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Active Service by Stephen Crane

Part 4 out of 5

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pounding of a horse on the trot, and he was not sorry
to have now a period for reflection, as well as this
artificial stimulant. As he viewed the game he had in his
hand about all the cards that were valuable. In fact,
he considered that the only ace against him was Mrs.
Wainwright. He had always regarded her as a stupid
person, concealing herself behind a mass of trivialities
which were all conventional, but he thought now that
the more stupid she was and the more conventional in
her triviality the more she approached to being the
very ace of trumps itself. She was just the sort of a
card that would come upon the table mid the neat
play of experts and by some inexplicable arrangement
of circumstance, lose a whole game for the wrong man.
After Mrs. Wainwright he worried over the students.
He believed them to be reasonable enough;
in fact, he honoured them distinctly in regard to their
powers of reason, but he knew that people generally
hated a row. It, put them off their balance, made
them sweat over a lot of pros and cons, and prevented
them from thinking for a time at least only of themselves.
Then they came to resent the principals in a
row. Of course the principal, who was thought to be
in the wrong, was the most rescnted, but Coleman be-
lieved that, after all, people always came to resent the
other principal, or at least be impatient and suspicious
of him. If he was a correct person, why was
he in a row at all? The principal who had been in
the right often brought this impatience and suspicion
upon himself, no doubt, by never letting the matter
end, continuing to yawp about his virtuous suffering,
and not allowing people to return to the steady
contemplation of their own affairs. As a precautionary
measure he decided to say nothing at all about the
late trouble, unless some one addressed him upon it.
Even then he would be serenely laconic. He felt that
he must be popular with the seven students. In the
first place, it was nice that in the presence of Marjory
they should like him, and in the second place he
feared to displease them as a body because he believed
that he had some dignity. Hoodlums are seldom
dangerous to other hoodlums, but if they catch
pomposity alone in the field, pomposity is their prey.
They tear him to mere bloody ribbons, amid heartless
shrieks. When Coleman put himself on the same
basis with the students, he could cope with them
easily, but he did not want the wild pack after him
when Marjory could see the chase. And so be rea-
soned that his best attitude was to be one of rather
taciturn serenity.

On the hard military road the hoofs of the horses
made such clatter that it was practically impossible to
hold talk between the carriages and the horsemen
without all parties bellowing. The professor, how-
ever, strove to overcome the difficulties. He was
apparently undergoing a great amiability toward
Coleman. Frequently he turned with a bright face, and
pointing to some object in the landscape, obviously
tried to convey something entertaining to Coleman's
mind. Coleman could see his lips mouth the words.
He always nodded cheerily in answer and yelled.

The road ultimately became that straight lance-handle
which Coleman-it seemed as if many years had
passed-had traversed with his dragoman and the
funny little carriers. He was fixing in his mind a
possible story to the Wainwrights about the snake and
his first dead Turk. But suddenly the carriages left
this road and began a circuit of the Gulf of Arta,
winding about an endless series of promontories. The
journey developed into an excess of dust whirling from
a road, which half circled the waist of cape after cape.
All dramatics were lost in the rumble of wheels and
in the click of hoofs. They passed a little soldier
leading a prisoner by a string. They passed more
frightened peasants, who seemed resolved to flee down
into the very boots of Greece. And people looked at
them with scowls, envying them their speed. At the
little town from which Coleman embarked at one stage
of the upward journey, they found crowds in the
streets. There was no longer any laughter, any confidence,
any vim. All the spirit of the visible Greek
nation seemed to have been knocked out of it in two
blows. But still they talked and never ceased talking.
Coleman noticed that the most curious changes had
come upon them since his journey to the frontier.
They no longer approved of foreigners. They seemed
to blame the travellers for something which had
transpired in the past few days. It was not that they
really blamed the travellers for the nation's calamity:
It was simply that their minds were half stunned by
the news of defeats, and, not thinking for a moment to
blame themselves, or even not thinking to attribute
the defeats to mere numbers and skill, they were
savagely eager to fasten it upon something near enough
at hand for the operation of vengeance.

Coleman perceived that the dragoman, all his former
plumage gone, was whining and snivelling as he argued
to a dark-browed crowd that was running beside the
cavalcade. The groom, who always had been a
miraculously laconic man, was suddenly launched forth
garrulously. The, drivers, from their high seats, palavered
like mad men, driving with oat hand and gesturing
with the other, explaining evidently their own great
innocence.

Coleman saw that there was trouble, but he only sat
more stiffly in his saddle. The eternal gabble moved
him to despise the situation. At any rate, the travellers
would soon be out of this town and on to a more
sensible region.

However he saw the driver of the first carriage sud-
denly pull up boforg a little blackened coffee shop and
inn. The dragman spurred forward and began wild
expostulation. The second carriage pulled close behind
the other. The crowd, murmuring like a Roman mob in
Nero's time, closed around them.

.

CHAPTER XXI.

COLEMAN pushed his horse coolly through to the
dragoman;s side. " What is it ? " he demanded. The
dragoman was broken-voiced. " These peoples, they
say you are Germans, all Germans, and they are
angry," he wailed. " I can do nossing-nossing."

" Well, tell these men to drive on," said Coleman,
"tell them theymust drive on."

" They will not drive on," wailed the dragoman,
still more loudly. " I can do nossing. They say here
is place for feed the horse. It is the custom and they
will note drive on."

" Make them drive on."

" They will note," shrieked the agonised servitor.
Coleman looked from the men waving their arms
and chattering on the box-seats to the men of the
crowd who also waved their arms and chattered. In
this throng far to the rear of the fighting armies there
did not seem to be a single man who was not
ablebodied, who had not been free to enlist as a soldier.
They were of that scurvy behind-the-rear-guard which
every nation has in degree proportionate to its worth.
The manhood of Greece had gone to the frontier,
leaving at home this rabble of talkers, most of whom
were armed with rifles for mere pretention. Coleman
loathed them to the end of his soul. He thought
them a lot of infants who would like to prove their
courage upon eleven innocent travellers, all but
unarmed, and in this fact he was quick to see a great
danger to the Wainwright party. One could deal
with soldiers; soldiers would have been ashamed to
bait helpless people ; but this rabble-

The fighting blood of the correspondent began to
boil, and he really longed for the privilege to run
amuck through the multitude. But a look at the
Wainwrights kept him in his senses. The professor
had turned pale as a dead man. He sat very stiff and
still while his wife clung to him, hysterically beseeching
him to do something, do something, although
what he was to do she could not have even imagined.

Coleman took the dilemma by its beard. He
dismounted from his horse into the depths of the crowd
and addressed the Wainwrights. " I suppose we had
better go into this place and have some coffee while
the men feed their horses. There is no use in trying
to make them go on." His manner was fairly
casual, but they looked at him in glazed horror. " It
is the only thing to do. This crowd is not nearly so
bad as they think they are. But we've got to look as
if we felt confident." He himself had no confidence
with this angry buzz in his ears, but be felt certain
that the only correct move was to get everybody as
quickly as possible within the shelter of the inn. It
might not be much of a shelter for them, but it was
better than the carriages in the street.

The professor and Mrs. Wainwright seemed to be
considering their carriage as a castle, and they looked
as if their terror had made them physically incapable
of leaving it. Coleman stood waiting. Behind him
the clapper-tongued crowd was moving ominously.
Marjory arose and stepped calmly down to him.
He thrilled to the end of every nerve. It was as if
she had said: " I don't think there is great danger,
but if there is great danger, why * * here I am *
ready * with you." It conceded everything,
admitted everything. It was a surrender without a
blush, and it was only possible in the shadow of the
crisis when they did not know what the next
moments might contain for them. As he took her
hand and she stepped past him he whispered swiftly
and fiercely in her ear, " I love you." She did not
look up, but he felt that in this quick incident they
had claimed each other, accepted each other with a
far deeper meaning and understanding than could be
possible in a mere drawing-room. She laid her hand
on his arm, and with the strength of four men he
twisted his horse into the making of furious prancing
side-steps toward the door of the inn, clanking side-
steps which mowed a wide lane through the crowd for
Marjory, his Marjory. He was as haughty as a new
German lieutenant, and although he held the fuming
horse with only his left hand, he seemed perfectly
capable of hurling the animal over a house without
calling into service the arm which was devoted to
Marjory.

It was not an exhibition of coolness such as wins
applause on the stage when the hero placidly lights a
cigarette before the mob which is clamouring for his
death. It was, on the contrary, an exhibition of
downright classic disdain, a disdain which with the
highest arrogance declared itself in every glance of his
eye into the faces about him. " Very good * *
attack me if you like * * there is nothing to prevent
it * * you mongrels." Every step of his progress
was made a renewed insult to them. The very air
was charged with what this lone man was thinking
of this threatening crowd.

His audacity was invincible. They actually made
way for it as quickly as children would flee from a
ghost. The horse, dancing; with ringing steps, with
his glistening neck arched toward the iron hand at his
bit, this powerful, quivering animal was a regular
engine of destruction, and they gave room until Coleman
halted him -at an exclamation from Marjory.

