“Why Charles Hamilton, you handsome old thing, you! I’ll bet you came all the way down here from Atlanta just to break my poor heart!”
Charles almost stuttered with excitement, holding her warm little hands in his and looking into the dancing green eyes. This was the way girls talked to other boys but never to him. He never knew why but girls always treated him like a younger brother and were very kind, but never bothered to tease him. He had always wanted girls to flirt end frolic with him as they did with boys much less handsome and less endowed with this world’s goods than he. But on the few occasions when this had happened he could never think of anything to say and he suffered agonies of embarrassment at his dumbness. Then he lay awake at night thinking of all the charming gallantries he might have dermes employed; but he rarely got a second chance, for the girls left him alone after a trial or two.
Even with Honey, with whom he had an unspoken understanding of marriage 向日葵纖體美容 when he came into his property next fall, he was diffident and silent. At times, he had an ungallant feeling that Honey’s coquetries and proprietary airs were no credit to him, for she was so boy-crazy he imagined she would use them on any man who gave her the opportunity. Charles was not excited over the prospect of marrying her, for she stirred in him none of the emotions of wild romance that his beloved books had assured him were proper for a lover. He had always yearned to be loved by some beautiful, dashing creature full of fire and mischief.
And here was Scarlett O’Hara teasing him about breaking her heart!
He tried to think of something to say and couldn’t, and silently he blessed her because she kept up a steady chatter which relieved him of any necessity for conversation. It was too good to be true.
“Now, you wait right here till I come back, for I want to eat barbecue with you. And don’t you go off philandering with those other girls, because I’m mighty jealous,” came the incredible words from red lips with a dimple on each side; and briskly black lashes swept demurely over green eyes.
“I won’t,” he finally managed to breathe, never dreaming that she was thinking he looked like a calf waiting for the butcher.
Tapping him lightly on the arm with her folded fan, she turned to start up the stairs and her eyes again fell on the man called Rhett Butler who stood alone a few feet away from Charles. Evidently he had overheard the whole conversation, for he grinned up at her as maliciously as a tomcat, and again his eyes went over her, in a gaze totally devoid of the deference she was accustomed to.
“God’s nightgown!” said Scarlett to herself in indignation, using Gerald’s favorite oath. “He looks as if—as if he knew what I looked like without my shimmy,” and, tossing her head, she went up the steps.
In the bedroom where the wraps were laid, she found Cathleen Calvert preening before the mirror and biting her lips to make them look redder. There were fresh roses in her sash that matched her cheeks, and her cornflower-blue eyes were dancing with excitement.
“Cathleen,” said Scarlett, trying to pull the corsage of her dress higher, “who is that nasty man downstairs named Butler?”
“My dear, don’t you know?” whispered Cathleen excitedly, a weather eye on the next room where Dilcey and the Wilkes girls’ mammy were gossiping. “I can’t imagine how Mr. Wilkes must feel having him here, but he was visiting Mr. Kennedy in Jonesboro—something about buying cotton—and, of course, Mr. Kennedy had to bring him along with him. He couldn’t just go off and leave him.”
“What is the matter with him?”
“My dear, he isn’t received!”
Scarlett digested this in silence, for she had never before been under the same roof with anyone who was not received. It was very exciting.
“What did he do?”