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Active Service by Stephen Crane

Part 5 out of 5

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Wainwright apologetically retired to their own quarters.
The minister and the students made clouds of smoke,
through which sang the eloquent descriptions of late
adventures.

The minister had spent days of listening to questions
from the State Department at Washington as to
the whereabouts of the Wainwright party. "I suppose
you know that you,are very prominent people in, the
United States just now ? Your pictures must have
been in all the papers, and there must have been
columns printed about you. My life here was made
almost insupportable by your friends, who consist, I
should think, of about half the population of the
country. Of course they laid regular siege to the de.
partment. I am angry at Coleman for only one thing.
When he cabled the news of your rescue to his news.
paper from Arta, he should have also wired me, if only
to relieve my failing mind. My first news of your
escape was from Washington-think of that."

"Coleman had us all on his hands at Arta," said
Peter Tounley. " He was a fairly busy man."

" I suppose so," said the minister. " By the way,"
he asked bluntly, "what is wrong with him? What
did Mrs. Wainwright mean? "

They were silent for a time, but it seemed plain to
him that it was not evidence that his question had
demoralised them. They seemed to be deliberating
upon the form of answer. Ultimately Peter Tounley
coughed behind his hand. " You see, sir," he began,
" there is-well, there is a woman in the case. Not
that anybody would care to speak of it excepting to
you. But that is what is the cause of things, and then,
you see, Mrs. Wainwright is-well-" He hesitated
a moment and then completed his sentence in the
ingenuous profanity of his age and condition. " She is
rather an extraordinary old bird."

" But who is the woman ?

"Why, it is Nora Blaick, the actress."
"Oh," cried the minister, enlightened. " Her
Why, I saw her here. She was very beautiful, but she
seemed harmless enough. She was somewhat-er-
confident, perhaps, but she did not alarm me. She
called upon me, and I confess I-why, she seemed
charming."
" She's sweet on little Rufus. That's the point,"
said an oracular voice.

" Oh," cried the host, suddenly. " I remember. She
asked me where he was. She said she had heard he
was in Greece, and I told her he had gone knight-
erranting off after you people. I remember now. I
suppose she posted after him up to Arta, eh ? "

" That's it. And so she asked you where he was?

" Yes."

" Why, that old flamingo-Mrs. Wainwright insists
that it was a rendezvous."

Every one exchanged glances and laughed a little.
" And did you see any actual fighting ? " asked the
minister.

" No. We only beard it-"

Afterward, as they were trooping up to their rooms,
Peter Tounley spoke musingly. " Well, it looks to me
now as if Old Mother Wainwright was just a bad-minded
old hen."

" Oh, I don't know. How is one going to tell what
the truth is ? "

" At any rate, we are sure now that Coleman had
nothing to do with Nora's debut in Epirus."

They had talked much of Coleman, but in their tones
there always had been a note of indifference or
carelessness. This matter, which to some people was as
vital and fundamental as existence, remained to others
who knew of it only a harmless detail of life, with no
terrible powers, and its significance had faded greatly
when had ended the close associat.ions of the late adventure.

After dinner the professor had gone directly to his
daughter's room. Apparently she had not moved.
He knelt by the bedside again and took one of her
hands. She was not weeping. She looked at him
and smiled through the darkness. " Daddy, I would
like to die," she said. " I think-yes-I would like to
die."

For a long time the old man was silent, but he arose
at last with a definite abruptness and said hoarsely
" Wait! "

Mrs. Wainwright was standing before her mirror
with her elbows thrust out at angles above her head,
while her fingers moved in a disarrangement of 'her
hair. In the glass she saw a reflection of her husband
coming from Marjory's room, and his face was set
with some kind of alarming purpose. She turned to
watch him actually, but he walked toward the door
into the corridor and did not in any wise heed her.

" Harrison! " she called. " Where are you going? "

He turned a troubled face upon her, and, as if she
had hailed him in his sleep, he vacantly said:
"What ? "

"Where are you going?" she demanded with increasing
trepidation.

He dropped heavily into a chair. "Going?" he
repeated.

She was angry. "Yes! Going? Where are you
going? "

"I am going-" he answered, "I am going to
see Rufus Coleman."

Mrs. Wainwright gave voice to a muffled scream.
" Not about Marjory ? "

"Yes," he said, "about Marjory."

It was now Mrs. Wainwright's turn to look at her
husband with an air of stupefaction as if he had
opened up to her visions of imbecility of which she
had not even dreamed. " About Marjory!" she
gurgled. Then suddenly her wrath flamed out.
"Well, upon my word, Harrison Wainwright, you
are, of all men in the world, the most silly and stupid.
You are absolutely beyond belief. Of all projects!
And what do you think Marjory would have to say of
it if she knew it ? I suppose you think she would like
it ? Why, I tell you she would keep her right hand
in the fire until it was burned off before she would
allow you to do such a thing."

" She must never know it," responded the professor,
in dull misery.

" Then think of yourself! Think of the shame of
it! The shame of it ! "

The professor raised his eyes for an ironical glance
at his wife. " Oh I have thought of the shame
of it!"

" And you'll accomplish nothing," cried Mrs. Wain-
wright. " You'll accomplish nothing. He'll only
laugh at you."

" If he laughs at me, he will laugh at nothing but a
poor, weak, unworldly old man. It is my duty to go."

Mrs. Wainwright opened her mouth as if she was
about to shriek. After choking a moment she said:
" Your duty? Your duty to go and bend the knee to
that man? Yourduty?"

"'It is my duty to go,"' he repeated humbly. "If
I can find even one chance for my daughter's happi-
ness in a personal sacrifice. He can do no more than
he can do no more than make me a little sadder."

His wife evidently understood his humility as a
tribute to her arguments and a clear indication that
she had fatally undermined his original intention.
" Oh, he would have made you sadder," she quoth
grimly. "No fear! Why, it was the most insane
idea I ever heard of."

The professor arose wearily. " Well, I must be
going to this work. It is a thing to have ended
quickly." There was something almost biblical in his
manner.

" Harrison! " burst out his wife in amazed lamenta-
tion. You are not really going to do it? Not
really!"

" I am going to do it," he answered.

" Well, there! " ejaculated Mrs. Wainwright to the
heavens. She was, so to speak, prostrate. " Well,
there! "

As the professor passed out of the door she cried
beseechingly but futilely after him. " Harrison." In
a mechanical way she turned then back to the mirror
and resumed the disarrangement of her hair. She ad-
dressed her image. " Well, of all stupid creatures
under the sun, men are the very worst! " And her
image said this to her even as she informed it, and afterward
they stared at each other in a profound and
tragic reception and acceptance of this great truth.
Presently she began to consider the advisability of
going to Marjdry with the whole story. Really, Harrison
must not be allowed to go on blundering until
the whole world heard that Marjory was trying to
break her heart over that common scamp of a Coleman.
It seemed to be about time for her, Mrs. Wainwright,
to come into the situation and mend matters.

CHAPTER XXVIL

WHEN the professor arrived before Coleman's door,
he paused a moment and looked at it. Previously,
he could not have imagined that a simple door would
ever so affect him. Every line of it seemed to express
cold superiority and disdain. It was only the door of
a former student, one of his old boys, whom, as the
need arrived, he had whipped with his satire in the
class rooms at Washurst until the mental blood had
come, and all without a conception of his ultimately
arriving before the door of this boy in the attitude of
a supplicant. Hewould not say it; Coleman probably
would not say it; but-they would both know it. A
single thought of it, made him feel like running away.
He would never dare to knock on that door. It would
be too monstrous. And even as he decided that he
was afraid to knock, he knocked.

