could hardly explain that it was an accident. He asked how long they
had remained abroad.
“Oh, ages! There was an age in France, while Mabel was perfecting
her accent; then there was another age in Italy, where Mabel took
voice-culture and the old masters; and yet another age in Germany,
while Mabel struggled with the theory of music. Our year in Devon was
not quite an age; we went there for the good of Mabel's complexion.”
“Indeed! Has she kept those peaches-and-cream checks?”
“Ah, you must wait and see,” and Jane nodded mysteriously.
“But I—” protested Decatur.
“Oh, it will be only for a day or so. Rose-colds are so hard on the
eyes, you know. In the mean time perhaps you will tell us how you
happened to develop into a famous author. We are immensely proud of
you, of course. Aunt Judith goes hardly anywhere without a copy of
The Insurgent in her hand. If the persons she meets have not read
it, she scolds them good. And you must hear Mabel render that chapter
in which Sunday runs away from the man she loves with the man she
There they were, back to Mabel again.
“But what about yourself, Jane?” suggested Decatur.
“About me! Why, I only—Oh, here is Aunt Judith.”
Yes, there was no mistaking her, nor overlooking her. She was just
as colossally commanding as ever, just as imperious. At sight of her,
Decatur understood Jane's position clearly. She was still the dependent
niece, the obscure satellite of a star of the first magnitude. Very
distinctly had Mrs. Philo Allen once explained to him this dependence
of Jane's, incidentally touching on his own unlikely prospects. That
had been just before she had swept Jane off to Europe with her.
All this Aunt Judith now seemed to have forgotten. In her own
imperial way she greeted him graciously, inspecting him with critical
but favorable eyes.
“Really, you do look quite distinguished,” was her verdict, as she
took his arm in her progress towards her dinner. “I am sure Mabel will
say so, too.”
Whereupon they reverted once more to Mabel. The maid was bathing
Mabel's eyes with witch-hazel and trying to persuade her to eat a
little hot soup. Such details about Mabel seemed to be regarded as of
first importance. By some mysterious reasoning, too, Mrs. Allen
appeared to connect them with Decatur Brown and his presence at Ocean
“To-morrow night, if all goes well, you shall see her,” she
whispered, exultantly, in his ear, as they left the dining-hall.
Decatur was puzzled. What if he could see Mabel the next
night? Or what if he could not? He should survive, even if the event
were indefinitely postponed. What he desired just then was that Jane
should accompany him on an early-evening tramp down the board walk.
“Wouldn't it be better to wait until to-morrow evening?” asked Jane.
“Perhaps Mabel can go then.”
“The deuce take Mabel!” He half smothered the exclamation, and Jane
appeared not to hear, yielding at last to his insistence that they
start at once. But it was not the kind of a talk he had hoped to have
with Jane Temple. The intimate and personal ground of conversation
towards which he sought to draw her she avoided as carefully as if it
had been stuck with the “No Trespassing” notices. When they returned to
the hotel, Decatur felt scarcely better acquainted with her than before
he had found her again.
Next evening, according to schedule, Mabel appeared. She was an
exquisite young woman, there was no doubt about that. She carried
herself with an almost royal air which impressed even the head waiter.
Her perfect figure, perfectly encased, was graceful in every long
curve. Her Devon-repaired complexion was of dazzling purity, all snowy
white and sea-shell pink. One could hardly imagine how even so
aristocratic a malady as a rose-cold could have dared to redden
slightly the tip of that classic nose.
Turning to Decatur with languid interest she murmured:
“Ah, you see I have not forgotten you, although I often do forget
faces. You may sit here, if you please, and talk to me.”
It was quite like being received by a sovereign, Decatur imagined.
He did his best to talk, and talk entertainingly, for no other reason
than that it was expected of him. At last he said something which
struck the right chord. The perfect Mabel smiled approvingly at him,
and he noticed for the first time that her eyes were gray. Suspiciously
he glanced across the table at Jane. Was that a mocking smile on her
thinly curved lips, or was it meant for kindly encouragement?
Little by little during the succeeding two days he pieced out the
situation. It was not a plot exactly, unless you could dignify Mrs.
Philo Allen's confident plans by such a name. But, starting with what
basis Heaven only knew, she had reached the conclusion that when the
author of The Insurgent had described Sunday Weeks he could have
had in mind but one person, the one gray-eyed girl worthy of such
distinction, the girl to whom he had shown such devotion but a few
years before—her daughter Mabel. Then she had begun expecting him to
appear. And when he had seemingly followed them to the seaside—well,
what would any one naturally think? Flutteringly she had doubtless put
the question to Jane, who had probably replied as she was expected to
The peerless Mabel, of course, was the only one not in the secret.
