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Poor, Dear Margaret Kirby and Other Stories by Kathleen Norris

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"Mary! MARY!" said Mrs. Bond.

"Well, I don't care!" said Mary, unreproved. "And when she DOES get
grandma's money," she grumbled, "what good will it do her?"

"We won't discuss it, if you please, Mary," said little Sammy, with

There was a silence. Tom lighted a cigarette. They watched the game,
Mary fighting tears, Sammy defiant and breathing hard, Mrs. Bond
with absent eyes.

"Stunning fellow who made that run!" said the elder woman presently.
"Who is he, dear?"

"That's Anthony!" said Sammy, shortly, not to be won.

"Anthony!" Mrs. Bond's tone was all affectionate interest. She put
up her lorgnette. "Well, bless his heart! Isn't he good to look at!"
she said.

"He's all hot and dirty now," Sammy said, relenting a little.

"He's MAGNIFICENT," said Mrs. Bond, firmly. She cut Mary off from
their conversation with a broad shoulder, and pressed Sammy's hand.
"We'll all love him, I'm sure," said she, warmly.

Sammy's lip trembled.

"You WILL, Aunt Anne," said she, a little huskily. Pent up
confidence came with a rush. "I know perfectly well how Mary feels!"
said Sammy, eagerly. "Why, didn't you yourself feel a little sorry
he's a carpenter?"

"Just for a moment," said Aunt Anne.

"I wish MYSELF he wasn't," Sammy pursued; "but he likes it, and he's
making money, and he's liked by EVERY one. He's on the team, you
know, and sings in all the concerts. Wild horses couldn't drag him
away from Wheatfield. And why should he go away and study some
profession he hates," she rushed on resentfully, "when I'm PERFECTLY
satisfied with him as he is? Father asked him if he wouldn't like to
study a profession--I don't see why he SHOULD!"

"Surely," said Mrs. Bond, sympathetically, but quite at a loss.
After a thoughtful moment she added seriously: "But, darling, what
about your trousseau? Why not make it November, say, and take a
flying trip to New York with your old aunty? I want the first bride
to have all sorts of pretty things, you know. No delays,--everything
ready-made, not a moment lost--?"

Sammy hesitated. "You do like him, don't you, Aunt Anne?" she burst

"My dear, I HOPE I'm going to love him!"

"Do--do you mind my talking it over with him before I say I'll go?"
Sammy's eyes shone.

"My darling, no! Take a week to think it over!" Mrs. Bond had never
tried fishing, but she had some of the instincts of the complete

A mad burst of applause interrupted her, and ended the game.
Strolling from the field in the level, pitiless sunshine, the
Peneyres were joined by young Gayley. He was quite the hero of the
hour, stalwart in his base-ball suit, nodding and shouting greetings
in every direction. He transferred a bat to his left hand to give
Mrs. Bond a cheerfully assured greeting, and, with the freedom of
long-gone days when he had played in the back lot with the Peneyre
children, he addressed the young people as "Mary" and "Tom." If
three of the party thought him decidedly "fresh," Sammy had no such
criticism. She evidently adored her lover.

It was at her suggestion, civilly indorsed by the others, that he
came to the house a few hours later for dinner. It was a painful
meal. Mr. Gayley did not hesitate to monopolize the conversation. He
was accustomed to admiration--too completely accustomed, in fact, to
perceive that on this occasion it was wanting.

After dinner he sang--having quite frankly offered to sing. Mary
played his accompaniments, and Sammy leaned on the closed cover of
her mother's wonderful old grand piano--sadly out of tune in these
days!--and watched him. Tom, frankly rude, went to bed. Mary,
determined that the engaged pair should not be encouraged any
further than was unavoidable, stuck gallantly to her post.

Mrs. Bond sat watching, useless regrets filling her heart. How sweet
the child was! How full of possibilities! How true the gray eyes
were! How stubborn the mouth might be! Sammy's power to do what she
willed to do, in the face of all obstacles, had been notable since
her babyhood. Her aunt looked from the ardent, virginal little head
to the florid, handsome face of the singer, and her heart was sick
within her.

Anthony Gayley came to the train to see them off, two weeks later,
and Sammy kissed him good-by before the eyes of all Wheatfield. She
had made her own conditions in consenting to make the Eastern visit.
She was going merely to buy her trousseau; the subject of her
engagement was never to be discussed; and every one--EVERY one--she
met was to know at once that she was going back to Wheatfield
immediately to be married in December.

Anthony had agreed to wait until then.

"It isn't as if every one knew it, Kid," he said sensibly to his
fiancee; "it gives me a chance to save a little, and it's not so
hard on mother. Besides, I'm looking out for a partner, and I'll
have to work him in."