Coleman's voice said; "Come in." The professor
opened the door. The correspondent, without a coat,
was seated at a paper-littered table. Near his elbow,
upon another table, was a tray from which he had evidently
dined and also a brandy bottle with several
recumbent bottles of soda. Although he had so lately
arrived at the hotel he had contrived to diffuse his
traps over the room in an organised disarray which
represented a long and careless occupation if it did
not represent t'le scene of a scuffle. His pipe was in
his mouth.

After a first murmur of surprise, he arose and
reached in some haste for his coat. " Come in, professor,
come in," he cried, wriggling deeper into his
jacket as he held out his hand. He had laid aside his
pipe and had also been very successful in flinging a
newspaper so that it hid the brandy and soda. This
act was a feat of deference to the professor's well
known principles.

"Won't you sit down, sir ? " said Coleman cordially.
His quick glance of surprise had been immediately
suppressed and his manner was now as if the pro-
fessor's call was a common matter.

" Thank you, Mr. Coleman, I-yes, I will sit down,".
replied the old man. His hand shook as he laid it on
the back of the chair and steadied himself down into
it. " Thank you!" -

Coleman looked at him with a great deal of ex-
pectation.

" Mr. Coleman ! "

"Yes, sir."

" I--"

He halted then and passed his hand over his face.
His eyes did not seem to rest once upon Coleman,
but they occupied themselves in furtive and frightened
glances over the room. Coleman could make neither
head nor tail of the affair. He would not have believed
any man's statement that the professor could
act in such an extraordinary fashion. " Yes, sir," he
said again suggestively. The simple strategy resulted
in a silence that was actually awkward. Coleman, despite
his bewilderment, hastened into a preserving
gossip. " I've had a great many cables waiting for
me for heaven knows- how long and others have been
arriving in flocks to-night. You have no idea of the
row in America, professor. Why, everybody must
have gone wild over the lost sheep. My paper has
cabled some things that are evidently for you. For
instance, here is one that says a new puzzle-game
called Find the Wainwright Party has had a big success.
Think of that, would you." Coleman grinned
at the professor. " Find the Wainwright Party, a
new puzzle-game."

The professor had seemed grateful for Coleman's
tangent off into matters of a light vein. " Yes?" he
said, almost eagerly. " Are they selling a game really
called that?"

" Yes, really," replied Coleman. " And of course
you know that-er-well, all the Sunday papers would
of course have big illustrated articles-full pages-
with your photographs and general private histories
pertaining mostly to things which are none of their
business."
" Yes, I suppose they would do that," admitted the
professor. " But I dare say it may not be as bad as
you suggest."

" Very like not," said Coleman. " I put it to you
forcibly so that in the future the blow will not be too
cruel. They are often a weird lot."

" Perhaps they can't find anything very bad about
us."

" Oh, no. And besides the whole episode will probably
be forgotten by the time you return to the United States."

They talked onin this way slowly, strainedly, until
they each found that the situation would soon become
insupportable. The professor had come for a distinct
purpose and Coleman knew it; they could not sit
there lying at each other forever. Yet when he saw
the pain deepening in the professor's eyes, the correspondent
again ordered up his trivialities. " Funny
thing. My paper has been congratulating me, you
know, sir, in a wholesale fashion, and I think-I feel
sure-that they have been exploiting my name all
over the country as the Heroic Rescuer. There is no
sense in trying to stop them, because they don't care
whether it is true or not true. All they want is the
privilege of howling out that their correspondent rescued
you, and they would take that privilege without
in any ways worrying if I refused my consent. You
see, sir? I wouldn't like you to feel that I was such a
strident idiot as I doubtless am appearing now before
the public."

" No," said the professor absently. It was plain
that he had been a very slack listener. " I-Mr. Coleman-"
he began.

"Yes, sir," answered Coleman promptly and gently.

It was obviously only a recognition of the futility
of further dallying that was driving the old man on-
ward. He knew, of course, that if he was resolved to
take this step, a longer delay would simply make it
harder for him. The correspondent, leaning forward,
was watching him almost breathlessly.

" Mr. Coleman, I understand-or at least I am led
to believe-that you-at one time, proposed marriage
to my daughter? "

The faltering words did not sound as if either man
had aught to do with them. They were an expression
by the tragic muse herself. Coleman's jaw fell and he
looked glassily at the professor. He said: "Yes!"
But already his blood was leaping as his mind flashed
everywhere in speculation.

" I refused my consent to that marriage," said the
old man more easily. " I do not know if the matter
has remained important to you, but at any rate, I-I
retract my refusal."

Suddenly the blank expression left Coleman's face
and he smiled with sudden intelligence, as if informa-
tion of what the professor had been saying had just
reached him. In this smile there was a sudden be.
trayal, too, of something keen and bitter which had
lain hidden in the man's mind. He arose and made a
step towards the professor and held out his hand.
"Sir, I thank yod from the bottom of my heart!"
And they both seemed to note with surprise that
Coleman's voice had broken.

The professor had arisen to receive Coleman's hand.
His nerve was now of iron and he was very formal.
" I judge from your tone that I have not made a mis-
take-somcthing which I feared."

Coleman did not seem to mind the professor's formality.
" Don't fear anything. Won't you sit down
again? Will you have a cigar. * * No, I couldn't
tell you how glad I am. How glad I am. I feel like
a fool. It--"

But the professor fixed him with an Arctic eye and
bluntly said: " You love her ? "

The question steadied Coleman at once. He
looked undauntedly straight into the professor's face.
He simply said: " I love her! "

" You love her ? " repeated the professor.

" I love her," repeated Coleman.

After some seconds of pregnant silence, the
professor arose. " Well, if she cares to give her life to
you I will allow it, but I must say that I do not consider
you nearly good enough. Good-night." He
smiled faintly as he held out his hand.

" Good-night, sir," said Coleman. " And I can't
tell, you, now-"

Mrs. Wainwright, in her room was languishing in a
chair and applying to her brow a handkerch-ief wet
with cologne water. She, kept her feverish glarice
upon the door. Remembering well the manner of her
husband when he went out she could hardly identify
him when he came in. Serenity, composure, even
self-satisfaction, was written upon him. He, paid no
attention to her, but going to a chair sat down with
a groan of contentment.

" Well ? " cried Mrs. Wainwright, starting up.
" Well ? "

" Well-what ? " he asked.

She waved her hand impatiently. " Harrison,
don't be absurd. You know perfectly well what I
mean. It is a pity you couldn't think of the anxiety
I have been in." She was going to weep.

"Oh, I'll tell you after awhile," he said stretching
out his legs with the complacency of a rich merchant
after a successful day.

"No! Tell me now," she implored him. "Can't
you see I've worried myself nearly to death?" She
was not going to weep, she was going to wax angry.

"Well, to tell the truth," said the professor with
considerable pomposity, " I've arranged it. Didn't
think I could do it at first, but it turned out "

"I Arranged it,"' wailed Mrs. Wainwright. " Arranged what? "

It here seemed to strike the professor suddenly
that he was not such a flaming example for
diplomatists as he might have imagined. " Arranged," he
stammered. " Arranged ."

" Arranged what? "

" Why, I fixed-I fixed it up."

" Fixed what up? "

"It-it-" began the professor. Then he swelled
with indignation. " Why, can't you understand anything
at all? I-I fixed it."

" Fixed what? "

" Fixed it. Fixed it with Coleman."

" Fixed what with Coleman?

The professor's wrath now took control of him.
"Thunder and lightenin' ! You seem to jump at the
conclusion that I've made some horrible mistake. For
goodness' sake, give me credit for a particle of sense."

