Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/202

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be imagined when the dark face of her officer peered in at the car window, and the melodious voice asked if he might be permitted to enter. Of course he might; and, as no secretary now spoilt the tête-à-tête, Mars became delightfully confidential, and poured his woes into the sympathizing bosom of Amanda.

It had been a great affliction to him that his regiment was quartered at Albano for some months. Mio Dio! so dull was it life had already become a burden; but now, if the Signorina was to be there, if she permitted him to make himself known to her party, what joys were in store for him. The Signorina loved to ride. Behold he had superb horses languishing in the stables, that henceforth were dedicated to her use. His fellow officers were gentlemen of good family, brave as lions, and dying of ennui: if they might be presented to the ladies, life would be worth having, and Albano a Paradise, &c.

To all this devotion the prudent Amanda listened with pleasure, but promised nothing till Signore Mars had made the acquaintance of certain American gentlemen and married ladies, then it would be possible to enjoy the delights of which he spoke. The Colonel vowed he would instantly devote him-