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My daughter's yonder, sir, beside that table. Pink ribbons, sir. Don't tell me you're un
able To understand.”
“I don't suppose You mean to tell me"
“ Who but knows Your way of dealing with young ladies,
sir ? I'll have no trifling, if you please, with her.” “Trifling?"
“Yes, sir. You know you've jilted five. Every one knows it-every man alive.”. “ Allow me,”
“No, sir. Every father knows Your reputation, damaging to those Who-" “Sir, indeed—”
“How dare you in this place Stare half an hour in my daughter's face?"
Sapristi, monsieur! I protest-I swearI never looked at her."
“ Indeed! What were You looking at, then?”
“Sir, I'll tell you thatMy hat, sir."
“ Morbleu ! looking at your hat!" “ Yes, sir, it was my hat.”
My color rose: He angered me, this man who would suppose I thought of nothing but his girl.
Meantime The black coat maundered on in dreary rhyme. Papa and I, getting more angry ever, Exchanged fierce glances, speaking both to
gether, While no one round us knew what we were at. " It was my daughter, sir."
“ No, sir-my hat." Speak lower, gentlemen,” said some one near. “You'll give account for this, sir. Do you
“Of course, sir."
“ Then before the world's astir, You'll get my card, sir.”
“ I'll be ready, sir."
A pretty quarrel! Don't you think it so? A moment after, all exclaimed, “Bravo!” Black coat had finished. All the audience
made A general move toward ice and lemonade. The coast was clear; my way was open
now; My hat was mine. I made
I made my foe a bow,
“Here's the hat, I think, You are in search of."
Shapely, soft, and pink, A lovely arm, a perfect arm, held out My precious hat. Impelled by sudden doubt,
I raised my eyes. Pink ribbons trimmed her
dress. Here, monsieur, take it. 'Twas not hard to
guess What made you look this way. You longed
You were so sleepy, nodding-see !—just so.
Sweet angel, pure and true! My looks to their real cause she could refer, And never thought one glance was meant for
Oh, simple trust, pure from debasing wiles ! I took my hat from her fair hand with smiles,
And hurrying back, sought out my whilom foe, Exclaiming :
“Hear me, sir. Before I go, Let me explain. You, sir, were in the right. 'Twas not my hat attracted me to-night. Forgive me, pardon me, I entreat, dear sir. I love your daughter, and I gazed at her.” “You, sir?"
He turned his big round eyes on me, Then held his hand out.
“Well, well, we will see."
Next day we talked. That's how it came
about. And the result you see. My secret's out. It was last Tuesday, as I said, and even Add, she's an angel, and my home is—heaven. Her father, mild in spite of mien severe, Holds a high office—is no cuirassier. Besides a boon few bridegrooms can com
mand He is a widower--50—you understand.