Page:The ransom of Red Chief and other O. Henry stories for boys.djvu/228

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208 The Girl and the Habit

aged and respected wife, and his sentiments toward Miss Merriam were fatherly. He talked to her for half an hour with interest- not the kind that went with his talks during business hours. The next day he brought Mrs. McRamsey down to see her. The old couple were childless they had only a married daughter living in Brooklyn.

To make a short story shorter, the beautiful cashier won the hearts of the good old couple. They came to Hinkle's again and again; they invited her to their old-fashioned but splendid home in one of the East Seventies. Miss Merriam's winning loveliness, her sweet frankness and impulsive heart took them by storm. They said a hundred times that Miss Merriam reminded them so much of their lost daughter. The Brooklyn matron, nee Ramsey, had the figure of Buddha and a face like the ideal of an art photographer. Miss Merriam was a combination of curves, smiles, rose leaves, pearls, satin, and hair-tonic posters. Enough of the fatuity of parents.

A month after the worthy couple became acquainted with Miss Merriam she stood before Hinkle one afternoon and resigned her cashiership.

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