Loves of A. Fitz Clarence and Rosa Ethelton 413
and the cape of her waterproof blowing straight rear≠ward over her head. Alonzo shuddered, and said with a sigh, " Better the slop, and the sultry rain, and even the insolent flowers, than this!"
He turned from the window, moved a step, and stopped in a listening attitude. The faint, sweet notes of a familiar song caught his ear. He remained there, with his head unconsciously bent forward, drinking in the melody, stirring neither hand nor foot, hardly breathing. There was a blemish in the execution of the song, but to Alonzo it seemed an added charm in≠stead of a defect. This blemish consisted of a marked flatting of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh notes of the refrain or chorus of the piece. When the music ended, Alonzo drew a deep breath, and said, "Ah, I never have heard ' In the Sweet By-and-by ' sung like that before !"
He stepped quickly to the desk, listened a moment, and said in a guarded, confidential voice, "Aunty, who is this divine singer?"
" She is the company I was expecting. Stays with me a month or two. I will introduce you. Missó"
" For goodness' sake, wait a moment, Aunt Susan! You never stop to think what you are about!"
He flew to his bedchamber, and returned in a moment perceptibly changed in his outward appearance, and remarking, snappishly:
" Hang it, she would have introduced me to this angel in that sky-blue dressing-gown with red-hot lapels ! Women never think, when they get a-going."
He hastened and stood by the desk, and said eagerly, " Now, Aunty, I am ready," and fell to smiling and bowing with all the persuasiveness and elegance that were in him.
" Very well. Miss Rosannah Ethelton, let me in≠troduce to you my favorite nephew, Mr. Alonzo Fitz