" ladie;; first. 15
stancy " You ought to marry her, Banatyne."
The remark implied that such marriage might be
a condescension on Banatyne's part, Avhile a great
compliment conferred upon the absent one under
'• She is an adorable creature," returned Bana¬
tyne, his business A^oice softened to a lover'.s tone,
" but there's a gulf separating us."
" And Avhat is that ?" asked Halstead, sur¬
" It's all very Avell for you bachelors, Avho have
HO incumbrances, to giA^e advice," said Banatyne,
' but do you ever stop to consider influence upon
children? Wouldn't it be a great injustice to
give my child such companionship?"
Halstead ansAvered v/ith some impatience:
" NoAv you're talking like a putty man. Influ¬
ence ! " he echoed the Avord almost mockingl3\
Then not wishing to appear too harsh he changed
to softer mood and added lightly: " Suffering
humanity ! anyone to hear you talk Avould think
you'd just dropped doAvn from HeaA^en Avith a
special halo for your saintly head. Hoav about
your ozcn inflvience ?" he as.ied in a laughing
tone, needful to make a bold suggestion accepta¬
" Oh ! " ansAvered Banatyne, Avhisking the ashes
from his cigar, " the Avorld looks differently upon
such a state of things in a man."
" There you go—that is so like a man. By
Jove, Banatyne, Ave are pompous animals. But
divest us of the indulgence alloAved us by the
partial conventionals of the Avorld—rob us of the