Anyway, she would have taken no interest in it. Her amazing egoism
would have prevented that. Nothing interested Mabel acutely unless it
pertained to some attribute of her own loveliness.
As for Jane Temple's view of this business, that remained an enigma.
Had she grown so accustomed to her aunt Judith's estimate of Mabel that
she could accept it? That was hardly possible, for Jane had a keen
sense of humor. Then why should she help to throw Mabel at his head, or
him at Mabel's?
Meanwhile he walked at Mabel's side, carrying her wraps, while her
mother and Jane trailed judiciously in the rear. He drove out with
Mabel, Mabel's mother sitting opposite and smiling at him with an air
of complacent proprietorship. He stood by the piano and turned the
music while Mabel executed sonatas and other things for which he had
not the least appreciation. He listened to solos from Lucia,
which Mabel sang at Jane's suggestion. Also, Jane brought forth Mabel's
sketch-books and then ostentatiously left them alone with each other.
There was much meekness in Decatur. When handled just right he was
wonderfully complaisant. But after a whole week of Mabel he decided
that the limit had been reached. Seizing an occasion when Mabel was in
the hands of the hairdresser and manicurist, he led her mother to a
secluded veranda corner and boldly plunged into an explanation.
“I have no doubt you thought it a little strange, Mrs. Allen,” he
began, “my appearing to follow you down here, but really—”
“There, there, Decatur, it isn't at all necessary. It was all
perfectly natural and entirely proper. In fact, I quite understood.”
“But I'm afraid that you—”
“Oh, but I do comprehend. We old folks are not blind. When it was a
matter of those foreign gentlemen, German barons, Italian counts,
Austrian princes, and so on, I was extremely particular, perhaps
overparticular. Their titles are so often shoddy. But I know all about
you. You come from almost as good New England stock as we do. You are
talented, almost famous. Besides, your attachment is of no sudden
growth. It has stood the test of years. Yes, my dear Decatur, I
heartily approve of you. However”—here she rested a plump forefinger
simperingly on the first of her two chins, “your fate rests with Mabel,
Once or twice he had gaspingly tried to stop her, but smilingly she
had waved him aside. When she ended he was speechless. Could he tell
her, after all that, what a precious bore her exquisite Mabel was to
him? It had been difficult enough when the situation was only a tacit
one, but now that it had been definitely expressed—well, it was
proving to be a good deal like those net snares which hunters of circus
animals use, the more he struggled to free himself the more he became
Abruptly, silently, he took his leave of Mrs. Allen. He feared that
if he said more she might construe it as a request, that she should
immediately lay his proposal before Mabel. With a despairing, haunted
look he sought the board walk.
Carpenters were hammering and sawing, painters were busy in the
booths, a few old ladies sat about in the sun, here and there a happy
youngster dug in the sand with a tin shovel. Decatur envied them all.
They were sane, rational persons, who were not likely to be interviewed
and trapped into saying fool things. Their acts were not liable to be
Seeing a pier jutting out, he heedlessly followed it to the very
end. And there, on one of the seats built for summer guests, he found
“Where is Mabel?” she asked, anxiously.
“She is having her hair done and her nails polished, I believe,”
said Decatur, gloomily, dropping down beside Jane. “She is being
prepared, as nearly as I can gather, to receive a proposal of
“Ah! Then you—” She turned to him inquiringly.
“It appears so now,” he admitted. “I have been talking to her
“Oh, I see.” She said it quietly, gently, in a tone of submission.
“But you don't see,” he protested. “No one sees; that is, no one
sees things as they really are. Do you think, Jane, that you could
listen to me for a few moments without jumping at conclusions, without
assuming that you know exactly what I am going to say before I have
She said that she would try.
“Then I would like to make a confession to you.”
“Wouldn't it be better to—to make it first to Mabel?”
“No, it would not,” he declared, doggedly. “It concerns that
interview in which I was quoted as saying things about gray-eyed
“Yes, I read it. We all read it.”
“I guessed that much. Well, I said those things, just as I was
quoted as saying them, but I did not mean all that I was credited with
meaning. I want you to believe, Jane, that when I admitted my
preference for gray eyes and—and all that, I was thinking of one
gray-eyed girl in particular. Can you believe that?”
“Oh, I did from the very first; that is, I did as soon as Aunt
“Never mind about Aunt Judith,” interrupted Decatur, firmly. “We
will get to her in time. We are talking now about that interview. You
must admit, Jane, that there are many gray-eyed girls in the country; I
don't know just how many, thank Heaven, but there are a lot of them.
