Dangerous Days (Chapter 7, page 1 of 5)

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Chapter 7

Two things helped greatly to restore Clayton to a more normal state of
mind during the next few days. One of them undoubtedly was the Valentine
situation. Beside Audrey's predicament and Chris's wretched endeavor to
get away and yet prove himself a man, his own position seemed, if not
comfortable, at least tenable. He would have described it, had he been
a man to put such a thing into words, as that "he and Natalie didn't
exactly hit it off."

There were times, too, during those next few days, when he wondered
if he had not exaggerated their incompatibility. Natalie was unusually
pleasant. She spent some evening hours on the arm of his big chair,
talking endlessly about the Linndale house, and he would lean back,
smiling, and pretend to a mad interest in black and white tiles and

He made no further protest as to the expense.

"Tell me," he said once, "what does a fellow wear in this--er--Italian
palace? If you have any intention of draping me in a toga and putting
vine leaves in my hair, or whatever those wreaths were made of--!"

Natalie had no sense of humor, however. She saw that he meant to be
amusing, and she gave the little fleeting smile one gives to a child who
is being rather silly.

"Of course," he went on, "we'll have Roman baths, and be anointed with
oil afterwards by lady Greek slaves. Perfumed oil."

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