422 Loves of A. Fitz Clarence and Rosa Ethelton
But the invention was delayed somewhere on the road from Cincinnati, most unaccountably. The impatient Alonzo could hardly wait. The thought of Rosannah's sweet words being shared with him by some ribald thief was galling to him. The Reverend came frequently and lamented the delay, and told of measures he had taken to hurry things up. This was some little comfort to Alonzo.
One forenoon the Reverend ascended the stairs and knocked at Alonzo's door. There was no response. He entered, glanced eagerly around, closed the door softly, then ran to the telephone. The exquisitely soft and remote strains of the " Sweet By-and-by" came floating through the instrument. The singer was flatting, as usual, the five notes that follow the first two in the chorus, when the Reverend interrupted her with this word, in a voice which was an exact imitation of Alonzo's, with just the faintest flavor of impatience added:
" Yes, Alonzo?"
" Please don't sing that anymore this week — try something modern."
The agile step that goes with a happy heart was heard on the stairs, and the Reverend, smiling diabolically, sought sudden refuge behind the heavy folds of the velvet window-curtains. Alonzo entered and flew to the telephone. Said he :
" Rosannah, dear, shall we sing something together?"
" Something modern?" asked she, with sarcastic bitterness.
" Yes, if you prefer."
" Sing it yourself, if you like !"
This snappishness amazed and wounded the young man. He said:
" Rosannah, that was not like you."