Just – William Page 11

Mrs. Brown cut off her darning wool and laid aside the sock she had just finished darning.

“It certainly sounds very silly, dear,” she said mildly. “But there might be some explanation of it all, if only we knew. Boys are such funny things.”

She looked at the clock and went over to the window, “William!” she called. “It’s your bed-time, dear.”

William rose sadly and came slowly into the house.

“Good night, Mother,” he said; then he turned a mournful and reproachful eye upon his father.

“Good night, Father,” he said. “Don’t think about what you’ve done, I for——”

He stopped and decided, hastily but wisely, to retire with all possible speed.

CHAPTER II
WILLIAM THE INTRUDER

“She’s different from everybody else in the world,” stammered Robert ecstatically. “You simply couldn’t describe her. No one could!”

His mother continued to darn his socks and made no comment.

Only William, his young brother, showed interest.

How’s she different from anyone else?” he demanded. “Is she blind or lame or sumthin’?”

Robert turned on him with exasperation.

“Oh, go and play at trains!” he said. “A child like you can’t understand anything.”

William retired with dignity to the window and listened, with interest unabated, to the rest of the conversation.

“Yes, but who is she, dear?” said their mother. “Robert, I can’t think how you get these big holes in your heels!”

Robert ran his hands wildly through his hair.

“I’ve told you who she is, Mother,” he said. “I’ve been talking about her ever since I came into the room.”

“Yes, I know, dear, but you haven’t mentioned her name or anything about her.”

“Well,” Robert spoke with an air of super-human patience, “she’s a Miss Cannon and she’s staying with the Clives and I met her out with Mrs. Clive this morning and she introduced me and she’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen and she——”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Brown hastily, “you told me all that.”

“Well,” went on the infatuated Robert, “we must have her to tea. I know I can’t marry yet—not while I’m still at college—but I could get to know her. Not that I suppose she’d look at me. She’s miles above me—miles above anyone. She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. You can’t imagine her. You wouldn’t believe me if I described her. No one could describe her. She——”

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