"I wonder you don't think of entering some other business, Anthony,"
Mrs. Bond said, to this remark. "You're young enough to try
anything. It's such a--it's such hard work, you know."

"I've often thought I'd like to be an actor," said Mr. Gayley,
carelessly; "but there's not much chance to break into that."

"You could take a course of lessons in New York," suggested Mary,
and Sammy indorsed the idea with an eager look. But Anthony laughed.

"Not for mine! No, sir. I'll stick to Wheatfield. I was a year in
San Francisco a while back, and it was one lonesome year, believe
me. No place like home and friends for your Uncle Dudley!"

"Don't you meet a bunch of swell Eastern fellows and forget me," he
said to Sammy, as they stood awaiting the train. "I'll be getting a
little home ready for you; I'll--I'll trust you, Kid."

"You may," said Sammy. She looked at the burning, dry little main
street, the white cottages that faced the station from behind their
blazing gardens; she looked at the locust trees that almost hid the
church spire, at the straggling line of eucalyptus trees that
followed the country road to the graveyard a mile away. It was home.
It was all she had known of the world--and she was going away into a
terrifying new life. Her eyes brimmed.

"I swear to you that I'll be faithful, Anthony," she said solemnly.
"On my sacred oath, I will!"

And ten minutes later they were on their way. The porter had pinned
her new hat up in a pillow-case and taken it away, and Sammy was
laughing because another porter quite seriously shouted: "Last call
for luncheon in the dining-car!"

"I always knew they did it, but I never supposed they really DID!"
said Sammy, following her aunt through the shaded brightness of the
Pullman to an enchanted table, from which one could see the glorious
landscape flashing by.

It was all like a dream--the cities they fled through, the luxury of
the big house at Sippican, the capped and aproned maids that were so
eager to make one comfortable. The people she met were like dream
people; the busy, useless days seemed too pleasant to be real.

August flashed by, September was gone. With the same magic lack of
effort, they were all in the New York house. Sammy wore her first
dinner gown, wore her first furs, made her youthful conquests right
and left.

From the first, she told every one of her engagement. The thought of
it, always in her mind, helped to give her confidence and poise.

"You must have heard of me, you know," said her first dinner
partner, "for your sister's told me a lot about YOU. Piet van Soop."

"Piet van SOOP!" ejaculated Sammy, seriously.

"Certainly. Don't you think that's a pretty name?"

"But--but that can't be your name," argued Sammy, smilingly.

"Why can't it?"

"Why, because no one with a name like van Soop to begin with would
name a little darling baby PIET," submitted Sammy.

"Oh, come," said Mr. van Soop. "Your own name, now! Sammy, as Mary
always calls you--that's nothing to boast of, you know, and I'll bet
you were a very darling little baby yourself!"

Sammy laughed joyously, and a dozen fellow guests glanced
sympathetically in the direction of the fresh, childish sound.

"Well, if that's really your name, of course you can't help it," she
conceded, adding, with the naivete that Mr. van Soop already found
delightful: "Wouldn't the COMBINATION be awful, though! Sammy van

"If you'll consider it, I'll endeavor to make it the only sorrow you
have to endure," said Mr. van Soop; and the ensuing laughter brought
them the attention of the whole table.

"No danger!" said Sammy, gayly. "I'm going home in December, you
know, to be married!"

Every one heard it. Mary winced. Mrs. Bond flushed. Tom said a word
that gave his pretty partner a right to an explanation. But Sammy
was apparently cheerful.

Only apparently, however. For that night, when she found herself in
her luxurious room again, she took Anthony's picture from the bureau
and studied it gravely under the lights.

"I said that right out," she said aloud, "and I'll KEEP ON saying
it. Then, when the time comes to go, I simply CAN'T back out!"

She put the picture back, and sat down at her dressing-table and
stared at her own reflection. Her hair was filleted with silver and
tiny roses; her gown was of exquisite transparent embroidery, and
more tiny roses rumpled the deep lace collar. But even less familiar
than this finery were the cheeks that blazed with so many remembered
compliments, the scarlet lips that had learned to smile so readily,
the eyes brilliant with new dreams.

"I feel as if sorrow--SORROW," said little Sammy, shivering, "were
just about two feet behind me, and as if--if it ever catches up--
I'll be the most unhappy girl in the world!"

And she gave herself a little shake and put a firm little finger-tip
on Gabrielle's bell.

"Sammy," said Mr. van Soop, one dull gray afternoon some weeks
later, "I've brought you out for a special purpose to-day."