" My mother and father." But they were coming
close behind and Coleman resumed this contemptuous
journey to the door of the inn. The groom, with his
new-born tongue, was clattering there to the populace.
Coleman gave him the horse and passed after the
Wainwrights into the public room of the inn. He
was smiling. What simpletons!

A new actor suddenly appeared in the person of the
keeper of the inn. He too had a rifle and a prodigious
belt of cartridges, but it was plain at once that he had
elected to be a friend of the worried travellers. A
large part of the crowd were thinking it necessary to
enter the inn and pow-wow more. But the innkeeper
stayed at the door with the dragoman, and together
they vociferously held back the tide. The spirit of
the mob had subsided to a more reasonable feeling.
They no longer wished to tear the strangers limb from
limb on the suspicion that they were Germans. They
now were frantic to talk as if some inexorable law
had kept them silent for ten years and this was the
very moment of their release. Whereas, their simul-
taneous and interpolating orations had throughout
made noise much like a coal-breaker.
Coleman led the Wainwrights to a table in a far
part of the room. They took chairs as if he had com-
manded them. " What an outrage," he said jubilantly.
" The apes." He was keeping more than half an eye
upon the door, because he knew that the quick coming
of the students was important.

Then suddenly the storm broke in wrath. Something
had happened in the street. The jabbering crowd at
the door had turned and were hurrying upon some
central tumult. The dragoman screamed to Coleman.
Coleman jumped and grabbed the dragoman. " Tell
this man to take them somewhere up stairs," he cried,
indicating the Wainwrights with a sweep of his arm.
The innkeeper seemed to understand sooner than the
dragoman, and he nodded eagerly. The professor was
crying: "What is it, Mr. Coleman? What is it ? "
An instant later, the correspondent was out in the
street, buffeting toward a scuffle. Of course it was
the students. It appeared, afterward, that those
seven young men, with their feelings much ruffled,
had been making the best of their way toward the
door of the inn, when a large man in the crowd, during
a speech which was surely most offensive, had laid
an arresting hand on the shoulder of Peter Tounley.
Whereupon the excellent Peter Tounley had hit the
large man on the jaw in such a swift and skilful manner
that the large man had gone spinning through a
group of his countrymen to the hard earth, where he
lay holding his face together and howling. Instantly,
of course, there had been a riot. It might well be
said that even then the affair could have ended in a lot
of talking, but in the first place the students did not
talk modern Greek, and in the second place they were
now past all thought of talking. They regarded this
affair seriously as a fight, and now that they at last
were in it, they were in it for every pint of blood in
their bodies. Such a pack of famished wolves had
never before been let loose upon men armed with
Gras rifles.

They all had been expecting the row, and when
Peter Tounley had found it expedient to knock over
the man, they had counted it a signal: their arms
immediately begun to swing out as if they had been
wound up. It was at this time that Coleman swam
brutally through the Greeks and joined his countrymen.
He was more frightened than any of those novices.
When he saw Peter Tounley overthrow a dreadful
looking brigand whose belt was full of knives, and who
-crashed to the ground amid a clang of cartridges, he
was appalled by the utter simplicity with which the
lads were treating the crisis. It was to them no com-
mon scrimmage at Washurst, of course, but it flashed
through Coleman's mind that they had not the
slightegt sense of the size of the thing. He expected
every instant to see the flash of knives or to hear the
deafening intonation of a rifle fired against hst ear. It
seemed to him miraculous that the tragedy was so long
delayed.

In the meantirne he was in the affray. He jilted
one man under the chin with his elbow in a way that
reeled him off from Peter Tounley's back; a little person
in thecked clothes he smote between the eyes; he
recieved a gun-butt emphatically on the aide of the
neck; he felt hands tearing at him; he kicked the pins
out from under three men in rapid succession. He
was always yelling. " Try to get to the inn, boys, try
to get to the inn. Look out, Peter. Take care for his
knife, Peter--" Suddenly he whipped a rifle out of
the hands of a man and swung it, whistling. He had
gone stark mad with the others.

The boy Billy, drunk from some blows and bleeding,
was already. staggering toward the inn over the clearage
which the wild Coleman made with the clubbed
rifle. Tho others follewed as well as they might while
beating off a discouraged enemy. The remarkable
innkeeper had barred his windows with strong wood
shutters. He held the door by the crack for them, and
they stumbled one by on through the portal. Coleman
did not know why they were not all dead, nor did
he understand the intrepid and generous behaviour of
the innkeeper, but at any rate he felt that the
fighting was suspended, and he wanted to see Marjory.
The innkeeper was, doing a great pantomime in the
middle of the darkened room, pointing to the outer
door and then aiming his rifle at it to explain his
intention of defending them at all costs. Some of the
students moved to a billiard table and spread them-
selves wearily upon it. Others sank down where they
stood. Outside the crowd was beginning to roar.
Coleman's groom crept out from under the little
Coffee bar and comically saluted his master. The
dragoman was not present. Coleman felt that he
must see Marjory, and he made signs to the innkeeper.
The latter understood quickly, and motioned that
Coleman should follow him. They passed together
through a dark hall and up a darker stairway, where
after Coleman stepped out into a sun-lit room, saying
loudly: "Oh, it's all right. It's all over. Don't worry."

Three wild people were instantly upon him. " Oh,
what was it? What did happen? Is anybody hurt?
Oh, tell us, quick!" It seemed at the time that it
was an avalanche of three of them, and it was not
until later that he recognised that Mrs. Wainwright had
tumbled the largest number of questions upon him.
As for Marjory, she had said nothing until the time
when she cried: " Oh-he is bleeding-he is bleeding.
Oh, come, quick!" She fairly dragged him out of
one room into another room, where there was a jug of
water. She wet her handkerchief and softly smote
his wounds. "Bruises," she said, piteously, tearfully.
" Bruises. Oh, dear! How they must hurt you.'
The handkerchief was soon stained crimson.

When Coleman spoke his voice quavered. " It isn't
anything. Really, it isn't anything." He had not
known of these wonderful wounds, but he almost
choked in the joy of Marjory's ministry and her half
coherent exclamations. This proud and beautiful
girl, this superlative creature, was reddening her
handkerchief with his blood, and no word of his could
have prevented her from thus attending him. He
could hear the professor and Mrs. Wainwright fussing
near him, trying to be of use. He would have liked
to have been able to order them out of the room.
Marjory's cool fingers on his face and neck had conjured
within him a vision at an intimacy tnat was even
sweeter than anything which he had imagined, and he
longed to pour out to her the bubbling, impassioned
speech which came to his lips. But, always doddering
behind him, were the two old people, strenuous to be
of help to him.

Suddenly a door opened and a youth appeared,
simply red with blood. It was Peter Tounley. His
first remark was cheerful. "Well, I don't suppose
those people will be any too quick to look for more
trouble."

Coleman felt a swift pang because he had forgotten
to announce the dilapidated state of all the students.
He had been so submerged by Marjory's tenderness
that all else had been drowned from his mind. His
heart beat quickly as he waited for Marjory to leave
him and rush to Peter Tounley.

But she did nothing of the sort. " Oh, Peter," she
cried in distress, and then she turned back to Coleman.
It was the professor and Mrs. Wainwright who, at last
finding a field for their kindly ambitions, flung them.
selves upon Tounley and carried him off to another
place. Peter was removed, crying: " Oh, now, look

here, professor, I'm not dying or anything of the sort
Coleman and Marjory were left alone. He suddenly
and forcibly took one of her hands and the blood
stained hankerchief dropped to the floor.

CHAPTER XXII.

From below they could hear the thunder of weapons
and fits upon the door of the inn amid a great
clamour of. tongues. Sometimes there arose the
argumtntative howl of the innkeeper. Above this roar,
Coleman's quick words sounded in Marjory's ear.

" I've got to go. I've got to go back to the boys, but
-I love you."

" Yes go, go," she whispered hastily. " You should
be there, but-come back."

He held her close to him. " But you are mine, remember,"
he said fiercely and sternly. " You are
mine-forever-As I am yours-remember."
Her eyes half closed. She made intensely solemn
answer. "Yes." He released her and vphs gone.
In the glooming coffee room of the inn he found
the students, the dragoman, the groom and the innkeeper
armed with a motley collection of weapons which
ranged from the rifle of the innkeeper to the table leg
in the hands of PeterTounley. The last named young
student of archeology was in a position of temporary
leadefship and holding a great pow-bow with the
innkeeper through the medium of peircing outcries by
the dragoman. Coleman had not yet undestood why
none of them had been either stabbed or shot in the
fight in the steeet, but it seemed to him now that
affairs were leading toward a crisis of tragedy. He
thought of the possibilities of having the dragoman go
to an upper window and harangue the people, but he
saw no chance of success in such a plan. He saw that
the crowd would merely howl at the dragoman while
the dragoman howled at the crowd. He then asked
if there was any other exit from the inn by which
they could secretly escape. He learned that the door
into the coffee room was the only door which pierced
the four great walls. All he could then do was to
find out from the innkeeper how much of a siege the
place could stand, and to this the innkeeper answered
volubly and with smiles that this hostelry would easily
endure until the mercurial temper of the crowd had
darted off in a new direction. It may be curious to
note here that all of Peter Tounley's impassioned
communication with the innkeeper had been devoted
to an endeavour to learn what in the devil was the
matter with these people, as a man about to be bitten
by poisonous snakes should, first of all, furiously
insist upon learning their exact species before deciding
upon either his route, if he intended to run away, or
his weapon if he intended to fight them.

