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416 Loves of A. Fitz Clarence and Rosa Ethelton
of forget-me-nots and lilies of the valley massed around a noble calla.
This was all; yet even in this subdued attire she was divinely beautiful. Then what must she have been when adorned for the festival or the ball?
All this time she had been busily chatting with Alonzo, unconscious of our inspection. The minutes still sped, and still she talked. But by and by she happened to look up, and saw the clock. A crimson blush sent its rich flood through her cheeks, and she exclaimed:
" There, good-bye, Mr. Fitz Clarence; I must go now!"
She sprang from her chair with such haste that she hardly heard the young man's answering good-bye. She stood radiant, graceful, beautiful, and gazed, wondering, upon the accusing clock. Presently her pouting lips parted, and she said:
" Five minutes after eleven ! Nearly two hours, and it did not seem twenty minutes! Oh, dear, what will he think of me!"
At the self-same moment Alonzo was staring at his clock. And presently he said:
" Twenty-five minutes to three ! Nearly two hours, and I didn't believe it was two minutes! Is it possible that this clock is humbugging again? Miss Ethelton! Just one moment, please. Are you there yet?"
" Yes, but be quick; I'm going right away."
" Would you be so kind as to tell me what time it is?"
The girl blushed again, murmured to herself, " It's right down cruel of him to ask me!" and then spoke up and answered with admirably-counterfeited uncon­cern, " Five minutes after eleven."
"Oh, thank you! You have to go, now, have you?"