" What did you do? " she asked in a sepulchral voice.

" Well," said the professor, in a burning defiance,
" I'll tell you what I did. I went to Coleman and
told him that once-as he of course knew-I had re-
fused his marriage with my daughter, but that now---"

" Grrr," said Mrs. Wainwright.

" But that now-" continued the professor,
" I retracted that refusal."

" Mercy on us! " cried Mrs. Wainwright, throwing
herself back in the chair. " Mercy on us! What
fools men are!"

" Now, wait a minute-"
But Mrs. Wainwright began to croon: " Oh, if
Marjory should hear of this! Oh, if she should hear
of it! just let her. Hear-"

" But she must not," cried the professor, tigerishly.
just you dare! " And the woman saw before her a
man whose eyes were lit with a flame which almost
expressed a temporary hatred.

The professor had left Coleman so abruptly that
the correspondent found himself murmuring half.
coherent gratitude to the closed door of his room.
Amazement soon began to be mastered by exultation.
He flung himself upon the brandy and soda and nego-
tiated a strong glass. Pacing. the room with nervous
steps, he caught a vision of himself in a tall mirror.
He halted before it. " Well, well," he said. " Rufus,
you're a grand man. There is not your equal anywhere.
You are a great, bold, strong player, fit to sit
down to a game with the -best."

A moment later it struck him that he had appropriated
too much. If the professor had paid him a visit
and made a wonderful announcement, he, Coleman,
had not been the engine of it. And then he enunciated
clearly something in his mind which, even in a
vague form, had been responsible for much of his early
elation. Marjory herself had compassed this thing.
With shame he rejected a first wild and preposterous
idea that she had sent her father to him. He reflected
that a man who for an instant could conceive
such a thing was a natural-born idiot. With an equal
feeling, he rejected also an idea that she could have
known anything of her father's purpose. If she had
known of his purpose, there would have been no visit.

What, then, was the cause? Coleman soon decided
that the professor had witnessed some demonstration
of Marjory's emotion which had been sufficiently
severe in its character to force him to the extraordinary
visit. But then this also was wild and preposterous.
That coldly beautiful goddess would not
have given a demonstration of emotion over Rufus
Coleman sufficiently alarming to have forced her
father on such an errand. That was impossible. No,
he was wrong; Marjory even indirectly, could not be
connected with the visit. As he arrived at this decision,
the enthusiasm passed out of him and he wore
a doleful, monkish face.

"Well, what, then, was the cause?" After eliminating
Marjory from the discussion waging in his
mind, he found it hard to hit upon anything rational.
The only remaining theory was to the effect that the
professor, having a very high sense of the correspond.
ent's help in the escape of the Wainwright party, had
decided that the only way to express his gratitude
was to revoke a certain decision which he now could
see had been unfair. The retort to this theory seemed
to be that if the professor had had such a fine conception
of the services rendered by Coleman, he had had
ample time to display his appreciation on the road to
Arta and on the road down from Arta. There was
no necessity for his waiting until their arrival in Athens.
It was impossible to concede that the professor's
emotion could be anew one; if he had it now, he
must have had it in far stronger measure directly
after he had been hauled out of danger.

So, it may be seen that after Coleman had eliminated
Marjory from the discussion that was waging in his
mind, he had practically succeeded in eliminating the
professor as well. This, he thought, mournfully, was
eliminating with a vengeance. If he dissolved all the
factors he could hardly proceed.

The mind of a lover moves in a circle, or at least on
a more circular course than other minds, some of
which at times even seem to move almost in a straight
line. Presently, Coleman was at the point where he
bad started, and he did not pause until he reached
that theory which asserted that the professor had
been inspired to his visit by some sight or knowledge
of Marjory in distress. Of course, Coleman was wistfully
desirous of proving to himself the truth of this
theory.

The palpable agitation of the professor during the
interview seemed to support it. If he had come on
a mere journey of conscience, he would have hardly
appeared as a white and trembling old, man. But
then, said Coleman, he himself probably exaggerated
this idea of the professor's appearance. It might have
been that he was only sour and distressed over the
performance of a very disagreeable duty.

The correspondent paced his room and smoked.
Sometimes he halted at the little table where was the
brandy and soda. He thought so hard that sometimes
it seemed that Marjory had been to him to propose
marriage, and at other times it seemed that there had
been no visit from any one at all.

A desire to talk to somebody was upon him. He
strolled down stairs and into the smoking and reading
rooms, hoping to see a man he knew, even if it were
Coke. But the only occupants were two strangers,
furiously debating the war. Passing the minister's
room, Coleman saw that there was a light within, and
he could not forbear knocking. He was bidden to
enter, and opened the door upon the minister, care-
fully reading his Spectator fresh from London.
He looked up and seemed very glad. "How are
you?" he cried. "I was tremendously anxious to
see you, do you know! I looked for you to dine
with me to-night, but you were not down?"
"No ; I had a great deal of work."

" Over the Wainwright affair? By the way, I want
you to accept my personal thanks for that work. In
a week more I would have gone demented and spent
the rest of my life in some kind of a cage, shaking
the bars and howling out State Department messages
about the Wainwrights. You see, in my territory
there are no missionaries to get into trouble, and I
was living a life of undisturbed and innocent calm,
ridiculing the sentiments of men from Smyrna and
other interesting towns who maintained that the
diplomatic service was exciting. However, when the
Wainwright party got lost, my life at once became
active. I was all but helpless, too; which was the
worst of it. I suppose Terry at Constantinople must
have got grandly stirred up, also. Pity he can't see
you to thank you for saving him from probably going
mad. By the way," he added, while looking
keenly at Coleman, " the Wainwrights don't seem to
be smothering you with gratitude? "

" Oh, as much as I deserve-sometimes more,"
answered Coleman. " My exploit was more or less of
a fake, you know. I was between the lines by accident,
or through the efforts of that blockhead of a
dragoman. I didn't intend it. And then, in the
night, when we were waiting in the road because of a
fight, they almost bunked into us. That's all."

"They tell it better," said the minister, severely.
" Especially the youngsters."

"Those kids got into a high old fight at a town up
there beyond Agrinion. Tell you about that, did
they? I thought not. Clever kids. You have noted
that there are signs of a few bruises and scratches?"
" Yes, but I didn't ask-"
" Well, they are from the fight. It seems the people
took us for Germans, and there was an awful palaver,
which ended in a proper and handsome shindig. It
raised the town, I tell you."

The minister sighed in mock despair. " Take these
people home, will you ? Or at any rate, conduct
them out of the field of my responsibility. Now,
they would like Italy immensely, I am sure."

Coleman laughed, and they smoked for a time.

" That's a charming girl-Miss Wainwright," said the
minister, musingly. "And what a beauty! It does
my exiled eyes good to see her. I suppose all those
youngsters are madly in love with her ? I don't see
how they could help it."

" Yes," said Coleman, glumly. " More than half of
them."

The minister seemed struck with a sudden thought.
" You ought to try to win that splendid prize yourself.
The rescuer ! Perseus! What more fitting? "

Coleman answered calmly: "Well * * * I think
I'll take your advice."

CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE next morning Coleman awoke with a sign of a
resolute decision on his face, as if it had been a
development of his sleep. He would see Marjory as soon
as possible, see her despite any barbed-wire entanglements
which might be placed in the way by her
mother, whom he regarded as his strenuous enemy.
And he would ask Marjory's hand in the presence of
all Athens if it became necessary.

