Marcia Schuyler (Chapter 3, page 2 of 7)

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Chapter 3

She bustled about, giving orders and laying a bountiful supper before the young man, while the Squire sat and talked with him, and Marcia hovered watchfully, waiting upon the table, noticing with admiring eyes the beautiful wave of his abundant hair, tossed back from his forehead. She took a kind of pride of possession in his handsome face,--the far-removed possession of a sister-in-law. There was his sunny smile, that seemed as though it could bring joy out of the gloom of a bleak December day, and there were the two dimples--not real dimples, of course, men never had dimples--but hints, suggestions of dimples, that caught themselves when he smiled, here and there like hidden mischief well kept under control, but still merrily ready to come to the surface. His hands were white and firm, the fingers long and shapely, the hands of a brain worker. The vision of Hanford Weston's hands, red and bony, came up to her in contrast. She had not known that she looked at them that day when he had stood awkwardly asking if he might walk with her. Poor Hanford! He would ill compare with this cultured scholarly man who was his senior by ten years, though it is possible that with the ten years added he would have been quite worthy of the admiration of any of the village girls.

The fruit cake and raspberry preserves and doughnuts and all the various viands that Madam Schuyler had ordered set out for the delectation of her guest had been partaken of, and David and the Squire sat talking of the news of the day, touching on politics, with a bit of laughter from the Squire at the man who thought he had invented a machine to draw carriages by steam in place of horses.

"There's a good deal in it, I believe," said the younger man. "His theory is all right if he can get some one to help him carry it out."

"Well, maybe, maybe," said the Squire shaking his head dubiously, "but it seems to me a very fanciful scheme. Horses are good enough for me. I shouldn't like to trust myself to an unknown quantity like steam, but time will tell."

"Yes, and the world is progressing. Something of the sort is sure to come. It has come in England. It would make a vast change in our country, binding city to city and practically eradicating space."

"Visionary schemes, David, visionary schemes, that's what I call them. You and I'll never see them in our day, I'm sure of that. Remember this is a new country and must go slow." The Squire was half laughing, half in earnest.

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