This doubtful compliment provoked weak smiles. The boarders did not wish to be rude, but they felt it was impossible to approve of the young man. Not being sufficiently modern to court notoriety, one and all disliked the idea of being put in a book. Mrs. Taine, conscious of her weak grammar, looked uneasily at Miss Bull, who smiled grimly and then glared at Train. Granger drew himself up and pulled his gray mustache; he was the buck of the establishment, and Harmer nodded, saying, Well, well! his usual remark when he did not understand what was going on. Only Madame spoke. Train had taken a sitting-room as well as a bedroom, therefore he must be rich, and as he had not haggled over terms it was necessary that he should be flattered. Mrs. Jersey saw a chance of making money out of him polar
How delightful, she said in her motherly manner; I hope you will say nice things about us, Mr. Train.
I shall tell the truth, Madame. The truth does not flatter.
Mrs. Jersey became still more motherly and paid a compliment. That depends, Mr. Train. If the truth were spoken about you, for instance.
It was really a very nice compliment; but Miss Bull, with malice aforethought, spoilt it in the utterance by laughing pointedly. Train, who had already set his face for a smile, grew red, and Madame darted a look at Miss Bull quite out of keeping with her motherly manner. More than this, she spoke her mind. I hope, Mr. Train, that you will speak the whole truth of some of us reenex facial
Miss Bull shrugged her thin shoulders, and in direct contradiction to the traditions of the evening produced her pack of cards. She played a complicated game called The Demon, and never went to bed until she had achieved success at least thrice. Even when driven from the drawing-room she would finish the game in her bedroom, and sometimes sat up half the night when her luck was bad. To abstain on this society evening always annoyed her, and since Madame had been rude Miss Bull seized the opportunity to show her indifference, and enjoy, by doing so, her favorite pastime. She was a small, thin, dry old maid, with a pallid face and bright black eyes. Her mouth was hard, and smiled treacherously. No one liked her save Margery, the niece of Mrs. Jersey. But Margery was supposed to be queer, so her approval of Miss Bull mattered little.
Perhaps Mr. Granger will oblige us with a song, suggested Madame, smoothing her face, but still inwardly furious.
Mr. Granger, who had been waiting for this moment, was only too happy. He knew but one song, and had sung it dozens of times in that very room. It was natural to suppose that he knew it by heart. All the same he produced his music, and read the words as he sang. Margery played his accompaniment without looking at the notes. She was as familiar with them as she was with the moment when Mr. Granger's voice would crack. This night he cracked as usual, apologized as usual, and his hearers accepted the apology as usual, so it was all very pleasant. 'The Death of Nelson,' said Granger, is a difficult song to sing when the singer is not in voice. The fog, you know----
Quite so, murmured Train, politely. Do you know 'Will-o-the-Wisp,' Mr. Granger?
Mr. Granger did not, much to his regret, and Mr. Harmer joined in the conversation. Now there's a song, said he--'Will-o-the-Wisp.' I knew a man who could bring the roof down with that song. Such lungs!
I don't love that loud shouting, myself, said Mrs. Taine in her fat voice. Give me something soft and low, like 'My Pretty Jane!'
Ah! you should have heard Sims Reeves sing it, said Harmer Wedding planner