The innkeeper was evidently convinced that this
house would withstand the rage of the populace, and
he was such an unaccountably gallant little chap that
Coleman trusted entirely to his word. His only fear
or suspicion was an occasional one as to the purity of
the dragoman's translation.

Suddenly there was half a silence on the mob without
the door. It is inconceivable that it could become
altogether silent, but it was as near to a rational
stillness of tongues as it was able. Then there was a
loud knocking by a single fist and a new voice began
to spin Greek, a voice that was somewhat like the
rattle of pebbles in a tin box. Then a startling voice
called out in English. " Are you in there, Rufus? "

Answers came from every English speaking person
in the room in one great outburst. "Yes."

" Well, let us in," called Nora Black. " It is all
right. We've got an officer with us."

" Open the door," said Coleman with speed. The
little innkeeper labouriously unfastened the great bars,
and when the door finally opened there appeared on
the threshold Nora Black with Coke and an officer of
infantry, Nora's little old companion, and Nora's
dragoman.

" We saw your carriage in the street," cried the
queen of comic opera as she swept into the room.
She was beaming with delight. " What is all the row,
anyway? O-o-oh, look at that student's nose. Who
hit him? And look at Rufus. What have you boys
been doing?"

Her little Greek officer of infantry had stopped the
mob from flowing into the room. Coleman looked
toward the door at times with some anxiety. Nora,
noting it, waved her hand in careless reassurance;
" Oh, it's, all right. Don't worry about them any
more. He is perfectly devoted to me. He would
die there on the threshold if I told him it would
please me. Speaks splendid French. I found him
limping along the road and gave him a lift. And now
do hurry up and tell me exactly what happened."
They all told what had happened, while Nora and
Coke listened agape. Coke, by the way, had quite
floated back to his old position with the students. It
had been easy in the stress of excitement and wonder.
Nobody had any titne to think of the excessively remote
incidents of the early morning. All minor interests
were lost in the marvel of the present situation.

"Who landed you in the eye, Billie?" asked the
awed Coke. " That was a bad one."
" Oh, I don't know," said Billie. " You really
couldn't tell who hit you, you know. It was a football
rush. They had guns and knives, but they didn't use
'em. I don't know why Jinks! I'm getting pretty
stiff. My face feels as if it were made of tin. Did
they give you people a row, too ? "

" No; only talk. That little officer managed them.
Out-talked them, I suppose. Hear him buzz, now."
The Wainwrights came down stairs. Nora Black
went confidently forward to meet them. "You've
added one more to your list of rescuers," She cried,
with her glowing, triumphant smile. "Miss Black of
the New York Daylight-at your service. How in
the world do you manage to get yourselves into such
dreadful Scrapes? You are the most remarkable people.
You need a guardian. Why, you might have all
been killed. How exciting it must seem to be regularly
of your party." She had shaken cordiaily one of
Mrs. Wainwright's hands without that lady indicating
assent to the proceeding but Mrs. Wainwright had
not felt repulsion. In fact she had had no emotion
springing directly from it. Here again the marvel of
the situation came to deny Mrs. Wainwright the right
to resume a state of mind which had been so painfully
interesting to her a few hours earlier.

The professor, Coleman and all the students were
talking together. Coke had addressed Coleman civilly
and Coleman had made a civil reply. Peace was upon
them.

Nora slipped her arm lovingly through Marjbry's
arm. "That Rufus! Oh, that Rufus," she cried joyously.
" I'll give him a good scolding as soon as I
see him alone. I might have foreseen that he would
get you all into trouble. The old stupid ! "

Marjory did not appear to resent anything. " Oh, I
don't think it was Mr. Coleman's fault at ail," she an-
swered calmly. "I think it was more the fault of
Peter Tounley, poor boy."

" Well, I'd be glad to believe it, I'd be glad to believe it,"
said Nora. "I want Rufus to keep out of
that sort of thing, but he is so hot-headed and foolish."
If she had pointed out her proprietary stamp on Coleman's
cheek she could not have conveyed what she
wanted with more clearness.

" Oh," said the impassive Marjory, " I don't think
you need have any doubt as to whose fault it was, if
there were any of our boys at fault. Mr. Coleman
was inside when the fighting commenced, and only ran
out to help the boys. He had just brought us safely
through the mob, and, far from being hot-headed and
foolish, he was utterly cool in manner, impressively
cool, I thought. I am glad to be able to reassure you
on these points, for I see that they worry you."

".Yes, they do worry me," said Nora, densely.
They worry me night and day when he is away from
me."

" Oh," responded Marjory, " I have never thought
of Mr. Coleman as a man that one would worry about
much. We consider him very self-reliant, able to take
care of himself under almost any conditions, but then,
of course, we do not know him at all in the way that
you know him. I should think that you would find
that he came off rather better than you expected from
most of his difficulties. But then, of course, as. I said,
you know him so much better than we do." Her
easy indifference was a tacit dismissal of Coleman as
a topic.

Nora, now thoroughly alert, glanced keenly into the
other girl's face, but it was inscrutable. The actress
had intended to go careering through a whole circle
of daring illusions to an intimacy with,Coleman, but
here, before she had really developed her attack,
Marjory, with a few conventional and indifferent
sentences, almost expressive of boredom, had made
the subject of Coleman impossible. An effect was left
upon Nora's mind that Marjory had been extremely
polite in listening to much nervous talk about a person
in whom she had no interest.

The actress was dazed. She did not know how it
had all been done. Where was the head of this thing?
And where Was the tail? A fog had mysteriously
come upon all her brilliant prospects of seeing Marjory
Wainwright suffer, and this fog was the product of
a kind of magic with which she was not familiar.
She could not think how to fight it. After being
simply dubious throughout a long pause, she in the
end went into a great rage. She glared furiously at
Marjory, dropped her arm as if it had burned her and
moved down upon Coleman. She must have reflected
that at any rate she could make him wriggle. When
she was come near to him, she called out: "Rufus!"
In her tone was all the old insolent statement of
ownership. Coleman might have been a poodle. She
knew how to call his same in a way that was anything
less than a public scandal. On this occasion everybody
looked at him and then went silent, as people
awaiting the startling denouement of a drama.
" Rufus! " She was baring his shoulder to show the
fieur-de-lis of the criminal. The students gaped.

Coleman's temper was, if one may be allowed to
speak in that way, broken loose inside of him. He
could hardly beeathe; he felt that his body was about
to explode into a thousand fragments. He simply
snarled out " What? " Almost at once he saw that
she had at last goaded him into making a serious
tactical mistake. It must be admitted that it is only
when the relations between a man and a woman are
the relations of wedlock, or at least an intimate
resemblance to it, that the man snarls out " What? " to
the woman. Mere lovers say " I beg your pardon ? "
It is only Cupid's finished product that spits like a
cat. Nora Black had called him like a wife, and he
had answered like a husband. For his cause, his
manner could not possibly have been worse. He saw
the professor stare at him in surprise and alarm, and
felt the excitement of the eight students. These
latter were diabolic in the celerity with which they
picked out meanings. It was as plain to them as if
Nora Black had said: " He is my property."

Coleman would have given his nose to have been
able to recall that single reverberating word. But he
saw that the scene was spelling downfall for him, and
he went still more blind and desperate of it. His
despair made him burn to make matters Worse. He
did not want to improve anything at all. " What?"
he demanded. " What do ye' want?"

Nora was sweetly reproachful. " I left my jacket
in the carriage, and I want you to get it for me."

" Well, get it for yourself, do you see? Get it for
yourself."

Now it is plainly to be seen that no one of the
people listening there had ever heard a man speak
thus to a woman who was not his wife. Whenever
they had heard that form of spirited repartee it had
come from the lips of a husband. Coleman's rude
speech was to their ears a flat announcement of an
extraordinary intimacy between Nora Black and the
correspondent. Any other interpretation would not
have occurred to them. It was so palpable that it
greatly distressed them with its arrogance and
boldness. The professor had blushed. The very
milkiest word in his mind at the time was the word
vulgarity.

Nora Black had won a great battle. It was her
Agincourt. She had beaten the clever Coleman in a
way that had left little of him but rags. However,
she could have lost it all again if she had shown her
feeling of elation. At Coleman's rudeness her manner
indicated a mixture of sadness and embarrassment.
Her suffering was so plain to the eye that Peter
Tounley was instantly moved. " Can't I get your
jacket for you, Miss Black? " he asked hastily, and at
her grateful nod he was off at once.