He sat a long time at his breakfast in order to see
the Wainwrights enter the dining room, and as he was
about to surrender to the will of time, they came in,
the professor placid and self-satisfied, Mrs. Wainwright
worried and injured and Marjory cool, beautiful,
serene. If there had been any kind of a storm there
was no trace of it on the white brow of the girl.
Coleman studied her closely but furtively while his
mind spun around his circle of speculation.
Finally he noted the waiter who was observing him
with a pained air as if it was on the tip of his tongue
to ask this guest if he was going to remain at breakfast
forever. Coleman passed out to the reading
room where upon the table a multitude of great red
guide books were crushing the fragile magazines of
London and Paris. On the walls were various
depressing maps with the name of a tourist agency
luridly upon them, and there were also some pictures
of hotels with their rates-in francs-printed beneath.
The room was cold, dark, empty, with the trail of the
tourist upon it.

Coleman went to the picture of a hotel in Corfu
and stared at it precisely as if he was interested. He
was standing before it when he heard Marjory's voice
just without the door. "All right! I'll wait." He
did not move for the reason that the hunter moves
not when the unsuspecting deer approaches his hiding
place. She entered rather quickly and was well
toward the centre of the room before she perceived
Coleman. " Oh," she said and stopped. Then she
spoke the immortal sentence, a sentence which,
curiously enough is common to the drama, to the
novel, and to life. " I thought no one was here."
She looked as if she was going to retreat, but it would
have been hard to make such retreat graceful, and
probably for this reason she stood her ground.

Coleman immediately moved to a point between
her and the door. "You are not going to run away
from me, Marjory Wainwright," he cried, angrily.
" You at least owe it to me to tell me definitely that
you don't love me-that you can't love me-"

She did not face him with all of her old spirit, but
she faced him, and in her answer there was the old
Marjory. " A most common question. Do you ask
all your feminine acquaintances that? "

"I mean-" he said. "I mean that I love you
and-"

"Yesterday-no. To-day-yes. To-morrow-who
knows. Really, you ought to take some steps to
know your own mind."

" Know my own mind," he retorted in a burst of in-
dignation. "You mean you ought to take steps to
know your own mind."

" My own mind! You-" Then she halted in
acute confusion and all her face went pink. She had
been far quicker than the man to define the scene.
She lowered her head. Let me past, please-"

But Coleman sturdily blocked the way and even
took one of her struggling hands. "Marjory-"
And then his brain must have roared with a thousand
quick sentences for they came tumbling out, one
over the other. * * Her resistance to the grip of his
fingers grew somewhat feeble. Once she raised her
eyes in a quick glance at him. * * Then suddenly
she wilted. She surrendered, she confessed without
words. " Oh, Marjory, thank God, thank God-"
Peter Tounley made a dramatic entrance on the
gallop. He stopped, petrified. "Whoo!" he cried.
"My stars! " He turned and fled. But Coleman
called after him in a low voice, intense with agitation.

" Come back here, you young scoundrel! Come baok
here I "

Peter returned, looking very sheepish. " I hadn't
the slightest idea you-"

" Never mind that now. But look here, if you tell
a single soul-particularly those other young
scoundrels-I'll break-"

" I won't, Coleman. Honest, I won't." He was
far more embarrassed than Coleman and almost equally
so with Marjory. He was like a horse tugging at a
tether. "I won't, Coleman! Honest!"

" Well, all right, then." Peter escaped.

The professor and his wife were in their sitting room
writing letters. The cablegrams had all been answered,
but as the professor intended to prolong his
journey homeward into a month of Paris and London,
there remained the arduous duty of telling their
friends at length exactly what had happened. There
was considerable of the lore of olden Greece in the
professor's descriptions of their escape, and in those
of Mrs. Wainwright there was much about the lack of
hair-pins and soap.

Their heads were lowered over their writing when
the door into the corridor opened and shut quickly,
and upon looking up they saw in the room a radiant
girl, a new Marjory. She dropped to her knees by
her father's chair and reached her arms to his neck.
" Oh, daddy! I'm happy I I'm so happy! "

" Why-what-" began the professor stupidly.

" Oh, I am so happy, daddy!

Of course he could not be long in making his conclusion.
The one who could give such joy to Marjory
was the one who, last night, gave her such grief.
The professor was only a moment in understanding.
He laid his hand tenderly upon her head " Bless my
soul," he murmured. "And so-and so-he-"

At the personal pronoun, Mrs. Wainwright lum-
bered frantically to her feet. " What ? " she shouted.
Coleman ? "

" Yes," answered Marjory. " Coleman." As she
spoke the name her eyes were shot with soft yet
tropic flashes of light.

Mrs. Wainwright dropped suddenly back into her
chair. "Well-of-all-things!"
The professor was stroking his daughter's hair and
although for a time after Mrs. Wainwright's outbreak
there was little said, the old man and the girl seemed
in gentle communion, she making him feel her happiness,
he making her feel his appreciation. Providentially
Mrs. Wainwright had been so stunned by the
first blow that she was evidently rendered incapable of
speech.

" And are you sure you will be happy with him?
asked her father gently.

" All my life long," she answered.

" I am glad! I am glad! " said the father, but even
as he spoke a great sadness came to blend with his
joy. The hour when he was to give this beautiful
and beloved life into the keeping of another had been
heralded by the god of the sexes, the ruthless god
that devotes itself to the tearing of children from the
parental arms and casting them amid the mysteries of
an irretrievable wedlock. The thought filled him
with solemnity.

But in the dewy eyes of the girl there was no question.
The world to her was a land of glowing promise.

" I am glad," repeated the professor.

The girl arose from her knees. " I must go away
and-think all about it," she said, smiling. When
the door of her room closed upon her, the mother
arose in majesty.

" Harrison Wainwright," she declaimed, "you are
not going to allow this monstrous thing! "

The professor was aroused from a reverie by these
words. "What monstrous thing ? " he growled.

" Why, this between Coleman and Marjory."

" Yes," he answered boldly.

" Harrison! That man who-"

The professor crashed his hand down on the table.
"Mary! I will not hear another word of it! "

" Well," said Mrs. Wainwright, sullen and ominous,
" time will tell! Time will tell!"

When Coleman bad turned from the fleeing Peter
Tounley again to Marjory, he found her making the
preliminary movements of a flight. "What's the
matter? " he demanded anxiously.

" Oh, it's too dreadful"

" Nonsense," lie retorted stoutly. " Only Peter
Tounley! He don't count. What of that ? "

' Oh, dear! " She pressed her palm to a burning
cheek. She gave him a star-like, beseeching glance.
Let me go now-please."

" Well," he answered, somewhat affronted, " if you
like--"

At the door she turned to look at him, and this
glance expressed in its elusive way a score of things
which she had not yet been able to speak. It explained
that she was loth to leave him, that she asked
forgiveness for leaving him, that even for a short absence
she wished to take his image in her eyes, that
he must not bully her, that there was something now
in her heart which frightened her, that she loved him,
that she was happy---

When she had gone, Coleman went to the rooms of
the American minister. A Greek was there who
talked wildly as he waved his cigarette. Coleman
waited in well-concealed impatience for the dvapora-
tion of this man. Once the minister, regarding the
correspondent hurriedly, interpolated a comment.
" You look very cheerful ? "

" Yes," answered Coleman, " I've been taking your
advice."

" Oh, ho ! " said the minister.

The Greek with the cigarette jawed endlessly.
Coleman began to marvel at the enduring good man-
ners of the minister, who continued to nod and nod in
polite appreciation of the Greek's harangue, which,
Coleman firmly believed, had no point of interest
whatever. But at last the man, after an effusive farewell,
went his way.

