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MY LIFE AND LOVES.

in Mexico and his conquests. "Ah, you should have seen her as I led her in the baile (dance)—an angel!" and he kissed his fingers gallantly.

"As pretty as your cousin?" I ventured. Señor Arriga flashed a sharp suspicious glance at me, but apparently reassured by my frankness, went on:

"In Mexico we never talk of members of our family," he warned: "The Señorita is pretty, of course, but very young; she has not the charm of experience, the caress of—I know so little American, I find it difficult to explain."

But I was satisfied. "He doesn't love her", I said to myself; "loves no one except himself."

In a thousand little ways I took occasion to commend myself to the Vidals. Every afternoon they drove out and I took care they should have the best buggy and the best driver and was at pains to find out new and pretty drives, though goodness knows the choice was limited. The beauty of the girl grew on me in an extraordinary way: yet it was the pride and reserve in her face that fascinated me more even than her great dark eyes or fine features or splendid coloring. Her figure and walk were wonderful; I thought: I never dared to seek epithets for her eyes, or mouth or neck. Her first appearance in evening dress was a revelation to me: she was my idol, enskied and sacred.

It is to be presumed that the girl saw how it was with me and was gratified. She made no sign, betrayed herself in no way, but her mother noticed that she was always eager to go downstairs to the lounge and missed no opportunity of making some inquiry at the desk.

"I want to practice my English," the girl said once and the mother smiled: "Los ojos, you mean your eyes, my dear," and added to herself: "But why not?