Coleman was resolved to improve nothing. His
overthrow seemed to him to be so complete that he
could not in any way mend it without a sacrifice of his
dearest prides. He turned away from them all and
walked to an isolated corner of the room. He would
abide no longer with them. He had been made an
outcast by Nora Black, and he intended to be an
outcast. Therc was no sense in attempting to stem this
extraordinary deluge. It was better to acquiesce.
Then suddenly he was angry with Marjory. He
did not exactly see why he was angry at Marjory,
but he was angry at her nevertheless. He thought
of how he could revenge himself upon her. He
decided to take horse with his groom and dragoman and
proceed forthwith on the road, leaving the jumble as
it stood. This would pain Marjory, anyhow, he
hoped. She would feel it deeply, he hoped.
Acting upon this plan, he went to the professor.
Well, of course you are all right now, professor, and
if you don't mind, I would like to leave you-go on
ahead. I've got a considerable pressure of business
on my mind, and I think I should hurry on to Athens,
if you don't mind."

The professor did not seem to know what to say.
" Of course, if you wish it-sorry, I'm sure-of course
it is as you please-but you have been such a power
in our favour-it seems too bad to lose you-but-if
you wish it-if you insist-"

" Oh, yes, I quite insist," said Coleman, calmly. "I
quite insist. Make your mind easy on that score,
professor. I insist."

"Well, Mr. Coleman," stammered the old man.
" Well, it seems a great pity to lose you-you have
been such a power in our favour-"

"Oh, you are now only eight hours from the rail-
way. It is very easy. You would not need my as-
sistance, even if it were a benefit!

" But-" said the professor.

Coleman's dragoman came to him then and said:
"There is one man here who says you made to take
one rifle in the fight and was break his head. He
was say he wants sunthing for you was break his
head. He says hurt."

"How much does he want?" asked Coleman, im-
patiently.

The dragoman wrestled then evidently with a desire
to protect this mine from outside fingers. "I-I think
two gold piece plenty."
"Take them," said Coleman. It seemed to him
preposterous that this idiot with a broken head
should interpolate upon his tragedy. " Afterward
you and the groom get the three horses and we will
start for Athens at once."

"For Athens? At once? " said Marjory's voice
in his ear.

CHAPTER XXIII

"Om," said Coleman, " I was thinking of starting."

"Why? " asked Marjory, unconcernedly.

Coleman shot her a quick glance. " I believe my
period of usefulness is quite ended," he said. with just
a small betrayal of bitter feeling.

" It is certainly true that you have had a remark-
able period of usefulness to us," said Marjory with a
slow smile, "but if it is ended, you should not run
away from us."

Coleman looked at her to see what she could mean.
From many women, these words would have been
equal, under the circumstances, to a command to stay,
but he felt that none might know what impulses
moved the mind behind that beautiful mask. In his
misery he thought to hurt her into an expression of
feeling by a rough speech. " I'm so in love with Nora
Black, you know, that I have to be very careful of
myself."

" Oh," said Marjory, never thought of that. I
should think you would have to be careful of yourself."
She did not seem moved in any way. Coleman
despaired of finding her weak spot. She was a'damantine,
this girl. He searched his mind for something
to say which would be still more gross than his last
outbreak, but when he felt that he was about to hit
upon it, the professor interrupted with an agitated
speech to Marjory. "You had better go to your
mother, my child, and see that you are all ready to
leave here as soon as the carriages come up."

"We have absolutely nothing to make ready," said
Marjory, laughing. " But I'll go and see if mother
needs anything before we start that I can get for her."
She went away without bidding good-bye to Coleman.
The sole maddening impression to him was that the
matter of his going had not been of sufficient importance
to remain longer than a moment upon her mind.
At the same time he decided that he would go, irretrievably go.

Even then the dragoman entered the room. " We
will pack everything -upon the horse?"

" Everything-yes."

Peter Tounley came afterward. " You are not going to bolt ? "

" Yes, I'm off," answered Coleman recovering him-
self for Peter's benefit. " See you in Athens, probably."

Presently the dragoman announced the readiness of
the horses. Coleman shook hands with the students
and the Professor amid cries of surprise and polite
regret. "What? Going, oldman? Really? What
for ? Oh, wait for us. We're off in a few minutes.
Sorry as the devil, old boy, to' see you go." He
accepted their protestations with a somewhat sour
face. He knew perfectly well that they were thinking
of his departure as something that related to Nora
Black. At the last, he bowed to the ladies as a
collection. Marjory's answering bow was affable; the
bow of Mrs. Wainwright spoke a resentment for some-
thing; and Nora's bow was triumphant mockery. As
he swung into the saddle an idea struck him with over
whelming force. The idea was that he was a fool.
He was a colossal imbecile. He touched the spur to
his horse and the animal leaped superbly, making the
Greeks hasten for safety in all directions. He was off ;
he could no more return to retract his devious idiocy
than he could make his horse fly to Athens. What
was done was done. He could not mend it. And he
felt like a man that had broken his own heart;
perversely, childishly, stupidly broken his own heart.
He was sure that Marjory was lost to him. No
man could be degraded so publicly and resent it so
crudely and still retain a Marjory. In his abasement
from his defeat at the hands of Nora Black he had
performed every imaginable block-headish act and had
finally climaxed it all by a departure which left the
tongue of Nora to speak unmolested into the ear of
Marjory. Nora's victory had been a serious blow to
his fortunes, but it had not been so serious as his own
subsequent folly. He had generously muddled his
own affairs until he could read nothing out of them
but despair.

He was in the mood for hatred. He hated many
people. Nora Black was the principal item, but he
did not hesitate to detest the professor, Mrs. Wain-
wright, Coke and all the students. As for Marjory,
he would revenge himself upon her. She had done
nothing that he defined clearly but, at any rate, he
would take revenge for it. As much as was possible,
he would make her suffer. He would convince her
that he was a tremendous and inexorable person.
But it came upon his mind that he was powerless in
all ways. If he hated many people they probably
would not be even interested in his emotion and, as
for his revenge upon Marjory, it was beyond his
strength. He was nothing but the complaining victim
of Nora Black and himself.

He felt that he would never again see Marjory, and
while feeling it he began to plan his attitude when
next they met. He would be very cold and reserved.
At Agrinion he found that there would be no train
until the next daybreak. The dragoman was excessively
annoyed over it, but Coleman did not scold at
all. As a matter of fact his heart had given a great
joyus bound. He could not now prevent his being
overtaken. They were only a few leagues away, and
while he was waiting for the train they would easily
cover the distance. If anybody expressed surprise at
seeing him he could exhibit the logical reasons.
If there had been a train starting at once he would
have taken it. His pride would have put up with no
subterfuge. If the Wainwrights overtook him it was
because he could not help it. But he was delighted
that he could not help it. There had been an inter-
position by some specially beneficent fate. He felt
like whistling. He spent the early half of the night
in blissful smoke, striding the room which the dragoman
had found for him. His head was full of plans
and detached impressive scenes in which he figured
before Marjory. The simple fact that there was no
train away from Agrinion until the next daybreak had
wrought a stupendous change in his outlook. He
unhesitatingly considered it an omen of a good future.
He was up before the darkness even contained presage
of coming light, but near the railway station was
a little hut where coffee was being served to several
prospective travellers who had come even earlier to
the rendezvous. There was no evidence of the Wainwrights.

Coleman sat in the hut and listened for the rumble
of wheels. He was suddenly appalled that the Wainwrights
were going to miss the train. Perhaps they
had decided against travelling during the night. Perbaps
this thing, and perhaps that thing. The morning
was very cold. Closely muffled in his cloak, he went
to the door and stared at where the road was whiten-
ing out of night. At the station stood a little spectral
train, and the engine at intervals emitted a long, piercing
scream which informed the echoing land that, in
all probability, it was going to start after a time for
the south. The Greeks in the coffee room were, of
course, talking.

At last Coleman did hear the sound of hoofs and
wheels. The three carriages swept up in grand procession.
The first was laden with students ; in the
second was the professor, the Greek officer, Nora
Black's old lady and other persons, all looking marvellously
unimportant and shelved. It was the third
carriage at which Coleman stared. At first be
thought the dim light deceived his vision, but in a
moment he knew that his first leaping conception of
the arrangement of the people in this vehicle had
been perfectly correct. Nora Black and Mrs. Wainwright
sat side by side on the back seat, while facing
them were Coke and Marjory.

They looked cold but intimate.