" Now," said the minister, wheeling in his chair
tell me all about it."

Coleman arose, and thrusting his hands deep in his
trousers' pockets, began to pace the room with long
strides. He, said nothing, but kept his eyes on the
floor.

" Can I have a drink ? " he asked, abruptly pausing.

" What would you like? " asked the minister, benevolently,
as he touched the bell.

" A brandy and soda. I'd like it very much. You
see," he said, as he resumed his walk, " I have no kind
of right to burden you with my affairs, but, to tell the
truth, if I don't get this news off my mind and into
somebody's ear, I'll die. It's this-I asked Marjory
Wainwright to marry me, and-she accepted, and-
that's all."

" Well, I am very glad," cried the minister, arising
and giving his hand. "And as for burdening me with
your affairs, no one has a better right, you know,
since you released me from the persecution of Washington
and the friends of the Wainwrights. May good
luck follow you both forever. You, in my opinion,
are a very, very fortunate man. And, for her part
she has not done too badly."

Seeing that it was important that Coleman should
have his spirits pacified in part, the minister continued:
" Now, I have got to write an official letter, so you
just walk up and down here and use up this surplus
steam. Else you'll explode."

But Coleman was not to be detained. Now that he
had informed the minister, he must rush off some.
where, anywhere, and do-he knew not what.

All right," said the minister, laughing. " You
have a wilder head than I thought. But look here,"
he called, as Coleman was making for the door. " Am
I to keep this news a secret? "

Coleman with his hand on the knob, turned im.
pressively. He spoke with deliberation. " As far as
I am concerned, I would be glad to see a man paint it
in red letters, eight feet high, on the front of the king's
palace."

The minister, left alone, wrote steadily and did not
even look up when Peter Tounley and two others
entered, in response to his cry of permission. How
ever, he presently found time to speak over his
shoulder to them. "Hear the news?"

"No, sir," they answered.

" Well, be good boys, now, and read the papers and
look at pictures until I finish this letter. Then I will tell you."

They surveyed him keenly. They evidently
judged that the news was worth hearing, but, obediently,
they said nothing. Ultimately the minister
affixed a rapid signature to the letter, and turning,
looked at the students with a smile.
" Haven't heard the news, eh ?"

"No, Sir."

"Well, Marjory Wainwright is engaged to marry
Coleman."

The minister was amazed to see the effect of this
announcement upon the three students. He had expected
the crows and cackles of rather absurd
merriment with which unbearded youth often greets,
such news. But there was no crow or cackle. One
young man blushed scarlet and looked guiltily at the
floor. With a great effort he muttered: " Shes too
good for him." Another student had turned ghastly
pate and was staring. It was Peter Tounley who relieved
the minister's mind, for upon that young man's
face was a broad jack-o-lantern grin, and the minister
saw that, at any rate, he had not made a complete
massacre.

Peter Tounley said triumphantly: "I knew it ! "

The minister was anxious over the havoc he had
wrought with the two other students, but slowly the
colour abated in one face and grew in the other. To
give them opportunity, the minister talked busily to
Peter Tounley. "And how did you know it, you
young scamp ?"

Peter was jubilant. " Oh, -I knew it! I knew it I
I am very clever."

The student who had blushed now addressed the
minister in a slightly strained voice. " Are you positive
that it is true, Mr. Gordner?,"

" I had it on the best authority," replied the minister gravely.

The student who had turned pale said: " Oh, it's
true, of course."

" Well," said crudely the one who had blushed,
she's a great sight too good for Coleman or anybody
like him. That's all I've got to say."

" Oh, Coleman is a good fellow," said Peter Tounley,
reproachfully. " You've no right to say that-exactly.
You don't know where you'd. be now if it were not for
Coleman."

The, response was, first, an angry gesture. " Oh,
don't keep everlasting rubbing that in. For heaven's
sake, let up. - Supposing I don't. know where I'd be
now if,it were not for Rufus Coleman? What of it?
For the rest of my life have I got to--"

The minister saw. that this was the embittered speech
of a really defeated youth, so, to save scenes, he gently
ejected the trio. " There, there, now ! Run along
home like good boys. I'll be busy until luncheon.
And I -dare say you won't find Coleman such a bad
chap."'

In the corridor, one of the students said offensively
to Peter Tounley : " Say, how in hell did you find
out all this so early ? "

Peter's reply was amiable in tone. " You are a
damned bleating little kid and you made a holy show
of yourself before Mr. Gordner. There's where you
stand. Didn't you see that he turned us out because
he didn't know but what you were going to blubber
or something. - you are a sucking pig, and if you
want to know how I find out things go ask the Delphic
Oracle, you blind ass."

" You better look out or you may get a punch in
the eye!,"

"You take one punch in the general direction of
my eye, me son," said -Peter cheerfully, " and I'll
distribute your remains, over this hotel in a way that will
cause your, friends years of trouble to collect you.
Instead of anticipating an attack upon my eye, you
had much better be engaged in improving your mind,
which is at present not a fit machine to cope with exciting
situations. There's Coke! Hello, Coke, hear
the news? Well, Marjory Wainwright and Rufus
Coleman , are engaged.. Straight ? Certainly ! Go
ask the minister."

Coke did not take Peter's word. "Is that so ? " he
asked the others.

" So the minister told us," they answered, and then
these two, who seemed so unhappy, watched Coke's
face to see if they could not find surprised misery
there. But Coke coolly said: " Well, then, I suppose
it's true."

It soon became evident that the students did not
care for each other's society. Peter Tounley was
probably an exception, but the others seemed to long
for quiet corners. They were distrusting each other,
and, in a boyish way, they were even capable of maligant
things. Their excuses for separation were badly
made.

"I-I think I'll go for a walk."
" I'm going up stairs to read."
" Well, so long, old man.' " So long." There was
no heart to it.

Peter Tounley went to Coleman's door, where he
knocked with noisy hilarity. " Come in I " The correspondent
apparently had just come from the street,
for his hat was on his head and a light top-coat was on
his back. He was searching hurriedly through some,
papers. " Hello, you young devil What are you
doing here ?

Peter's entrance was a somewhat elaborate comedy
which Coleman watched in icy silence. Peter after a
long,and impudent pantomime halted abruptly and
fixing Coleman with his eye demanded: "Well?"

"Well-what?." said Coleman, bristling a trifle.

" Is it true ?"

" Is what true ?"

" Is it true? " Peter was extremely solemn.
" Say, me bucko," said Coleman suddenly, " if
you've. come up here to twist the beard of the patriarch,
don't you think you are running a chance? "

"All right. I'll be good," said Peter, and he sat on
the bed. " But-is it true?

" Is what true? "

" What the whole hotel is saying."

] "I haven't heard the hotel making any remarks
lately. Been talking to the other buildings, I sup-
pose."

"Well, I want to tell you that everybody knows
that you and Marjory have done gone and got
yourselves engaged," said Peter bluntly.

"And well? " asked Coleman imperturbably.

" Oh, nothing," replied Peter, waving his hand.
" Only-I thought it might interest you."

Coleman was silent for some time. He fingered his
papers. At last he burst out joyously. "And so
they know it already, do they? Well-damn them-
let them know it. But you didn't tell them yourself ? "

" I ! " quoth Peter wrathfully. " No! The minister told us."

Then Coleman was again silent for a time and Peter
Tounley sat on the. bed reflectively looking at the
ceiling. " Funny thing, Marjory 'way over here in
Greece, and then you happening over here the way
you did."

" It isn't funny at all."

