more than sixteen and fancied herself Yunkai’s own Daenerys
"Don't let the other one come," said Louis hastily, "for if he can't endure red hands he'd laugh at my withered feet and the bunch upon my back; but the other one won't, I know."
Maude knew so too, and somewhat impatiently she waited for the morrow, when she could introduce her brother to her friend. The morrow came, but, as was frequently the case, Louis was suffering from a severe pain in his back, which kept him confined to his room, so that Mr. De Vere neither saw him at all nor Maude as much as he wished to do. He had been greatly interested in her, and when at dinner he heard that she would not be down he was conscious of a feeling of disappointment. She was not present at supper either, but after it was over she joined him in the parlor, and, together with J.C. and Nellie, accompanied him to the graveyard, where, seating herself upon her mother's grave, she told him of that mother, and the desolation which crept into her heart when first she knew she was an orphan. From talking of her mother it was an easy matter to speak of her Vernon home, which she had never seen since she left it twelve years before, and then Mr. De Vere asked if she had met two boys in the cars on her way to Albany. At first Maude could not recall them, and when at last she did so her recollections were so vague that Mr. De Vere felt another pang of disappointment, though wherefore he could not tell, unless indeed, he thought there would be something pleasant in being remembered twelve long years by a girl like Maude Remington. He reminded her of her remark made to his cousin, and in speaking of him casually alluded to his evident liking for Nellie, saying playfully, "Who knows, Miss Remington, but you may some time be related to me--not my cousin exactly, though Cousin Maude sounds well. I like that name."
"I like it too," she said impulsively, "much better than Miss Remington, which seems so stiff."
"Then let me call you so. I have no girl cousin in the world," and leaning forward he put back from her forehead one of her short, glossy curls, which had been displaced by the evening breeze.
This was a good deal for him to do. Never before had he touched a maiden's tresses, and he had no idea that it would make his fingers tingle as it did. Still, on the whole, he liked it, and half-wished the wind would blow those curls over the upturned face again, but it did not, and he was about to make some casual remark when J.C., who was not far distant, called out, "Making love, I do believe!"
The speech was sudden, and grated harshly on James' ear. Not because the idea of making love to Maude was utterly distasteful, but because he fancied she might be annoyed, and over his features there came a shadow, which Maude did not fail to observe.
"He does not wish to be teased about me," she thought, and around the warm spot which the name of "Cousin Maude" had made within her heart there crept a nameless chill--a fear that she had been degraded in his eyes. "I must go back to Louis," she said at last, and rising from her mother's grave she returned to the house, accompanied by Mr. De Vere, who walked by her side in silence, wondering if she really cared for J.C.'s untimely joke.
James De Vere did not understand the female heart, and wishing to relieve Maude from all embarrassment in her future intercourse with himself, he said to her as they reached the door: "My Cousin Maude must not mind what J.C. said, for she knows it is not so."
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