"Is that you?" said I, employing the foolish words that form the vocabulary of every talker through the telephone.
"Yes, this is I," came back the answer in the low, clear-cut tones that are an inheritance of the Telfairs. "Who is it, please?"
"It's me," said I, less ungrammatically than egotistically. "It's me, and I've got a few things that I want to say to you right now and immediately and straight to the point."
"Dear me," said the voice. "Oh, it's you, Mr. Arden!"
I wondered if any accent on the first word was intended; Mildred was fine at saying things that you had to study out afterward.
"Yes," said I. "I hope so. And now to come down to brass tacks." I thought that rather a vernacularism, if there is such a word, as soon as I had said it; but I didn't stop to apologize. "You know, of course, that I love you, and that I have been in that idiotic state for a long time. I don't want any more foolish ness about it--that is, I mean I want an answer from you right now. Will you marry me or not? Hold the wire, please. Keep out, Central. Hello, hello! Will you, or will you not.?"
That was just the uppercut for Reddy Burns' chin. The answer came back:
"Why, Phil, dear, of course I will! I didn't know that you--that is, you never said--oh, come up to the house, please--I can't say what I want to over the 'phone. You are so importunate. But please come up to the house, won't you?"