" Why isn't it ? "

" Because," said Coleman impressively,, " that is
why I came to Greece. It was all planned. See?"

"Whirroo," exclaimed Peter. "This here is
magic."

" No magic at all." Coleman displayed some complacence.
" No magic at all. just pure, plain--
whatever you choose to call it."

" Holy smoke," said Peter, admiring the situation.
"Why, this is plum romance, Coleman. I'm blowed
if it isn't."

Coleman was grinning with delight. He took a
fresh cigar and his bright eyes looked at Peter through
the smoke., "Seems like it, don't it? Yes. Regular
romance. Have a drink, my boy, just to celebrate
my good luck. And be patient if I talk a great deal
of my-my-future. My head spins with it." He
arose to pace the room flinging out bis arms in a great
gesture. " God! When I think yesterday was not
like to-day I wonder how I stood it." There was a
knock at the door and a waiter left a note in Coleman's hand

"Dear Ruf us:-We are going for a drive this afternoon
at three, and mother wishes you to come, if you.
care to. I too wish it, if you care to. Yours,
" MARJORY."

With a radiant face, Coleman gave the note a little
crackling flourish in the air. " Oh, you don't know
what life is, kid."

" S-steady the Blues," said Peter Tounley seriously.
You'll lose your head if you don't watch out."

" Not I" cried Coleman with irritation. " But a
man must turn loose some times, mustn't he?"

When the four, students had separated in the corri-
dor, Coke had posted at once to Nora Black's sitting
room. His entrance was somewhat precipitate, but
he cooled down almost at once, for he reflected that
he was not bearing good news. He ended by perching
in awkward fashion on the brink of his chair and
fumbling his hat uneasily. Nora floated to him in a
cloud of a white dressing gown. She gave him
a plump hand. "Well, youngman? "she said, with a
glowing smile. She took a chair, and the stuff of her
gown fell in curves over the arms of it.,

Coke looked hot and bothered, as if he could have
more than half wanted to retract his visit. " I-aw-
we haven't seen much of you lately," he began, sparing.
He had expected to tell his news at once.

No," said Nora, languidly. " I have been resting
after that horrible journey-that horrible journey.
Dear, dear! Nothing,will ever induce me to leave
London, New York and Paris. I am at home there.
But here I Why, it is worse than living in Brooklyn.
And that journey into the wilds! No. no; not for
me! "

" I suppose we'll all be glad to get home," said
Coke, aimlessly.

At the moment a waiter entered the room and began
to lay the table for luncheon. He kept open the
door to the corridor, and he had the luncheon at a
point just outside the door. His excursions to the
trays were flying ones, so that, as far as Coke's purpose
was concerned, the waiter was always in the
room. Moreover, Coke was obliged, naturally, to depart
at once. He had bungled everything.

As he arose he whispered hastily: " Does this
waiter understand English ? "

"Yes," answered Nora. "Why?"

"Because I have something to tell you-important."

"What is it? " whispered Nora, eagerly.

He leaned toward her and replied: " Marjory
Wainwright and Coleman are engaged."

To his unfeigned astonishment, Nora Black burst
into peals of silvery laughter, " Oh, indeed? And
so this is your tragic story, poor, innocent lambkin?
And what did you expect? That I would faint?" -

" I thought-I don't know-" murmured Coke in
confusion.

Nora became suddenly business-like. " But how do
you know? Are you sure? Who told you? Anyhow,
stay to luncheon. Do-like a good boy. Oh,
you must."

Coke dropped again into his chair. He studied her
in some wonder. " I thought you'd be surprised,"
he said, ingenuously.

" Oh, you did, did you ? Well, you see I'm not.
And now tell me all about it."

"There's really nothing to tell but the plain fact.
Some of the boys dropped in at the minister's
rooms a little while ago, and, he told them of it.
That's all."

Well, how did he know?

"I am sure I can't tell you. Got it first hand, I
suppose. He likes Coleman, and Coleman is always
hanging up there."

" Oh, perhaps Coleman was lying," said Nora
easily. Then suddenly her face brightened and she
spoke with animation. " Oh, I haven't told you how
my little Greek officer has turned out. Have I?
No? Well, it is simply lovely. Do you know, he belongs
to one of the best families in Athens? Hedoes.
And they're rich-rich as can be. My courier tells
me that the marble palace where they live is enough
to blind you, and that if titles hadn't gone out of
style-or something-here in Greece, my little officer
would be a prince! Think of that! The courier
didn't know it until we got to Athens, and the little
officer-the prince-gave me his card, of course. One
of the oldest, noblest and richest families in Greece.
Think of that! There I thought he was only a
bothersome little officer who came in handy at times,
and there he turns out to be a prince. I could hardly
keep myself from rushing right off to find him and
apologise to him for the way I treated him. It was
awful! And-" added the fair Nora, pensively, "if
he does meet me in Paris, I'll make him wear that
title down to a shred, you can bet. What's the good
of having a title unless you make it work?"

CHAPTER XXIX.

COKE did not stay to luncheon with Nora Black.
He went away saying to himself either that girl
don't care a straw for Coleman or she has got a heart
absolutely of flint, or she is the greatest actress on
earth or-there is some other reason."

At his departure, Nora turned and called into an
adjoining room. " Maude I " The voice of her companion
and friend answered her peevishly. " What ?"

"Don't bother me. I'm reading."

" Well, anyhow, luncheon is ready, so you will have
to stir your precious self," responded Nora. " You're
lazy."

" I don't want any luncheon. Don't bother me.
I've got a headache."

" Well, if you don't come out, you'll miss the news.
That's all I've got to say."

There was a rustle in the adjoining room, and
immediately the companion appeared, seeming much
annoyed but curious. " Well, what is it ? "

" Rufus Coleman is engaged to be married to that
Wainwright girl, after all."

" Well I declare! " ejaculated the little old lady.
" Well I declare." She meditated for a moment,
and then continued in a tone of satisfaction. " I told
you that you couldn't stop that man Coleman if he
had feally made up his mind to-"

" You're a fool," said Nora, pleasantly.
" Why? " said the old lady.
Because you are. Don't talk to me about it. I
want to think of Marco."

" 'Marco,'" quoted the old lady startled.

"The prince. The prince. Can't you understand?
I mean the prince."

" ' Marco!'" again quoted the old lady, under her
breath.

" Yes, 'Marco,'" cried Nora, belligerently. " 'Marco,'
Do you object to the name? What's the matter with
you, anyhow?"

" Well," rejoined the other, nodding her head wisely,
"he may be a prince, but I've always heard that
these continental titles are no good in comparison to
the English titles."

"Yes, but who told you so, eh? " demanded Nora,
noisily. She herself answered the question. " The
English! "

" Anyhow, that little marquis who tagged after you
in London is a much bigger man in every way, I'll
bet, than this little prince of yours."

" But-good heavens-he didn't mean it. Why, he
was only one of the regular rounders. But Marco, he
is serious I He means it. He'd go through fire and
water for me and be glad of the chance."

" Well," proclaimed the old lady, " if you are not
the strangest woman in the world, I'd like to know!
Here I thought-"

"What did you think?" demanded Nora, suspisciously.
" I thought that Coleman---"

"Bosh!" interrupted, the graceful Nora. "I tell
you what, Maude; you'd better try to think as little
as possible. It will suit your style of beauty better.
And above all, don't think of my affairs. I myself
am taking pains not to think of them. It's easier."

