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At first , the talk was confined to Analytics, and Muirkirk,
thinking that after all they would proveno annoyance, went deep
into his Psychology. He had been at work only a few moments
when suddenly his eyes left the printed page and his concentrated
thoughts fled to the four winds. For he had heard his . own
name mentioned by the two beyond the bookcase.
" Mr. Muirkirk has been very attentive of late, hasn't he ? " re
marked one, apropos of some subject they had been discussing
" Attentive ! Well, if being with her every spare moment of
his time is attentive, then he has indeed' been so," said the other.
Muirkirk was quick to comprehend, and he flushed angrily.
Had the 'two been only a couple of the fellows, he would have
made them pay dearly for that 'speech. But since they were girls
he did the only and the wisest thing—he kept his peace
" I wonder whether their friendship is as purely Platonic as
they would have everyone believe ?" •
" On his side, no, I should say," replied the second.
then on hers it certainly is not more. Anyone with half an eye
can see that she is quite as indifferent to hi'm as any of them, but
he doesn't seem to see it. 'However, we'll have an opportunity
to judge after the ball game this afternoon. I confess it is amus
ing to see anyone so strong as Mr. Muirkirk so completely at the,
beck and call of a single girl."
" You wouldn't say that if you were that other girl," said her
" Now you're corning to the improbable, which is entirely be
yond our discussion. I admit that you are right, though," said
At that moment the clatter of the electric gong in the corridor
Warned them that the hour was up, and gathering their books to
gether with a final hasty glance at the half-prepared lessons, they
quitted the room.
Muiricirk did not move. Even his eyes remained fixed on a
point in the distant haze. "So that was what they were saying.
He was entirely under her thumb, • with no will of his own." He
smiled grimly and he, came to a sudden resolve. He would show
them all that very day that no one held sway over him. And so
it was that after the game that afternoon, while his friends crowd
ed about him with shouts and hearty wringings of his hand, he
WITHIN THE ELLIPSE