e to cats," she said, rising. "Spinsterhood" we like to call it. 'Single-blessedness!'"
"That is your kind heart. You decline to make one of us happy to the despair of all the rest."
She laughed at this, though with no very genuine mirth, I marked, and let my 1830 attempt at gallantry pass without other retort.
"You seemed interested in the old place yonder." She indicated Mr. Beasley's house with a nod.
"Oh, I understood my blunder," I said, quickly. "I wish I had known the subject was embarrassing or unpleasant to Mr. Dowden."
"What made you think that?"
"Surely," I said, "you saw how pointedly he cut me off."
"Yes," she returned, thoughtfully. "He rather did; it's true. At least, I see how you got that impression." She seemed to muse upon this, letting her eyes fall; then, raising them, allowed her far-away gaze to rest upon the house beyond the fence, and said, "It IS an interesting old place."
"And Mr. Beasley himself--" I began.
"Oh," she said, "HE isn't interesting. That's hi