"Tea?" said Sammy, contentedly.

"Tea, gluttonous one," he admitted, turning his big car into the
park. "But, seriously, I want to ask you about your going away."

"I don't know that there's anything to say about it," said Sammy,
carelessly. "I've had a wonderful time, and every one's been
charming. And now I've got to go back."

"Sammy, I've no right to ask you a favor, but I've a REASON," Piet
began. He halted. Both were crimson.

"Yes, yes; I know, Piet," said Sammy, fluttered.

The car slackened, stopped. Their faces were not two feet apart.

"Well! Will you let me BEG you--for your aunt, and sister, and for--
well, for me, and for your own sake, Sammy--will you let me BEG you
just to wait? Here, or there, or anywhere else--will you just WAIT a

Sammy was silent a moment. Then--

"For what reason?" she said.

"Because you may save yourself lifelong unhappiness."

Sammy pondered, her lashes dropped, her hands clasped in her muff.

"Piet," she said gravely, "it's not as bad as that. No--I'll not be
unhappy. I love Wheatfield, and horses, and the old house, and--"
she hesitated, adding more brightly: "and you can MAKE happiness,
you know! Just because it's spring, or it's Thanksgiving, or you've
got a good book! Please go on," she urged suddenly. "We're very
conspicuous here."

They moved slowly along under the bare trees. A sullen sunset
colored the western sky. The drive was filled with motor-cars, and
groups of riders galloped on the muddy bridle-path. It was just
dusk. Suddenly, as the lamplighters went their rounds, all the park
bloomed with milky disks of light.

"You see," Sammy went on presently, "I've thought this all out.
Anthony's a good man, and he loves me, and I--well, I've promised.
What RIGHT have I to say calmly that I've changed my mind, and to
hurt him and make him ridiculous before all the people he loves? He
knows I'll have money some day--no, Piet, you needn't look so! That
has nothing to do with it! But, of course, he KNOWS it; and I said
we would have a motor,--he's wild for one!--and entertain, don't you
know, and that's what he's waiting for and counting on. He doesn't
DESERVE to be shamed and humiliated. And, besides, it would break
his mother's heart. She's been awfully sweet to me. And it must be a
BITTER thing to be told that you're not good enough for the woman
you love. Anthony saved my life, you know, and I can't break my
word. I said: 'On my oath, I'll come back.' And just because there
IS a difference between him--and us," she hesitated, "he's all the
prouder and more sensitive. And it's only a difference in surface
things!" finished Sammy, loyally.

Piet was silent.

"Why, Tom keeps telling me that mother was a Cabot, and grandfather
a judge, and talking Winthrop Colony and Copleys and Gilbert Stuarts
to me!" the girl burst out presently. "As if that wasn't the very
REASON for my being honorable! That's what blood's for!"

Still Piet was silent, his kind, ugly face set and dark.

"And then, you know," said Sammy, with sudden brightness, "when I
get back, and see the dear old place again, and get a good big
breath of AIR,--which we don't have here!--why, it'll all straighten
out and seem right again. My hope is," she added, turning her honest
eyes to the gloomy ones so near her, "my hope is that Anthony will
be willing to wait a while--"

"What makes you think he is likely to?" said Piet, dryly.

There was a silence. Then he added:

"When do you go?"

"The--the twenty-sixth, I believe. I've got aunty's consent--I go
with the Archibalds to San Francisco."

"And this is--?"

"The twentieth."

For some time after that they wove their way along the sweeping
Parkroads without speaking, and when they did begin to talk to one
another again, the subject was a different one and Mr. van Soop was
more cheerful. The tea hour was a fairly merry one. But when he left
Sammy, an hour later, at her aunt's door, he took off his big glove,
and grew a little white, and held out his hand to her and said:

"I won't see you again, Sammy. I've been thinking it over. You're
right; it's all my own fault. I was very wrong to attempt to
persuade you. But I won't see you again. Good-by."

"Why--!" began Sammy, in astonishment; then she looked down and
stammered, "Oh--," and finally she put her little hand in his and
said simply:


Therefore it was a surprise to Mr. van Soop to find himself entering
Mrs. Bond's library just twenty-four hours later, and grasping the
hands of the slender young woman who rose from a chair by the fire.

"Sammy! You sent for me?"

Sammy looked very young in a little velvet gown with a skirt short
enough to show the big bows on her slippers. Her eyes had a
childishly bewildered expression.

"I wanted you," she said simply. "I--I've had a letter from Anthony.
It came only an hour ago. I don't know whether to be sorry or glad.
Read it! Read it!"