The oddity of the grouping stupefied Coleman. It
was anarchy, naked and unashamed. He could not
imagine how such changes could have been consummated
in the short time he had been away from them,
but he laid it all to some startling necromancy on the
part of Nora Black, some wondrous play which had
captured them all because of its surpassing skill and
because they were, in the main, rather gullible people.
He was wrong. The magic had been wrought
by the unaided foolishness of Mrs. Wainwfight. As
soon as Nora Black had succeeded in creating an
effect of intimacy and dependence between herself
and Coleman, the professor had flatly stated to his
wife that the presence of Nora Black in the party, in
the inn, in the world, was a thiag that did not meet
his approval in any way. She should be abolished.
As for Coleman, he would not defend him. He preferred
not to talk to him. It made him sad. Coleman at
least had been very indiscreet, very indiscreet.
It was a great pity. But as for this blatant woman,
the sooner they rid themselves of her, the sooner he
would feel that all the world was not evil.

Whereupon Mrs. Wainwright had changed front
with the speed of light and attacked with horse, foot
and guns. She failed to see, she had declared, where
this poor, lone girt was in great fault. Of course it
was probable that she had listened to this snaky.
tongued Rufus Coleman, but that was ever the mistake
that women made. Oh, certainly ; the professor
would like to let Rufus Coleman off scot-free. That
was the way with men. They defended each other in
all cases. If wrong were done it was the woman who
suffered. Now, since this poor girl was alone far off
here in Greece, Mrs. Wainwright announced that she
had such full sense of her duty to her sex that her
conscience would not allow her to scorn and desert a
sister, even if that sister was, approximately, the victim
of a creature like Rufus Coleman. Perhaps the
poor thing loved this wretched man, although it was
hard to imagine any woman giving her heart to such.
a monster.

The professor had then asked with considerable
spirit for the proofs upon which Mrs. Wainwright
named Coleman a monster, and had made a wry face
over her completely conventional reply. He had told
her categorically his opinion of her erudition in such
matters.

But Mrs. Wainwright was not to be deterred from
an exciting espousal of the cause of her sex. Upon
the instant that the professor strenuously opposed her
she becamean apostle, an enlightened, uplifted apostle
to the world on the wrongs of her sex. She had
come down with this thing as if it were a disease.
Nothing could stop her. Her husband, her daughter,
all influences in other directions, had been overturned
with a roar, and the first thing fully clear to the professor's
mind had been that his wife was riding affably
in the carriage with Nora Black.
Coleman aroused when he heard one of the students
cry out: " Why, there is Rufus Coleman's dragoman.
He must be here." A moment later they thronged
upon him. " Hi, old man, caught you again! Where
did you break to? Glad to catch you, old boy. How
are you making it? Where's your horse?"

" Sent the horses on to, Athens," said Coleman.
He had not yet recovered his composure, and he was
glad to find available this commonplace return to their
exuberant greetings and questions. " Sent them on to
Athens with the groom."

In the mean time the engine of the little train was
screaming to heaven that its intention of starting was
most serious. The diligencia careered to the station
platform and unburdened. Coleman had had his
dragoman place his luggage in a little first-class carriage
and he defiantly entered it and closed the door.
He had a sudden return to the old sense of downfall,
and with it came the original rebellious desires. However,
he hoped that somebody would intrude upon
him.
It was Peter Tounley. The student flung open the
door and then yelled to the distance : " Here's an
empty one." He clattered into the compartment.
" Hello, Coleman! Didn't know you were in here! "
At his heels came Nora Black, Coke and Marjory.
" Oh! " they said, when they saw the occupant of the
carriage. " Oh ! " Coleman was furious. He could
have distributed some of his traps in a way to create
more room, but he did not move.

CHAPTER XXIV.

THERE was a demonstration of the unequalled facilities
of a European railway carriage for rendering
unpleasant things almost intolerable. These people
could find no way to alleviate the poignancy of their
position. Coleman did not know where to look.
Every personal mannerism becomes accentuated in a
European railway carriage. If you glance at a man,
your glance defines itself as a stare. If you carefully
look at nothing, you create for yourself a resemblance
to all wooden-headed things. A newspaper is, then, in
the nature of a preservative, and Coleman longed for
a newspaper.

It was this abominable railway carriage which
exacted the first display of agitation from Marjory.
She flushed rosily, and her eyes wavered over the
cornpartment. Nora Black laughed in a way that
was a shock to the nerves. Coke seemed very angry,
indeed, and Peter Tounley was in pitiful distress.
Everything was acutely, painfully vivid, bald, painted
as glaringly as a grocer's new wagon. It fulfilled
those traditions which the artists deplore when they
use their pet phrase on a picture, "It hurts." The
damnable power of accentuation of the European
railway carriage seemed, to Coleman's amazed mind,
to be redoubled and redoubled.

It was Peter Tounley who seemed to be in the greatest
agony. He looked at the correspondent beseechingly
and said: "It's a very cold morning, Coleman."
This was an actual appeal in the name of humanity.

Coleman came squarely. to the front and even
grinned a little at poor Peter Tounley's misery.
"Yes, it is a cold morning, Peter. I should say it to
one of the coldest mornings in my recollection."

Peter Tounley had not intended a typical American
emphasis on the polar conditions which obtained
in the compartment at this time, but Coleman had
given the word this meaning. Spontaneously every
body smiled, and at once the tension was relieved.
But of course the satanic powers of the railway carriage
could not be altogether set at naught. Of course
it fell to the lot of Coke to get the seat directly in
front of Coleman, and thus, face to face, they were
doomed to stare at each other.

Peter Tounley was inspired to begin conventional
babble, in which he took great care to make an appear.
ance of talking to all in the carriage. " Funny thing
I never knew these mornings in Greece were so cold.
I thought the climate here was quite tropical. It
must have been inconvenient in the ancient times,
when, I am told, people didn't wear near so many-
er-clothes. Really, I don't see how they stood it.
For my part, I would like nothing so much as a buffalo
robe. I suppose when those great sculptors were doing
their masterpieces, they had to wear gloves.
Ever think of that? Funny, isn't it? Aren't you
cold, Marjory ? I am. jingo! Imagine the Spartans
in ulsters, going out to meet an enemy in cape-overcoats,
and being desired by their mothers to return
with their ulsters or wrapped in them."

It was rather hard work for Peter Tounley. Both
Marjory and Coleman tried to display an interest in
his labours, and they laughed not at what he said, but
because they believed it assisted him. The little train,
meanwhile, wandered up a great green slope, and the
day rapidly coloured the land.

At first Nora Black did not display a militant mood,
but as time passed Coleman saw clearly that she was
considering the advisability of a new attack. She had
Coleman and Marjory in conjunction and where they
were unable to escape from her. The opportunities
were great. To Coleman, she seemed to be gloating
over the possibilities of making more mischief. She
was looking at him speculatively, as if considering the
best place to hit him first. Presently she drawled :
" Rufus, I wish you would fix my rug about me a little
better." Coleman saw that this was a beginning.
Peter Tounley sprang to his feet with speed and en-
thusiasm. " Oh, let me do it for you." He had her
well muffled in the rug before she could protest, even
if a protest had been rational. The young man had
no idea of defending Coleman. He had no knowledge
of the necessity for it. It had been merely the exercise
of his habit of amiability, his chronic desire to
see everybody comfortable. His passion in this direction
was well known in Washurst, where the students
had borrowed a phrase from the photographers in order
to describe him fully in a nickname. They called
him " Look-pleasant Tounley." This did not in any
way antagonise his perfect willingness to fight on
occasions with a singular desperation, which usually
has a small stool in every mind where good nature has
a throne.

" Oh, thank you very much, Mr. Tounley," said
Nora Black, without gratitude. " Rufus is always so
lax in these matters."

"I don't know how you know it," said Coleman
boldly, and he looked her fearlessly in the eye. The
battle had begun.

" Oh," responded Nora, airily, " I have had opportunity
enough to know it, I should think, by this
time."

" No," said Coleman, " since I have never paid you
particular and direct attention, you cannot possibly
know what I am lax in and what I am not lax in. I
would be obliged to be of service at any time, Nora,
but surely you do not consider that you have a right
to my services superior to any other right."

Nora Black simply went mad, but fortunately part
of her madness was in the form of speechlessness.
Otherwise there might have been heard something
approaching to billingsgate.

Marjory and Peter Tounley turned first hot and then
cold, and looked as if they wanted to fly away; and
even Coke, penned helplessly in with this unpleasant
incident, seemed to have a sudden attack of distress.
The only frigid person was Coleman. He had made
his declaration of independence, and he saw with glee
that the victory was complete. Nora Black might
storm and rage, but he had announced his position in
an unconventional blunt way which nobody in the
carriage could fail to understand. He felt somewhat
like smiling with confidence and defiance in Nora's
face, but he still had the fear for Marjory.

Unexpectedly, the fight was all out of Nora Black.
She had the fury of a woman scorned, but evidently
she had perceived that all was over and lost. The
remainder of her wrath dispensed itself in glares which
Coleman withstood with great composure.

