"I suppose they are having a lot of trouble in catching my horse," she remarked.
"They'll get him," Tom assured her, "one of those men is my manager. He always gets what he starts out for. What were we talking about? Oh, Austen Vane. You see, I've known him ever since I was a shaver, and I think the world of him. If he asked me to go to South America and get him a zebra to-morrow, I believe I'd do it."
"That is real devotion," said Victoria. The more she saw of young Tom, the better she liked him, although his conversation was apt to be slightly embarrassing.
"We've been through a lot of rows together," Tom continued, warming to his subject, "in school and college. You see, Austen's the kind of man who doesn't care what anybody thinks, if he takes it into his head to do a thing. It was a great piece of luck for me that he shot that fellow out West, or he wouldn't be here now. You heard about that, didn't you?"
"Yes," said Victoria, "I believe I did."
"And yet," said Tom, "although I'm as good a friend as he has, I never quite got under his skin. There's some things I wouldn't talk to him about. I've learned that. I never told him, for instance, that I saw him out in a sleigh with you at the capital."
"Oh," said Victoria; and she added, "Is he ashamed of it?"
"It's not that," replied Tom, hastily, "but I guess if he'd wanted me to know about it, he'd have told me."