Mrs. Wainwright, with no spirit of intention what.
ever, had sit about readjusting her opinions. It is
certain that she was unconscious of any evolution. If
some one had said to her that she was surrendering to
the inevitable, she would have been immediately on
her guard, and would have opposed forever all suggestions
of a match between Marjory and Coleman. On
the other hand, if some one had said to her that her
daughter was going to marry a human serpent, and
that there were people in Athens who would be glad
to explain his treacherous character, she would have
haughtily scorned the tale-bearing and would have
gone with more haste into the professor's way of
thinking. In fact, she was in process of undermining
herself., and the work could have been. retarded or
advanced by any irresponsible, gossipy tongue.

The professor, from the depths of his experience
with her, arranged a course of conduct. " If I just
leave her to herself she will come around all right,
but if I go 'striking while the iron is hot,' or any of
those things, I'll bungle it surely."

As they were making ready to go down to luncheon,
Mrs. Wainwright made her speech which first indicated
a changing mind. " Well, what will be, will be,"
she murmured with a prolonged sigh of resignation.
" What will be, will be. Girls are very headstrong in
these days, and there is nothing much to be done with
them. They go their own roads. It wasn't so in my
girlhood. - We were obliged to pay attention to our
mothers wishes."

" I did not notice that you paid much attention to
your mother's wishes when you married me," remarked
the professor. " In fact, I thought-"

" That was another thing," retorted Mrs. Wainwright
with severity. " You were a steady young man
who had taken the highest honours all through your
college course, and my mother's sole objection was
that we were too hasty. She thought we -ought to
wait until you had a penny to bless yourself with,
and I can see now where she was quite right."
" Well, you married me, anyhow," said the professor,
victoriously.

Mrs. Wainwright allowed her husband's retort to
pass over her thoughtful mood. " They say * * they
say Rufus Coleman makes as much as fifteen thousand
dollars a year. That's more than three times your income
* * I don't know. * * It all depends on whether
they try to save or not. His manner of life is, no
doubt, very luxurious. I don't suppose he knows
how to economise at all. That kind of a man usually
doesn't. And then, in the newspaper world positions
are so very precarious. Men may have valuable positions
one minute and be penniless in the street the
next minute. It isn't as if he had any real income,
and of course he has no real ability. If he was suddenly
thrown out of his position, goodness knows what
would become of him. Still stillfifteen thousand
dollars a year is a big incomewhile it lasts. I
suppose he is very extravagant. That kind of a man
usually is. And I wouldn't be surprised if he was
heavily in debt; very heavily in debt. Still * * if
Marjory has set her heart there is nothing to be done,
I suppose. It wouldn't have happened if you had
been as wise as you thought you were. * * I suppose
he thinks I have been very rude to him. Well, some
times I wasn't nearly so rude as I felt like being.
Feeling as I did, I could hardly be very amiable. * *
Of course this drive this afternoon was all your affair
and Marjory's. But, of course, I shall be nice to him."

" And what of all this Nora Black business? " asked
the professor, with, a display of valour, but really with
much trepidation.

" She is a hussy," responded Mrs. Wainwright with
energy. " Her conversation in the carriage on the
way down to Agrinion sickened me! "

" I really believe that her plan was simply to break
everything off between Marjory and Coleman," said
the professor, " and I don't believe she had any-grounds
for all that appearance of owning Coleman and the
rest of it."

" Of course she didn't" assented Mrs. Wainwright.
The vicious thing! "

" On the other hand," said the professor, " there
might be some truth in it."
" I don't think so," said Mrs. Wainwright seriously.
I don't believe a word of it."

" You do not mean to say that you think Coleman
a model man ? " demanded the professor.

"Not at all! Not at all!" she hastily answered.
" But * * one doesn't look for model men these days."

"'Who told you he made fifteen thousand a year?
asked the professor.

"It was Peter Tounley this morning. We were
talking upstairs after breakfast, and he remarked that
he if could make fifteen thousand, a year: like Coleman,
he'd-I've forgotten what-some fanciful thing."

" I doubt if it is true," muttered the old man wagging his head.

"Of course it's true," said his wife emphatically.
" Peter Tounley says everybody knows it."

Well * anyhow * money is not everything."

But it's a. great deal, you know well enough. You
know you are always speaking of poverty as an evil,
as a grand resultant, a collaboration of many lesser
evils. Well, then?

" But," began the professor meekly, when I say
that I mean-"

" Well, money is money and poverty is poverty,"
interrupted his wife. " You don't have to be very
learned to know that."

"I do not say that Coleman has not a very nice
thing of it, but I must say it is hard to think of his
getting any such sum, as you mention."

" Isn't he known as the most brilliant journalist in
New York?" she demanded harshly.

" Y-yes, as long as it lasts, but then one never
knows when he will be out in the street penniless.
Of course he has no particular ability which would
be marketable if he suddenly lost his present employment.
Of course it is not as if he was a really talented young man.
He might not be able to make his way at all in any new direction."

" I don't know about that," said Mrs. Wainwright
in reflective protestation. " I don't know about that.
I think he would."

" I thought you said a moment ago-" The professor
spoke with an air of puzzled hesitancy. "I
thought you said a moment ago that he wouldn't succeed
in anything but journalism."

Mrs. Wainwright swam over the situation with a
fine tranquility. " Well-I-I," she answered musingly,
"if I did say that, I didn't mean it exactly."

" No, I suppose not," spoke the professor, and de-
spite the necessity for caution he could not keep out
of his voice a faint note of annoyance.

" Of course," continued the wife, " Rufus Coleman
is known everywhere as a brilliant man, a very brilliant
man, and he even might do well in-in politics or
something of that sort."

" I have a very poor opinion of that kind of a mind
which does well in American politics," said the pro-
fessor, speaking as a collegian, " but I suppose there
may be something in it."

" Well, at any rate," decided Mrs. Wainwright.
" At any rate-"

At that moment, Marjory attired for luncheon and
the drive entered from her room, and Mrs. Wainwright
checked the expression of her important conclusion.
Neither father or mother had ever seen her so glowing
with triumphant beauty, a beauty which would
carry the mind of a spectator far above physical
appreciation into that realm of poetry where creatures
of light move and are beautiful because they cannot
know pain or a burden. It carried tears to the old
father's eyes. He took her hands. " Don't be too
happy, my child, don't be too happy," he admonished
her tremulously. " It makes me afraid-it makes me
afraid."

CHAPTER XXX

IT seems strange that the one who was the most
hilarious over the engagement of Marjory and Cole-
man should be Coleman's dragoman who was indeed
in a state bordering on transport. It is not known
how he learned the glad tidings, but it is certain that
he learned them before luncheon. He told all the
visible employes of the hotel and allowed them to
know that the betrothal really had been his handi-work
He had arranged it. He did not make quite
clear how he had performed this feat, but at least he
was perfectly frank in acknowledging it.

When some of the students came down to luncheon,
they saw him but could not decide what ailed him.
He was in the main corridor of the hotel, grinning
from ear to ear, and when he perceived the students
he made signs to intimate that they possessed in com-
mon a joyous secret. " What's the matter with that
idiot?" asked Coke morosely. " Looks as if his
wheels were going around too fast."
Peter Tounley walked close to him and scanned
him imperturbably, but with care. " What's up,
Phidias ? " The man made no articulate reply. He
continued to grin and gesture. "Pain in oo tummy?
Mother dead? Caught the cholera? Found out
that you've swallowed a pair of hammered brass and
irons in your beer? Say, who are you, anyhow? "
But he could not shake this invincible glee, so he
went away.

