14 LADIES FIRST.
gallantry. It Avas with him " the ladies first and
all the time, God bless 'em !"
Just as he was in the act of picking up the all-
important report, his eye fell upon a neglected
little note still sealed in its pink-tinted envelope.
All of his gallantry rushed upon him like an over¬
whelming torrent. He took it up Avith tenderest
solicitude, and asked in plaintive tone, his eyes
gazing fondly upon the feminine superscription:
" How could you, Roy ? From Tricksie ? "
" Yes, from Tricksie," answered Banatyne, tak¬
ing the note from Halstead's loving, lingering
grasp, after the latter had smoothed its perfumed
surface, as it contact Avith anything so decidedly
effeminate did his very soul good. Banatyne
placed it, still unsealed, in his pocket, for though
at times his hands could be tied by a single hair
of a pretty Avoman's head, or he could be led a
Avilling captive by the most inexperienced
coquette, Avith him business predominated gal¬
lantry, and a billet doux on rose-tinted paper Avas
poAverless beside an encouraging report from his
expert. Consequently the heliotrope-scented mis¬
sive Avas doomed to aAvait the pleasure of the
receiver, imagining, as he did, that it must be a
request for no small number of his dollars, Avhich
seemed to be at the command of men and Avomen
alike, particularly if she Avas a pretty and fascinat¬
ing woman, Avith a soupgon of insouciant freedom,
and " old " Banatyne seemed to find none Avho
" By Jove, she's true as steel," said Halstead
with a tinge of envy in his voice for such con-