" my friend replied. There was a husky tremor in her voice.
I went to the supper-room. All the ladies had retired, and the door was shut. What a scene for a gentleman's house presented itself! Cigars had been lighted, and the air was thick with smoke. As I pushed open the door, my ear was fairly stunned by the confusion of sounds. There was a hush of voices, and I saw bottles from many hands set quickly upon the table, and glasses removed from lips already too deeply stained with wine. With three or four exceptions, all of this company were young men and boys. Near the door was the person I sought.
"Albert!" I called; and the young man came forward. His face was darkly flushed, and his eyes red and glittering.
"Albert, your mother is going," I said.
"Give her my compliments," he answered, with an air of mock courtesy, "and tell her that she has my gracious permission."
"Come!" I urged; "she is waiting for you."
He shook his head resolutely. "I'm not going for an hour,