The Dominant Strain
95 Pages
English
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The Dominant Strain

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95 Pages
English

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Published 08 December 2010
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Language English

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Dominant Strain, by Anna Chapin Ray This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Dominant Strain Author: Anna Chapin Ray Illustrator: Harry C. Edwards Release Date: August 22, 2009 [EBook #29760] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE DOMINANT STRAIN *** Produced by David Edwards, Woodie4 and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive) THE DOMINANT STRAIN "'Beatrix?' he said" THE DOMINANT STRAIN BY ANNA CHAPIN RAY AUTHOR OF "TEDDY, HER BOOK," "PHEBE, HER PROFESSION," "TEDDY, HER DAUGHTER," "NATHALIE'S CHUM," "EACH LIFE UNFULFILLED" ILLUSTRATED BY HARRY C. EDWARDS BOSTON LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 1903 Copyright, 1903, BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY . All rights reserved Published May, 1903 UNIVERSITY PRESS · JOHN WILSON AND SON · CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A. ILLUSTRATIONS FROM DRAWINGS IN COLOR BY HARRY C. EDWARDS "'Beatrix?' he said" "'Can't you make any sort of an excuse for yourself, Sidney?' she demanded" "It was so that Thayer liked best to think of her" "Beatrix still sat at the disordered table" "'I believe I might as well ask you now'" Frontispiece Page 123 " 205 " 245 " 339 THE DOMINANT STRAIN CHAPTER ONE Beatrix smiled a little wearily. Intimate friends are sometimes cloying, and she felt a certain irritation rising within her, as she watched Sally's bright face under her French toque, and listened to the easy stream of chatter which issued from Sally's lips. Sally had never faced such a crisis as the one confronting Beatrix, that day. Moreover, she had dimples, and it was impossible to believe in the sympathy of a person whose dimples insisted upon coming into sight, even in the midst of serious discussion. "If he hasn't already," Sally persisted; "he is bound to do it before the season is over. Then what shall you tell him?" "Aren't you rushing things a little?" Beatrix inquired languidly. "Please do remember that I only met Mr. Lorimer at the Horse Show, and that it is three weeks to Lent." "That's nothing," Sally replied flatly, but flippantly. "You subjugated Eric Stanford in half that time, and his gray [Pg 2] matter has been in a pulpy condition ever since." "I didn't know it." "About his gray matter?" "Oh, that is congenital trouble. I mean I didn't know that I had subjugated him. Besides, that is different. He was Bobby Dane's chum, and we took him into the family." "Took him in all over," Sally drawled. Beatrix's eyes flashed. There were things she would not say to Sally; there were also things which Sally could not say to her. "I am so sorry," she said, as she rose; "but I must get ready for Mrs. Stanley's recital. How does it happen you aren't going?" "For the most ignominious of reasons. I'm not bidden. Mrs. Stanley and I were on a committee together, once upon a time. We squabbled over some amateur theatricals, and she has cut my acquaintance ever since. I always did say that there is nothing like amateur theatricals for bringing out all the worst vices of humanity. If a Shakespearian revival ever reaches the heavenly host, Gabriel and Michael will have to play Othello and Iago turn and turn about, to prevent ill-feeling. Beatrix?" "Well?" "What do you honestly think of Mr. Lorimer?" Beatrix hesitated. Then she faced her friend. "That he is the most interesting man we have met, this season." [Pg 3] [Pg 1] "That's not saying any too much. Still, it is an admission. Are you going to marry him?" "He hasn't asked me." "But he will." "How do you know?" "I do know." "I'm not so sure of it." Beatrix laughed nervously. "But if he does?" "I—I'm not so sure of that, either." "Beatrix! Why not?" Beatrix untied the long ribbons which belted her gown, and stood drawing them slowly through and through her fingers. Sally leaned back in her deep chair and watched her friend keenly, mercilessly. She and Beatrix had fenced long enough; it was time for the direct thrust. Sidney Lorimer was the most available man on that winter's carpet. Moreover, for weeks he had been a patient follower in the wake of Beatrix Dane. Beatrix might be as impenetrable as she chose; but Sally knew that, during the past week, she had been reading the headings of certain suppressed chapters in Lorimer's history, and that they had changed her whole attitude [Pg 4] towards the man. The signs were slight, too slight for him to have recognized them as yet; but Sally's curious, pitiless eyes had discerned them. She had discerned and disapproved, and she had resolved that no squeamish delicacy should keep her from preventing Beatrix's playing the part of a prude. "He is the best-looking man of the season, and the best dancer. He took honors at Göttingen. He has any quantity of money." Sally ticked off the points on the tips of her gray glove. "And most of all," she tapped her thumb conclusively, "he is very much in love with Miss Beatrix Dane, and I want him to marry her." "Oh, Sally, do be sensible!" Beatrix burst out impatiently. Then she pulled herself up sharply and turned to bay. "What about the Forbes supper?" she demanded. Sally shrugged her shoulders, as she fastened her fur collar. "Oh, Beatrix, you prig! Are there any men of our set who haven't been a little frisky?" "Frisky! That is a milder word than I should use, Sally. The Forbes affair transcends friskiness and becomes the beginning of the pace that kills. It was intolerable; I can't forgive it." Her face flushed; then it paled and hardened with the rigidity of self-control. Sally peered out at her through lowered lashes, and judged that it was time for her to remove herself. She had known Beatrix from their childhood, and this was the first time she had seen her jarred from her self-possession. She fastened the last hook with a jerk. Then she rose and went to her friend's side. "I didn't mean to tease you, dear," she said penitently. "I know this has been worrying you; but don't let it get on your nerves and influence you too much. All men make slips at times. Mr. Lorimer is a good fellow, even if he has been a little fast. He would drop all that as soon as he was—settled. Besides, this isn't nearly