One woman had poked her head out--it was gray at the roots and golden at the tips--and asked her companion in a voice that had a large circumference where was Mrs. Linton.
Now, Herbert Courtland had not lived so long far from the busy haunts of men (white) as to be utterly ignorant of the fact that no young woman but one who is disposed to be quite friendly with a man, would adopt such a suggestion as he had made to her, and spend half an hour drinking half a cup of iced coffee by his side in that particular place. The particular place might have accommodated six persons; but he knew, and he knew that she knew also, that it was one of the unwritten laws of good society that such particular places are overcrowded if occupied by three persons. It was on this account the old men and maidens and the young men and matrons--that is how they pair themselves nowadays--had avoided the veranda so carefully, refusing to contribute to its congestion as a place of resort.
Herbert Courtland could not but feel that Phyllis intended to be friendly with him--even at the risk of being within audible distance of the strong man who was fighting a duel /a outrance/ with a grand piano; and as he desired to be on friendly terms with a girl in whom he was greatly interested, he was very much pleased to find her showing no disposition to return to the tea room, or any other room, until quite half an hour had gone by very pleasantly. And then she did so with a start: the start of a girl who suddenly remembers a duty-- and regrets it.
That had pleased him greatly; he felt it to be rather a triumph for him that by his side she had not only forgotten her duty but was glad she had forgotten it.
"Oh, yes!" she said, in answer to his question, "I have two other places to go to. I'm so sorry."
"Sorry that you remembered them?" he had suggested.
"What would happen if--I had continued forgetting them?" she asked.
"That is the most interesting question I have heard in some time. Why not try to continue forgetting them?"