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The Old Flute-Player
A Romance of To-day

written by "Hare, J. Knowles"
...all about her face to hide it, through some sort of instinct (the first-cabin folk, above, all through the voyage, had been wont to gaze down on the steerage passengers as if they were a sort of interesting animals), and made her way across the slowly heaving planks to starboard. Glancing quickly upward as she went, she colored gloriously, for looking down straight at her from behind the rail which edged the elevated platform[43] of the prosperous, stood the youth who had picked up her father's bag as they had come on board, and whose eyes, since the first day of the voyage, she had found it wise to dodge if she would keep the crimson from her cheeks. Not that there had been anything, at any time, in the youth's gaze which could offend; rather had there been in it that which bewitched and thrilled. There was not another girl upon that steerage-deck who would not have been immensely pleased by and who would not have shyly answered his admiring glances, had they turned toward her, although there probably was not a girl there who was other than quite sweet and pure. Purity and sweetness are no bars to answering a glance and giggling. But he paid no heed, at all, to pretty emigrants who would have been delighted by flirtatious glances. It may, in fact, have been because of the shy fright, not in the least resentful,[44] but sweetly, girlishly embarrassed, with which Anna greeted his, whenever her eyes caught them, that he turned them toward her so exclusively and frequently. Admiring youth called to admiring youth in surreptitious glances from the high deck to the lower, and, it may be, from the steerage-deck up to the promenade. But, although she found no slightest thing offensive in the young man's veiled, approving surveillance, Anna felt almost as if she were in flight from peril—some brand-new, delightful peril—as, now, she hurried out of range of it and sought her father where, by the after-hatch, he perched upon a grea...

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