A strained silence fell upon the group which lasted
until they arrived at the little port of Mesalonghi,
whence they were to take ship for Patras. Coleman
found himself wondering why he had not gone flatly
at the great question at a much earlier period, indeed
at the first moment when the great question began to
make life exciting for him. He thought that if he
had charged Nora's guns in the beginning they would
have turned out to be the same incapable artillery.
Instead of that he had run away and continued to run
away until he was actually cornered and made to fight,
and his easy victory had defined him as a person
who had, earlier, indulged in much stupidity and
cowardice.
Everything had worked out so simply, his terrors
had been dispelled so easily, that he probably was led
to overestimate his success. And it occurred suddenly
to him. He foresaw a fine occasion to talk privately
to Marjory when all had boarded the steamer for
Patras and he resolved to make use of it. This he
believed would end the strife and conclusively laurel
him.

The train finally drew up on a little stone pier and
some boatmen began to scream like gulls. The
steamer lay at anchor in the placid blue cove. The
embarkation was chaotic in the Oriental fashion and
there was the customary misery which was only relieved
when the travellers had set foot on the deck of
the steamer. Coleman did not devote any premature
attention to finding Marjory, but when the steamer
was fairly out on the calm waters of the Gulf of Corinth,
he saw her pacing to and fro with Peter Tounley.
At first he lurked in the distance waiting for an opportunity,
but ultimately he decided to make his own
opportunity. He approached them. "Marjory,would
you let me speak to you alone for a few moments?
You won't mind, will you, Peter? "

" Oh, no, certainly not," said Peter Tounley.

"Of course. It is not some dreadful revelation, is
it? " said Marjory, bantering him coolly.

" No," answered Coleman, abstractedly. He was
thinking of what he was going to say. Peter Tounley
vanished around the corner of a deck-house and Marjory
and Coleman began to pace to and fro even as
Marjory and Peter Tounley had done. Coleman had
thought to speak his mind frankly and once for all, and
on the train he had invented many clear expressions
of his feeling. It did not appear that he had forgotten
them. It seemed, more, that they had become entangled
in his mind in such a way that he could not
unravel the end of his discourse.

In the pause, Marjory began to speak in admiration
of the scenery. " I never imagined that Greece was so
full of mountains. One reads so much of the Attic
Plains, but aren't these mountains royal? They look
so rugged and cold, whereas the bay is absolutely as
blue as the old descriptions of a summer sea."

" I wanted to speak to you about Nora Black," said
Coleman.

"Nora Black? Why?" said Marjory, lifting her eye-
brows.

You know well enough," said Coleman, in a head.
long fashion. " You must know, you must have seen
it. She knows I care for you and she wants to stop it.
And she has no right to-to interfere. She is a fiend,
a perfect fiend. She is trying to make you feel that I
care for her."

" And don't you care for her ? " asked Marjory.

"No," said Coleman, vehemently. " I don't care
for her at all."

" Very well," answered Marjory, simply. " I believe
you." She managed to give the words the effect of a
mere announcement that she believed him and it was
in no way plain that she was glad or that she esteemed
the matter as being of consequence.

He scowled at her in dark resentment. " You mean
by that, I suppose, that you don't believe me ? "

" Oh," answered Marjory, wearily, " I believe you.
I said so. Don't talk about it any more."

"Then," said Coleman, slowly, " you mean that you
do not care whether I'm telling the truth or not?"

" Why, of course I care," she said. " Lying is not
nice."

He did not know, apparently, exactly how to deal
with her manner, which was actually so pliable that-it
was marble, if one may speak in that way. He looked
ruefully at the sea. He had expected a far easier
time. " Well-" he began.

" Really," interrupted Marjory, " this is something
which I do not care to discuss. I would rather you
would not speak to me at all about it. It seems too
-too-bad. I can readily give you my word that I
believe you, but I would prefer you not to try to talk
to me about it or-anything of that sort. Mother!"

Mrs. Wainwright was hovering anxiously in the
vicinity, and she now bore down rapidly upon the
pair. "You are very nearly to Patras," she said
reproachfully to her daughter, as if the fact had some
fault of Marjory's concealed in it. She in no way ac-
knowledged the presence of Coleman.

" Oh, are we ? " cried Marjory.

"Yes," said Mrs. Wainwright. " We are."

She stood waiting as if she expected Marjory to in-
stantly quit Coleman. The girl wavered a moment
and then followed her mother. " Good-bye." she said.
"I hope we may see you again in Athens." It was a
command to him to travel alone with his servant on
the long railway journey from Patras to Athens. It
was a dismissal of a casual acquaintance given so
graciously that it stung him to the depths of his pride.
He bowed his adieu and his thanks. When the yelling
boatmen came again, he and his man proceeded
to the shore in an early boat without looking in any
way after the welfare of the others.

At the train, the party split into three sections.
Coleman and his man had one compartment, Nora
Black and her squad had another, and the Wainwrights
and students occupied two more.

The little officer was still in tow of Nora Black.
He was very enthusiastic. In French she directed
him to remain silent, but he did not appear to understand.
" You tell him," she then said to her dragoman,
" to sit in a corner and not to speak until I tell
him to, or I won't have him in here." She seemed
anxious to unburden herself to the old lady companion.
" Do you know," she said, " that girl has a
nerve like steel. I tried to break it there in that inn,
but I couldn't budge her. If I am going to have her
beaten I must prove myself to be a very, very artful
person."

" Why did you try to break her nerve ? " asked the
old lady, yawning. "Why do you want to have her
beaten ? "

" Because I do, old stupid," answered Nora. " You
should have heard the things I said to her."

"About what?"

" About Coleman. Can't you understand anything
at all?"

" And why should you say anything about Coleman
to her?" queried the old lady, still hopelessly befogged.

" Because," cried Nora, darting a look of wrath at
her companion, " I want to prevent that marriage."
She had been betrayed into this avowal by the singularly
opaque mind of the old lady. The latter at once
sat erect. - " Oh, ho," she said, as if a ray of light had
been let into her head. " Oh, ho. So that's it, is it ? "

"Yes, that's it, rejoined Nora, shortly.

The old lady was amazed into a long period of
meditation. At last she spoke depressingly. " Well,
how are you going to prevent it? Those things can't
be done in these days at all. If they care for each
other-"

Nora burst out furiously. "Don't venture opinions
until you know what you are talking about, please.
They don't care for each other, do you see? She
cares for him, but he don't give a snap of his fingers
for her."

" But," cried the bewildered lady, " if he don't care
for her, there will be nothing to prevent. If he don't
care for her, he won't ask her to marry him, and so
there won't be anything to prevent."

Nora made a broad gesture of impatience. " Oh,
can't you get anything through your head ? Haven't
you seen that the girl has been the only young
woman in that whole party lost up there in the mountains,
and that naturally more than half of the men
still think they are in love with her? That's what it
is. Can't you see ? It always happens that way.
Then Coleman comes along and makes a fool of himself
with the others."

The old lady spoke up brightly as if at last feeling
able to contribute something intelligent to the talk.
" Oh, then, he does care for her."

Nora's eyes looked as if their glance might shrivel
the old lady's hair. "Don't I keep telling you that
it is no such thing ? Can't you understand? It is
all glamour! Fascination! Way up there in the
wilderness! Only one even passable woman in sight."

" I don't say that I am so very keen," said the old
lady, somewhat offended, "but I fail to see where I
could improve when first you tell me he don't care
for her, and then you tell me that he does care for
her."

" Glamour,' ' Fascination,'" quoted Nora. " Don't
you understand the meaning of the words ? "

" Well," asked the other, didn't he know her, then,
before he came over here ?"

Nora was silent for a time, while a gloom upon her
face deepened. It had struck her that the theories
for which she protested so energetically might not be
of such great value. Spoken aloud, they had a sudden
new flimsiness. Perhaps she had reiterated to herself
that Coleman was the victim of glamour only because
she wished it to be true. One theory, however, re-
mained unshaken. Marjory was an artful rninx, with
no truth in her.

She presently felt the necessity of replying to the
question of her companion. " Oh," she said, care-
lessly, " I suppose they were acquainted-in a way."

The old lady was giving the best of her mind to
the subject. " If that's the case-" she observed,
musingly, " if that's the case, you can't tell what is
between 'em."

The talk had so slackened that Nora's unfortunate
Greek admirer felt that here was a good opportunity
to present himself again to the notice of the actress.
The means was a smile and a French sentence, but
his reception would have frightened a man in armour.
His face blanched with horror at the storm, he had
invoked, and he dropped limply back as if some one
had shot him. "You tell this little snipe to let me
alone! " cried Nora, to the dragoman. " If he dares
to come around me with any more of those Parisian
dude speeches, I-I don't know what I'll do! I
won't have it, I say." The impression upon the
dragoman was hardly less in effect. He looked with
bulging eyes at Nora, and then began to stammer at
the officer. The latter's voice could sometimes be
heard in awed whispers for the more elaborate explanation
of some detail of the tragedy. Afterward, he
remained meek and silent in his corner, barely more
than a shadow, like the proverbial husband of imperious
beauty.

"Well," said the old lady, after a long and thoughtful
pause, " I don't know, I'm sure, but it seems to me
that if Rufus Coleman really cares for that girl, there
isn't much use in trying to stop him from getting her.
He isn't that kind of a man."

