When, irreproachably neat and even exquisite in dress, he gave a

Napoleonic glance at his array of glove-boxes to see if the female

assistant had put them in proper order for the day; when, with that

wonderful eye for detail that had wafted him to his present height of

power, he pounced upon the powder-sprinklers and found them, as he

expected, empty; when, with masterly judgment, he had made up and

ticketed a basket of misfits and odd sizes to attract the eyes of women

who were their human counterparts, he felt himself bursting with the

pride and pomp of circumstance. His cambric handkerchief adjusted in his

coat with the monogram corner well displayed, a last touch to the

carefully trained lock on his forehead, and he was ready for his


"Six, did you say, miss? I should have thought five and three

quarters--Attend to that gentleman, Miss Dix, please; I am very busy.

"Six-and-a-half gray suede? Here they are, an exquisite shade. Shall I

try them on? The right hand, if you will. Perhaps you'd better remove

your elegant ring; I shouldn't like to have anything catch in the


"Miss Dix! Six-and-a-half black glace--upper shelf, third box--for this

lady. She's in a hurry. We shall see you often after this, I hope,


"No; we don't keep silk or lisle gloves. We have no call for them; our

customers prefer kid."

Oh, but he was in his element, was Claude Merrill; though the glamour

that surrounded him in the minds of the Edgewood girls did not emanate

wholly from his finicky little person: something of it was the glamour

that belonged to Boston,--remote, fashionable, gay, rich, almost

inaccessible Boston, which none could see without the expenditure of

five or six dollars in railway fare, with the added extravagance of a

night in a hotel, if one would explore it thoroughly and come home

possessed of all its illimitable treasures of wisdom and experience.

When Claude came to Edgewood for a Sunday, or to spend a vacation with

his aunt, he brought with him something of the magic of a metropolis.

Suddenly, to Rose's eye, Stephen looked larger and clumsier, his shoes

were not the proper sort, his clothes were ordinary, his neckties were

years behind the fashion. Stephen's dancing, compared with Claude's, was

as the deliberate motion of an ox to the hopping of a neat little robin.

When Claude took a girl's hand in the "grand right-and-left," it was as

if he were about to try on a delicate glove; the manner in which he

"held his lady" in the polka or schottische made her seem a queen. Mite

Shapley was so affected by it that when Rufus attempted to encircle her

for the mazurka she exclaimed, "Don't act as if you were spearing logs,


Of the two men, Stephen had more to say, but Claude said more. He was

thought brilliant in conversation; but what wonder, when one considered

his advantages and his dazzling experiences! He had customers who were

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