And most of them seem not only to have read that interview, but to have
made a personal application of my remarks. Have you any idea what that
means to me?”
“Then you think that they are all in—”
“No, no! I don't imagine there's a single one that cares a bone
button for me. But each and every one of them thinks that I am in love
with her, or willing to be. If she doesn't think so, her friends do.
They expect me to propose on sight, simply because of what I have said
about gray eyes. You doubt that? Let me tell you what occurred just
before I left town: A person whom I had counted as a friend got
together a whole houseful of gray-eyed girls, and then sent for me to
come and make my choice. That is what drove me from the city. That is
why I came to Ocean Park in June.”
“But the one particular gray-eyed girl that you mentioned? How was
it that you happened to—”
“It was sheer good fortune, Jane, that I found you here.”
Decatur had slipped a tentative arm along the seat-back. He was
leaning towards Jane, regarding her with melancholy tenderness.
“That you found me?” she said, wonderingly. “Oh, you mean that it
was fortunate you found us here?”
“No, I don't. I mean you—y-o-u, second person singular. Haven't you
guessed by this time who was the particular gray-eyed girl I had in
“Of course I have; it was Mabel, wasn't it?”
“Mabel! Oh, hang Mabel! Jane, it was you.”
“Me! Why, Decatur Brown!” Either surprise or indignation rang in her
tone. He concluded that it must be the latter.
“Oh, well,” he said, dejectedly, “I had no right to suppose that
you'd like it. It's the truth, though, and after so much
misunderstanding I am glad you know it. I want you to know that it was
you who inspired Sunday Weeks, if any one did. I have never mentioned
this before, have not admitted it, even to myself, until now. But I
realize that it is true. We have been a long time apart, but the memory
of you has never faded for a day, for an hour. So, when I tried to
describe the most charming girl of whom I could think, I was describing
you. As I wrote, there was constantly before me the vision of your dear
gray eyes, and—”
“Decatur! Look at me. Look me straight in the eyes and tell me if
they are gray.”
He looked. As a matter of fact, he had been looking into her eyes
for several moments. Now there was something so compelling about her
tone that he bent all his faculties to the task. This time he looked
not with that blindness peculiar to those who love, but, for the
moment, discerningly, seeingly. And they were not gray eyes at all.
They were a clear, brilliant hazel.
“Why—why!” he gasped out, chokingly. “I—I have always thought of
them as gray eyes.”
“If that isn't just like a man!” she exclaimed, shrugging away from
him. Her quarter profile revealed those thinly curved lips pursed into
a most delicious pout. “You acknowledge, don't you, that they're not
gray?” she flung at him over her shoulder—an adorable shoulder,
“Oh, I admit it,” he groaned.
“Then—then why don't you go away?” It was just that trembling
little quaver on the low notes which spurred him on to cast the die.
“Jane,” he whispered, “I don't want to go away, and I don't want you
to send me. It isn't gray eyes that I care for, or ever have cared for.
It's been just you, your own dear, charming self.”
“No, it hasn't been. I haven't even a piquant chin.”
“That doesn't matter. What is a piquant chin, anyway?”
“You ought to know; you wrote it.”
“So I did, but I didn't know what it meant. I just knew that it
ought to mean something charming, which you are.”
“I'm not. And I am not accomplished. I don't sing, I don't play, I
“Thanks be for that! I don't, either. But I think you are the
dearest girl in the world.”
At that she turned to him and smiled a little as only Jane could
“You told me that once before, a long time ago, you know.”
“And you have not forgotten?”
“No. I—you see—I didn't want to forget.”
Had it been August, or even July, doubtless a great number of
vacationists would have been somewhat shocked at what Decatur did then.
But it was early June, you remember, and on the far end of the Ocean
Park fishing-pier were only these two, with just the dancing blue ocean
“But,” she said at length, after many other and more important
things had been said between them, “what will Aunt Judith say?”
“I suppose she'll think me a lucky dog—and slightly color-blind,”
chuckled Decatur, joyously. “But come,” he went on, helping her to rise
and retaining both her hands, swaying them back and forth clasped in
his, as children do in the game of London Bridge,—“come,” he repeated,
impulsively, “while my courage is high let us go and break the news to
your aunt Judith.”
There was, however, no need. Looming ponderously in the middle
distance of the pier's vista, a lorgnette held to her eyes, and a
frozen look of horror on her ample features, was Aunt Judith herself.