" For heaven's sake, will you stop assuming that he
does care for her ? " demanded Nora, breathlessly.

"And I don't see," continued the old lady, "what
you want to prevent him for, anyhow."

CHAPTER XXV.

" I FEEL in this radiant atmosphere that there could
be no such thing as war-men striving together in
black and passionate hatred." The professor's words
were for the benefit of his wife and daughter. ,He
was viewing the sky-blue waters of the Gulf of Corinth
with its background of mountains that in the sunshine
were touched here and there with a copperish glare.
The train was slowly sweeping along the southern
shore. " It is strange to think of those men fighting
up there in the north. And it is strange to think
that we ourselves are but just returning from it."

" I cannot begin to realise it yet," said Mrs. Wain-
wright, in a high voice.

" Quite so," responded the professor, reflectively.

"I do not suppose any of us will realise it fully
for some time. It is altogether too odd, too very
odd."

"To think of it!" cried Mrs. WainWright. "To
think of it! Supposing those dreadful Albanians or
those awful men from the Greek mountains had
caught us! Why, years from now I'll wake up in the
night and think of it! "

The professor mused. " Strange that we cannot
feel it strongly now. My logic tells me to be aghast
that we ever got into such a place, but my nerves at
present refuse to thrill. I am very much afraid that
this singular apathy of ours has led us to be unjust to
poor Coleman."
Here Mrs. Wainwright objected. " Poor Coleman!
I don't see why you call him poor Coleman.

" Well," answered the professor, slowly, " I am in
doubt about our behaviour. It-"

" Oh," cried the wife, gleefully," in doubt about
our behaviour! I'm in doubt about his behaviour."

" So, then, you do have a doubt. of his behaviour?"
" Oh, no," responded Mrs. Wainwright, hastily,
" not about its badness. What I meant to say was
that in the face of his outrageous conduct with that-
that woman, it is curious that you should worry
about our behaviour. It surprises me, Harrison."

The professor was wagging his head sadly. " I
don't know I don't know It seems hard to
judge * * I hesitate to-"

Mrs. Wainwright treated this attitude with disdain.
" It is not hard to judge," she scoffed, " and I fail to
see why you have any reason for hesitation at all.
Here he brings this woman-- "

The professor got angry. "Nonsense! Nonsense!
I do not believe that he brought her. If I ever saw a
spectacle of a woman bringing herself, it was then.
You keep chanting that thing like an outright
parrot."

"Well," retorted Mrs. Wainwright, bridling, "I
suppose you imagine that you understand such
things, Men usually think that, but I want to tell
you that you seem to me utterly blind."

" Blind or not, do stop the everlasting reiteration of
that sentence."

Mrs. Wainwright passed into an offended silence,
and the professor, also silent, looked with a gradually
dwindling indignation at the scenery.

Night was suggested in the sky before the train
was near to Athens. " My trunks," sighed Mrs.
Wainwright. " How glad I will be to get back to my
trunks! Oh, the dust! Oh, the misery ! Do find
out when we will get there, Harrison. Maybe the
train is late."

But, at last, they arrived in Athens, amid a darkness
which was confusing, and, after no more than the
common amount of trouble, they procured carriages
and were taken to the hotel. Mrs. Wainwright's
impulses now dominated the others in the family.
She had one passion after another. The majority of
the servants in the hotel pretended that they spoke
English, but, in three minutes, she drove them distracted
with the abundance and violence of her requests.
It came to pass that in the excitement the
old couple quite forgot Marjory. It was not until
Mrs. Wainwright, then feeling splendidly, was dressed
for dinner, that she thought to open Marjory's door
and go to render a usual motherly supervision of the
girl's toilet.

There was no light: there did not seem to be any-
body in the room. " Marjory ! " called the mother, in
alarm. She listened for a moment and then ran
hastily out again. " Harrison ! " she cried. " I can't
find Marjory!" The professor had been tying his
cravat. He let the loose ends fly. "What?" he
ejaculated, opening his mouth wide. Then they both
rushed into Marjory's room. "Marjory!" beseeched
the old man in a voice which would have invoked the
grave.

The answer was from the bed. "Yes?" It was
low, weary, tearful. It was not like Marjory. It was
dangerously the voice of a hcart-broken woman.
They hurried forward with outcries. "Why, Marjory!
Are you ill, child? How long have you been lying in
the dark? Why didn't you call us? Are you ill?"

" No," answered this changed voice, " I am not ill.
I only thought I'd rest for a time. Don't bother."

The professor hastily lit the gas and then father
and mother turned hurriedly to the bed. In the first
of the illumination they saw that tears were flowing
unchecked down Marjory's face.

The effect.of this grief upon the professor was, in
part, an effect of fear. He seemed afraid to touch it,
to go near it. He could, evidently, only remain in
the outskirts, a horrified spectator. The mother, how.
ever, flung her arms about her daughter. " Oh, Marjory! "
She, too, was weeping.

The girl turned her face to the pillow and held out
a hand of protest. " Don't, mother! Don't !"

"Oh, Marjory! Oh, Marjory!"

" Don't, mother. Please go away. Please go
away. Don't speak at all, I beg of you."

" Oh, Marjory! Oh, Marjory!"

" Don't." The girl lifted a face which appalled
them. It had something entirely new in it. " Please
go away, mother. I will speak to father, but I won't
-I can't-I can't be pitied."

Mrs. Wainwright looked at her husband. " Yes,"
said the old man, trembling. "Go! " She threw up
her hands in a sorrowing gesture that was not without
its suggestion that her exclusion would be a mistake.
She left the room.

The professor dropped on his knees at the bedside
and took one of Marjory's hands. His voice dropped
to its tenderest note. "Well, my Marjory?"

She had turned her face again to the pillow. At
last she answered in muffled tones, " You know."
Thereafter came a long silence full of sharpened
pain. It was Marjory who spoke first. "I have
saved my pride, daddy, but-I have-lost-everything
--else." Even her sudden resumption of the old epithet
of her childhood was an additional misery to the
old man. He still said no word. He knelt, gripping
her fingers and staring at the wall.

" Yes, I have lost~everything-else."

The father gave a low groan. He was thinking
deeply, bitterly. Since one was only a human being,
how was one going to protect beloved hearts assailed
with sinister fury from the inexplicable zenith? In
this tragedy he felt as helpless as an old grey ape.
He did not see a possible weapon with which he could
defend his child from the calamity which was upon
her. There was no wall, no shield which could turn
this sorrow from the heart of his child. If one of his
hands loss could have spared her, there would have
been a sacrifice of his hand, but he was potent for
nothing. He could only groan and stare at the wall.
He reviewed the past half in fear that he would suddenly
come upon his error which was now the cause
of Marjory's tears. He dwelt long upon the fact that
in Washurst he had refused his consent to Marjory's
marriage with Coleman, but even now he could not
say that his judgment was not correct. It was simply
that the doom of woman's woe was upon Marjory,
this ancient woe of the silent tongue and the governed
will, and he could only kneel at the bedside and stare
at the wall.

Marjory raised her voice in a laugh. " Did I betray
myself? Did I become the maiden all forlorn ? Did
I giggle to show people that I did not care? No-I
did not-I did not. And it was such a long time,
daddy! Oh, such a long time! I thought we would
never get here. I thought I would never get where I
could be alone like this, where I could-cry-if I
wanted to. I am not much of - a crier, am I, daddy?
But this time-this-time-"

She suddenly drew herself over near to her father
and looked at him. " Oh, daddy, I want to tell you
one thing. just one simple little thing." She waited
then, and while she waited her father's head went
lower and lower. " Of course, you know-I told you
once. I love him! I love him! Yes, probably he is
a rascal, but, do you know, I don't think I would
mind if he was a-an assassin. This morning I sent
him away, but, daddy, he didn't want to go at all.
I know he didn't. This Nora Black is nothing to him.
I know she is not. I am sure of it. Yes-I am sure
of it. * * * I never expected to talk this way to any
living creature, but-you are so good, daddy.
Dear old daddy---"

She ceased, for she saw that her father was praying.

The sight brought to her a new outburst of sobbing,
for her sorrow now had dignity and solemnity from
thebowed white head of her old father, and she felt
that her heart was dying amid the pomp of the church.
It was the last rites being performed at the death-bed.
Into her ears came some imagining of the low melan.
choly chant of monks in a gloom.

Finally her father arose. He kissed her on the
brow. " Try to sleep, dear," he said. He turned out
the gas and left the room. His thought was full of
chastened emotion.

But if his thought was full of chastened emotion, it
received some degree of shock when he arrived in the
presence of Mrs. Wainwright. " Well, what is all this
about ? " she demanded, irascibly. " Do you mean to
say that Marjory is breaking her heart over that man
Coleman ? It is all your fault-" She was apparently still
ruffled over her exclusion.

When the professor interrupted her he did not
speak with his accustomed spirit, but from something
novel in his manner she recognised a danger signal.
" Please do not burst out at it in that way."

"Then it Is true?" she asked. Her voice was a
mere awed whisper.

