memory, I confess I don't find it quite easy to identify this grave young lady with my merry friend of three years ago."
"In other words, you are disappointed at not finding me the same as I used to be."
"No, not exactly that; but--"
Ralph paused and looked puzzled. There was something in the earnestness of her manner which made a facetious compliment seem grossly inappropriate, and in the moment no other escape suggested itself.
"But what?" demanded Bertha, mercilessly.
"Have you ever lost an old friend?" asked he, abruptly.
"Yes; how so?"
"Then," answered he, while his features lighted up with a happy inspiration--"then you will appreciate my situation. I fondly cherished my old picture of you in my memory. Now I have lost it, and I can not help regretting the loss. I do not mean, however, to imply that this new acquaintance--this second edition of yourself, so to speak--will prove less interesting."
She again sent him a grave, questioning look, and b