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"And then I told her why I had come, as respectful and earnest as I could. And I told her everything about myself, and what I was making, and how that all I asked was just to get acquainted with her and try to get her to like me.
"She smiles a little, and blushes some, but her eyes never get mixed up. They look straight at whatever she's talking to.
"'I never had any one talk like this to me before, Mr. Pescud,' says she. 'What did you say your name is--John?'
"'John A.,' says I.
"'And you came mighty near missing the train at Powhatan Junction, too,' says she, with a laugh that sounded as good as a mileage-book to me.
"'How did you know?' I asked.
"'Men are very clumsy,' said she. 'I knew you were on every train. I thought you were going to speak to me, and I'm glad you didn't.'
"Then we had more talk; and at last a kind of proud, serious look came on her face, and she turned and pointed a finger at the big house.
"'The Allyns,' says she, 'have lived in Elmcroft for a hundred years. We are a proud family. Look at that mansion. It has fifty rooms. See the pillars and porches and balconies. The ceilings in the reception-rooms and the ball-room are twenty-eight feet high. My father is a lineal descendant of belted earls.'
"'I belted one of 'em once in the Duquesne Hotel, in Pittsburgh,' says I, 'and he didn't offer to resent it. He was there dividing his attentions between Monongahela whiskey and heiresses, and he got fresh.'
"'Of course,' she goes on, 'my father wouldn't allow a drummer to set his foot in Elmeroft. If he knew that I was talking to one over the fence he would lock me in my room.'
"'Would you let me come there?' says I. 'Would you talk to me if I was to call? For,' I goes on, 'if you said I might come and see you, the earls might be belted or suspendered, or pinned up with safety-pins, as far as I am concerned.'
"'I must not talk to you,' she says, 'because we have not been introduced. It is not exactly proper. So I will say good-bye, Mr.--' "'Say the name,' says I. 'You haven't forgotten it.'
"'Pescud,' says she, a little mad.
"'The rest of the name!' I demands, cool as could be.
"'John,' says she.
"'John-what?' I says.
"'John A.,' says she, with her head high. 'Are you through, now?'
"'I'm coming to see the belted earl to-morrow,' I says.
"'He'll feed you to his fox-hounds,' says she, laughing.
"'If he does, it'll improve their running,' says I. 'I'm something of a hunter myself.'
"'I must be going in now,' says she. 'I oughtn't to have spoken to you at all. I hope you'll have a pleasant trip back to Minneapolis -- or Pittsburgh, was it? Good-bye!'
"'Good-night,' says I, 'and it wasn't Minneapolis. What's your name, first, please?'
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