" It is true," answered the professor.

"Well," she said, after reflection, "I knew it. I
alway's knew it. If you hadn't been so blind! You
turned like a weather-cock in your opinions of Coleman.
You never could keep your opinion about him
for more than an hour. Nobody could imagine what
you might think next. And now you see the result
of it! I warned you! I told you what this Coleman
was, and if Marjory is suffering now, you have only
yourself to blame for it. I warned you! "

" If it is my fault," said the professor, drearily, " I
hope God may forgive me, for here is a great wrong
to my daughter."

Well, if you had done as I told you-" she began.

Here the professor revolted. " Oh, now, do not be-
gin on that," he snarled, peevishly. Do not begin
on that."

" Anyhow," said Mrs. Wainwright, it is time that
we should be going down to dinner. Is Marjory com-
ing? "

" No, she is not," answered the professor, " and I
do not know as I shall go myself."

" But you must go. Think how it would look!
All the students down there dining without us, and
cutting up capers! You must come."

" Yes," he said, dubiously, " but who will look after
Marjory ? "

" She wants to be left alone," announced Mrs.
Wainwright, as if she was the particular herald of this
news. " She wants to be left alone."

" Well, I suppose we may as well go down."
Before they went, the professor tiptoed into his
daughter's room. In the darkness he could only see
her waxen face on the pillow, and her two eyes gazing
fixedly at the ceiling. He did not speak, but immedi.
ately withdrew, closing the door noiselessly behind
him.

I

CHAPTER XXVI.

IF the professor and Mrs. Wainwright had descended
sooner to a lower floor of the hotel, they
would have found reigning there a form of anarchy.
The students were in a smoking room which was also
an entrance hall to the dining room, and because there
was in the middle of this apartment a fountain containing
gold fish, they had been moved to license and
sin. They had all been tubbed and polished and
brushed and dressed until they were exuberantly beyond
themselves. The proprietor of the hotel brought
in his dignity and showed it to them, but they minded
it no more than if he had been only a common man.
He drew himself to his height and looked gravely
at them and they jovially said: " Hello, Whiskers."
American college students are notorious in their country
for their inclination to scoff at robed and crowned
authority, and, far from being awed by the dignity of
the hotel-keeper, they were delighted with it. It was
something with which to sport. With immeasurable
impudence, they copied his attitude, and, standing before
him, made comic speeches, always alluding with
blinding vividness to his beard. His exit disappointed
them. He had not remained long under fire. They
felt that they could have interested themselves with
him an entire evening. " Come back, Whiskers! Oh,
come back! " Out in the main hall he made a ges.
ture of despair to some of his gaping minions and then
fled to seclusion.

A formidable majority then decided that Coke was
a gold fish, and that therefore his proper place was in
the fountain. They carried him to it while he strug.
gled madly. This quiet room with its crimson rugs
and gilded mirrors seemed suddenly to have become
an important apartment in hell. There being as yet
no traffic in the dining room, the waiters were all at
liberty to come to the open doors, where they stood
as men turned to stone. To them, it was no less than
incendiarism.

Coke, standing with one foot on the floor and the
other on the bottom of the shallow fountain, blas-
phemed his comrades in a low tone, but with inten-
tion. He was certainly desirous of lifting his foot out
of the water, but it seemed that all movement to that
end would have to wait until he had successfully ex-
pressed his opinions. In the meantime, there was
heard slow footsteps and the rustle of skirts, and then
some people entered the smoking room on their way
to dine. Coke took his foot hastily out of the fountain.

The faces of the men of the arriving party went
blank, and they turned their cold and pebbly eyes
straight to the front, while the ladies, after little ex.
pressions of alarm, looked As if they wanted to run.
In fact, the whole crowd rather bolted from this ex-
traordinary scene.

" There, now," said Coke bitterly to his companions.
"You see? We looked like little schoolboys-"

" Oh, never mind, old man," said Peter Tounley.
"We'll forgive you, although you did embarrass us.
But, above everything, don't drip. Whatever you do,
don't drip."

The students took this question of dripping and
played upon it until they would have made quite insane
anybody but another student. They worked it
into all manner of forms, and hacked and haggled at
Coke until he was driven to his room to seek other
apparel. " Be sure and change both legs," they told
him. " Remember you can't change one leg without
changing both legs."

After Coke's departure, the United States minister
entered the room, and instantly they were subdued.
It was not his lofty station-that affected them. There
are probably few stations that would have at all af-
fectedthem. They became subdued because they un-
feignedly liked the United States minister. They,
were suddenly a group of well-bred, correctly attired
young men who had not put Coke's foot in the fountain.
Nor had they desecrated the majesty of the
hotelkeeper.

"Well, I am delighted," said the minister, laughing
as he shook hands with them all. " I was not sure I
would ever see you again. You are not to be trusted,
and, good boys as you are, I'll be glad to see you once
and forever over the boundary of my jurisdiction.
Leave Greece, you vagabonds. However, I am truly
delighted to see you all safe."

" Thank you, sir," they said.

" How in the world did you get out of it? You
must be remarkable chaps. I thought you were in a
hopeless position. I wired and cabled everywhere I
could, but I could find out nothing."

" A correspondent," said Peter Tounley. " I don't
know if you have met him. His name is Coleman.
He found us."

" Coleman ? " asked the minister, quickly.

" Yes, sir. He found us and brought us out safely."

" Well, glory be to Coleman," exclaimed the min-
ister, after a long sigh of surprise. " Glory be to Cole-
man! I never thought he could do it."

The students were alert immediately. "Why, did
you know about it, sir? Did he tell you he was coming
after us ? "

"Of course. He came tome here in Athens. and
asked where you were. I told him you were in a
peck of trouble. He acted quietly and somewhat
queerly,. and said that he would try to look you up.
He said you were friends of his. I warned him
against trying it. Yes, I said it was impossible, I
had no idea that he would really carry the thing out.
But didn't he tell you anything about this himself?"

" No, sir ' " answered Peter Tounley. " He never
said much about it. I think he usually contended
that it was mainly an accident."

" It was no accident," said the minister, sharply.
"When a man starts out to do a thing and does it,
you can't say it is an accident."

" I didn't say so, sir," said Peter Tounley diffidently.

" Quite true, quite true ! You didn't, but-this
Coleman must be a man! "

" We think so, sir," said be who was called Billie.
" He certainly brought us through in style."

" But how did he manage it? " cried the minister,
keenly interested. " How did he do it ? "

" It is hard to say, sir. But he did it. He met us
in the dead of night out near Nikopolis-"

"Near Nikopolis?"

"Yes, sir. And he hid us in a forest while a fight
was going on, and then in the morning he brought us
inside the Greek lines. Oh, there is a lot to tell-"

Whereupon they told it, or as much as they could
of it. In the end, the minister said: " Well, where are
the professor and Mrs. Wainwright ? I want you all
to dine with me to-night. I am dining in the public
room, but you won't mind that after Epirus."
" They should be down now, sir," answered a Student.

People were now coming rapidly to dinner and presently
the professor and Mrs. Wainwright appeared.
The old man looked haggard and white. He accepted
the minister's warm greeting with a strained pathetic
smile. " Thank you. We are glad to return safely."

Once at dinner the minister launched immediately
into the subject of Coleman. " He must be altogether
a most remarkable man. When he told me, very
quietly, that he was going to try to rescue you, I
frankly warned him against any such attempt. I
thought he would merely add one more to a party of
suffering people. But the. boys tell- me that he did
actually rescue you."

"Yes, he did," said the professor. " It was a very
gallant performance, and we are very grateful."

"Of course," spoke Mrs. Wainwright, "we might
have rescued ourselves. We were on the right road,
and all we had to do was to keep going on."

" Yes, but I understand-" said the minister. " I
understand he took you into a wood to protect you
from that fight, and generally protected you from all,
kinds of trouble. It seems wonderful to me, not so
much because it was done as because it was done by
the man who, some time ago, calmy announced to me
that he was going to do it. Extraordinary."

"Of course," said Mrs. Wainwright. " Oh, of
course."

"And where is he now? " asked the minister suddenly.
"Has he now left you to the mercies of civilisation ? "

There was a moment's curious stillness, and then
Mrs. Wainwright used that high voice which-the
students believed-could only come to her when she
was about to say something peculiarly destructive to
the sensibilities. " Oh, of course, Mr. Coleman rendered
us a great service, but in his private character
he is not a man whom we exactly care to associate
with."

" Indeed" said the minister staring. Then he
hastily addressed the students. " Well, isn't this a
comic war? Did you ever imagine war could be like
this ? " The professor remained looking at his wife
with an air of stupefaction, as if she had opened up to
him visions of imbecility of which he had not even
dreamed. The students loyally began to chatter at
the minister. " Yes, sir, it is a queer war. After all
their bragging, it is funny to hear that they are running
away with such agility. We thought, of course,
of the old Greek wars."

Later, the minister asked them all to his rooms for
coffee and cigarettes, but the professor and Mrs.

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