She sat on a little, low stool by the fire, and Piet flattened the
many loose pages of the letter on his knee and read.

Anthony had written on the glazed, ruled single sheets of the
"Metropolitan Star Hotel"--had covered some twenty of them with his
loose, dashing hand-writing.

MY DEAR SAMMY [wrote Anthony, with admirable directness]: The boys
wanted me to sit in a little game to-night, but the truth is I have
been wanting for a long time to speak to you of a certain matter,
and to-night seems a good chance to get it off my chest. A man feels
pretty rotten writing a letter like this, but I've thought it over
for more than a month now, and I feel that no matter how badly you
and I both feel, the thing to do is not to let things go too far
before we think the thing pretty thoroughly over and make sure that

"What the deuce is he getting at?" said Piet, breaking off suddenly.

"Go on!" said Sammy, bright color in her cheeks.

--make sure that things are best for the happiness of all parties
[resumed Piet]. You see, Sammy [the letter ran on], as far as I am
concerned, I never would have said a word, but I have been talking
things over with a party whose name I will tell you in a minute, and
they feel as if it would be better to write before you come on. I
mean Miss Alma Fay. You don't know her. She is Lucy Barbee's cousin.
Lucy and I had a great case years ago, and she and Tom asked me up
to their house a few weeks ago, and Alma was staying with Lucy.
Well, I took her to the Hallowe'en dance, and it was a keen dance,
the swellest we ever had at the hall. Some of us rowed the girls on
the river between the dances; we had a keen time. Well, after that I
took her riding once or twice. She rides the best of any girl I ever
saw; her father has the finest horses in East Wood--I guess he
counts for quite a lot up there, he has the biggest department store
and runs his own motor. Well, Sammy, I never would of written one
word of this to you, but when Alma came to go away we both realized
how it was. You know I have often had cases, as the boys call them,
and a girl I was engaged to in Petrie told me once she hoped some
day I'd get MINE. Well, she would be pleased if she knew that I
HAVE. I have not slept since--

"Sammy!" said Piet, suddenly stopping.

"Go on!" said she, again.

But Piet couldn't go on. He glanced at the next page, read, "Now,
Sammy, it is up to you to decide," skipped another page or two and
read, "Neither Alma nor I would ever be happy if--" glanced at a
third; then the leaves fluttered in wild confusion to the floor,
and, with something between a sob and a shout, he caught Sammy in
his arms.

"My darling," said Piet, an hour later, "if I release your right
hand for ten minutes, do you think you could write a line to Mr.
Anthony Gayley? I would like to mail it when I go home to dress."

"I was thinking I might wire--" said Sammy, dreamily.


Sometimes Ferdie's jokes were successful; sometimes they were not.
This was one of the jokes that didn't succeed; but as it led to a
chain of circumstances that proved eminently satisfactory, Ferdie's
wife praised him as highly for his share in it as if he really had
done something rather meritorious.

At the time it occurred, however, nobody praised anybody, and
feeling even ran pretty high for a time between Ferdie and Elsie,
his wife, and her sister Sally, and Dr. Bates.

Dr. Samuel Bates was a rising young surgeon, plain, quiet, and
kindly. He was spending a few busy months in California, and writing
dutifully home to friends and patients in Boston that he really
could not free his hands to return just yet. But Sally knew what
that meant; she had known business to keep people in her
neighborhood before. So she was studiously unkind to the doctor,
excusing herself to Elsie on the ground that nothing on earth would
ever make her consider a man with fuzzy red hair and low collars.

Sally was a "daughter" and a "dame"; the doctor was the son of
"Bates's Blue-Ribbon Hair Renewer"--awful facts against which the
additional fact that he was rich and she was not, counted nothing.
Sally talked all the time; the doctor was the most silent of men.
Sally was twenty-two, the doctor thirty-five. Sally loved to flirt;
the doctor never paid any attention to women. Altogether, it was the
most impossible thing ever heard of, and Elsie might just as well
stop thinking about it!

"It's a wonderful proof of what he feels," said Elsie, "to have him
so gentle when you are rude to him, and so eager to be friends when
you get over it!"

"It's a wonderful example of hair-tonic spirit!" Sally responded.

"There's a good deal behind that quiet manner," argued Elsie.

"But NOT the three generations that make a gentleman!" finished

Sally was out calling one hot Saturday afternoon when Ferdie, as was
his habit, brought Dr. Bates home with him to the Ferdies' little
awninged and shingled summer home in Sausalito. Elsie, with an
armful of delightfully pink and white baby, led them to the cool
side porch, and ordered cool things to drink. Sally, she said, as
they sank into the deep chairs, would be home directly and join

Presently, surely enough, some one ran up the front steps and came
into the wide hall, and Sally's voice called a blithe "Hello!" There
was a little rattle to show that her parasol was flung down, and
then the voice again, this time unmistakably impeded by hat-pins.