The dragoman's rapture reached its zenith when
Coleman lent him to the professor and he was
commissioned to bring a carriage for four people to the
door at three o'clock. He himself was to sit on
the box and tell the driver what was required of
him. He dashed off, his hat in his hand, his hair flying,
puffing, important beyond everything, and apparently
babbling his mission to half the people he met
on the street. In most countries he would have
landed speedily in jail, but among a people who exist
on a basis of'jibbering, his violent gabble aroused no
suspicions as to his sanity. However, he stirred
several livery stables to their depths and set men running
here and there wildly and for the most part
futiltiy.

At fifteen minutes to three o'clock, a carriage with
its horses on a gallop tore around the corner and up
to the . front of the hotel, where it halted with the
pomp and excitement of a fire engine. The dragoman
jumped down from his seat beside the driver and
scrambled hurriedly into the hoiel, in the gloom of
which hemet a serene stillness which was punctuated
only by the leisurely tinkle of silver and glass in the
dining room. For a moment the dragoman seemed
really astounded out of specch. Then he plunged
into the manager's room. Was it conceivable that
Monsieur Coleman was still at luncheon? Yes; in
fact, it was true. But the carriage, was at the door!
The carriage was at the door! The manager,
undisturbed, asked for what hour Monsieur Coleman had
been pleased to order a carriage. Three o'clock !
Three o'clock? The manager pointed calmly at the
clock. Very well. It was now only thirteen minutes
of three o'clock. Monsieur Coleman doubtless would
appear at three. Until that hour the manager would
not disturb Monsieur Coleman. The dragoman
clutched both his hands in his hair and cast a look of
agony to the ceiling. Great God! Had he accomplished
the herculean task of getting a carriage for
four people to the door of the hotel in time for a drive
at three o'clock, only to meet with this stoniness, this
inhumanity? Ah, it was unendurable? He begged
the manager; he implored him. But at every word.
the manager seemed to grow more indifferent, more
callous. He pointed with a wooden finger at the
clock-face. In reality, it is thus, that Greek meets
Greek.

Professor Wainwright and Coleman strolled together
out of the dining room. The dragoman rushed ecstatically
upon the correspondent. " Oh, Meester Coleman!
The carge is ready !"

"Well, all right," said Coleman, knocking ashes
from his cigar. "Don't be in a hurry. I suppose
we'll be ready, presently." The man was in despair.

The departure of the Wainwrights and Coleman on
this ordinary drive was of a somewhat dramatic and
public nature, No one seemed to know how to prevent
its being so. In the first place, the attendants
thronged out en masse for a reason which was plain
at the time only to Coleman's dragoman. And, rather
in the background, lurked the interested students.
The professor was surprised and nervous. Coleman
was rigid and angry. Marjory was flushed and some
what hurried, and Mrs. Wainwright was as proud as
an old turkey-hen.

As the carriage rolled away, Peter Tounley turned
to his companions and said: " Now, that's official!
That is the official announcement! Did you see Old
Mother Wainwright? Oh, my eye, wasn't she puffed
up ! Say, what in hell do you suppose all these jay
hawking bell-boys poured out to the kerb for? Go
back to your cages, my good people-"

As soon as the carriage wheeled into another
street, its occupants exchanged easier smiles, and
they must have confessed in some subtle way of
glances that now at last they were upon their own
mission, a mission undefined but earnest to them all.
Coleman had a glad feeling of being let into the family,
or becoming one of them

The professor looked sideways at him and smiled
gently. " You know, I thought of driving you to
some ruins, but Marjory would not have it. She flatly
objected to any more ruins. So I thought we would
drive down to New Phalerum."
Coleman nodded and smiled as if he were immensely
pleased, but of course New Phalerum was to him no
more nor-less than Vladivostok or Khartoum.
Neither place nor distance had interest for him.
They swept along a shaded avenue where the dust lay
thick on the leaves; they passed cafes where crowds
were angrily shouting over the news in the little papers;
they passed a hospital before which wounded
men, white with bandages, were taking the sun; then
came soon to the and valley flanked by gaunt naked
mountains, which would lead them to the sea. Sometimes
to accentuate the dry nakedness of this valley,
there would be a patch of grass upon which poppies
burned crimson spots. The dust writhed out from
under the wheels of the carriage; in the distance the
sea appeared, a blue half-disc set between shoulders of
barren land. It would be common to say that Coleman
was oblivious to all about him but Marjory. On
the contrary, the parched land, the isolated flame of
poppies, the cool air from the sea, all were keenly
known to him, and they had developed an extraordinary
power of blending sympathetically into his
mood. Meanwhile the professor talked a great deal.
And as a somewhat exhilarating detail, Coleman perceived
that Ms. Wainwright was beaming upon him.

At New Phalerum-a small collection of pale square
villas-they left the carriage and strolled, by the sea.
The waves were snarling together like wolves amid
the honeycomb rocks and from where the blue plane
sprang level to the horizon, came a strong cold breeze,
the kind of a breeze which moves an exulting man or
a parson to take off his hat and let his locks flutter
and tug back from his brow.

The professor and Mrs. Wainwright were left to
themselves.

Marjory and Coleman did not speak for a time. It
might have been that they did not quite know where
to make a beginning. At last Marjory asked:
"What has become of your splendid horse?"

"Oh, I've told the dragoman to have him sold as
soon as he arrives," said Coleman absently.

" Oh. I'm sorry * * I liked that horse."

"Why? "

"Oh, because-"

"Well, he was a fine-" Then he, too, interrupted
himself, for he saw plainly that they had not
come to this place to talk about a horse. Thereat he
made speech of matters which at least did not afford
as many opportunities for coherency as would the
horse. Marjory, it can't be true * * * Is it true,
dearest * * I can hardly believe it. -I-"

" Oh, I know I'm not nearly good enough for you."

" Good enough for me, dear?

" They all told me so, and they were right ! Why,
even the American minister said it. Everybody thinks
it."

"Why, aren 't they wretches To think of them
saying such a thing! As if-as if anybody could be
too--"

" Do you know-" She paused and looked at
him with a certain timid challenge. " I don't know
why I feel it, but-sometimes I feel that I've been
I've been flung at your head."

He opened his mouth in astonishment. " Flung at
my head!

She held up her finger. "And if I thought you
could ever believe it ! "

" Is a girl flung at a man's head when her father
carries her thousands of miles away and the man
follows her all these miles, and at last-"

" Her eyes were shining. "And you really came to
Greece-on purpose to-to-"

" Confess you knew it all the time! Confess!"
The answer was muffled. " Well, sometimes I
thought you did, and at other times I thought you-
didn't."

In a secluded cove, in which the sea-maids once had
played, no doubt, Marjory and Coleman sat in silence.
He was below her, and if he looked at her he had to
turn his glance obliquely upward. She was staring at
the sea with woman's mystic gaze, a gaze which men
at once reverence and fear since it seems to look into
the deep, simple heart of nature, and men begin to feel
that their petty wisdoms are futile to control these
strange spirits, as wayward as nature and as pure as
nature, wild as the play of waves, sometimes as unalterable
as the mountain amid the winds; and to
measure them, man must perforce use a mathematical
formula.

He wished that she would lay her hand upon his
hair. He would be happy then. If she would only,
of her own will, touch his hair lightly with her
fingers-if she would do it with an unconscious air it
would be even better. It would show him that she
was thinking of him, even when she did not know she
was thinking of him.

Perhaps he dared lay his head softly against her knee.
Did he dare?

As his head touched her knee, she did not move.
She seemed to be still gazing at the sea. Presently
idly caressing fingers played in his hair near the
forehead. He looked up suddenly lifting his arms.
He breathed out a cry which was laden with a kind of
diffident ferocity. " I haven't kissed you yet-"

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