418 Loves of A. Fitz Clarence and Rosa Ethelton
imitations of the voices and gestures of certain popular actors and San Franciscan literary people and Bonanza grandees. He was elegantly upholstered, and was a handsome fellow, barring a trifling cast in his eye. He seemed very jovial, but nevertheless he kept his eye on the door with an expectant and uneasy watchfulness. By and by a nobby lackey appeared, and delivered a message to the mistress, who nodded her head understanding . That seemed to settle the thing for Mr. Burley; his vivacity decreased little by little, and a dejected look began to creep into one of his eyes and a sinister one into the other.
The rest of the company departed in due time, leaving him with the mistress, to whom he said:
" There is no longer any question about it. She avoids me. She continually excuses herself. If I could see her, if I could speak to her only a moment — but this suspense —"
" Perhaps her seeming avoidance is mere accident, Mr. Burley. Go to the small drawing-room upstairs and amuse yourself a moment. I will despatch a household order that is on my mind, and then I will go to her room. Without doubt she will be persuaded to see you."
Mr. Burley went upstairs, intending to go to the small drawing-room, but as he was passing "Aunt Susan's " private parlor, the door of which stood slightly ajar, he heard a joyous laugh which he recognized ; so without knock or announcement he stepped confidently in. But before he could make his presence known he heard words that harrowed up his soul and chilled his young blood. He heard a voice say:
" Darling, it has come !"
Then he heard Rosannah Ethelton, whose back was toward him, say:
" So has yours, dearest!"