He might have judged better than that, had he reflected an instant. He never yet had thought of his daughter except as a mere child, and he did not mean for an instant to intimate that her growing interest in the young lieutenant was anything more than a "school-girl" fancy. She was old enough, however, to take his thoughtless speech au sérieux, and it hurt her.
"Papa!" was her one, indignant word of remonstrance. She would not even defend herself against such accusation.
"I know!--I understand--I didn't mean it except as the merest joke, my child," he hurriedly interposed. "I thought you'd laugh at the idea."
But she would not speak of it, and he quickly sought to change the subject, never even asking other reason for her apparent aversion to Miss Forrest. It was true that the speedy coming of Dr. and Mrs. Gra