"Where's this fam-i-ly? Did the gentlemen come?"

This gave an opening for the sort of thing Ferdie thought he did
very well. He grinned at his guest, and raised a warning finger.

"Hello, Sally!" he called back. "Elsie and I are out here! Bates
couldn't come--operation last minute!"

"What--didn't come?" Sally called back after an instant's pause.
"Well, what has happened to HIM? But, thank goodness, now I can go
to the Bevis dinner to-morrow! Operation? I must say it's mannerly
to send a message the last minute like that!" She hummed a second,
and then added spitefully: "What can you expect of hair-tonic,
anyway?" The frozen group on the porch heard her start slowly
upstairs. "Well, I might be willing to marry him," added Sally,
cheerfully, as she mounted, "but it's a real relief to snatch this
glorious afternoon from the burning! Down in a second--keep me some

Nobody moved on the porch. The doctor's face was crimson, Elsie's
kind eyes wide with horror. Sally called a final reflection from the
first landing:

"Too bad not to have him see me looking so beautiful!" she sang
frivolously. "Operation--h'm! An important operation--I don't
believe it!"

She proceeded calmly to her room, and was buttoning herself into a
trim linen gown when Elsie burst in, flushed and furious, cast the
baby dramatically upon the bed, and hysterically recounted the
effects of her recent remarks. Sally, at first making a transparent
effort to seem amused, and following it with an equally vain attempt
at being dignified, finally became very angry herself.

"When Ferdie does things like this," said Sally, heatedly, "I
declare I wonder--I was going to say I wonder he has a friend left
in the world! As you say, it's done now, but it makes me so FURIOUS!
And I don't think it shows very much savior faire on your part,
Elsie. However, we won't discuss it! Ferdie will try one joke too
many, one of these days, and then--Now, look here, Elsie," Sally
interrupted her tirade to state with deadly deliberation, "unless
that man goes home before dinner, as a man of any spirit would do,
I'm going over to Mary Bevis's, and you can make whatever apologies
you like!"

"Of course he won't go," said Elsie, with spirit. "The only thing to
do is to ignore it entirely. And of course you'll come down."

Sally had resumed her ruffled calling costume, and was now pinning
on an effective hat. Her mouth was set.

"Please!" pleaded her sister, inserting a gold bracelet tenderly
between George's little jaws, without moving her eyes from Sally.

"I will not!" said Sally. "I never want to see him again--superior,
big, calm codfish--too lofty to care what any one says about him! I
don't like a man you can walk on, anyway!" She began to pack things
in a suit-case--beribboned night-wear, slippers, powder, and small
jars. Presently, hasping these things firmly in, she went to the
door, and opened it a cautious crack.

"Where are they?" she asked.

"I don't know," said Mrs. Ferdie, dispiritedly. "I think you're very

The bedrooms of the Ferdies' house opened in charming Southern
fashion upon open balconies, over whose slender rails one could look
straight into the hall below. Sally listened intently.

"What a horrible plan this house is built upon!" she said heartily.
"Nothing in the world is more humiliating than to have to sneak
about one's own house like a thief, afraid of being seen! Where's
the motor--at the side door? Good. I'll run it over to the Bevises'
myself, and Billy can come back with it. That is, I will if I can
manage to get to the side door. Those idiots of men are apparently
looking at Ferd's rods and tackle, right down there in the hall! I
can distinctly hear their voices! I wish Ferd had thought of
situations like this when he planned this silly balcony business!
The minute I open this door they'll look up; and I'll stay up here a
week rather than meet them!"

"They'll go out soon," said Elsie, soothingly, as she removed a
shoe-horn from contact with George's mouth.

"I knew Ferd would regret this balcony!" pursued Sally, eyes to the

"Ferdie's not regretting it!" tittered her sister.

Sally cast her a withering glance. Elsie devoted herself suddenly to

"Go down and lure them into the garden," pleaded Sally, presently.

Elsie obligingly picked up her son and departed, but Sally, watching
her go, was infuriated to notice that a mild request from George's
nurse, who met them in the hall, apparently drove all thoughts of
Sally's predicament from the little mother's mind, for Elsie went
briskly toward the nursery, and an absolute silence ensued.

Sally went listlessly to the window, where her eye was immediately
caught by a long pruning ladder, leaning against the house a dozen
feet away. Alma, the little waitress, quietly mixing a mayonnaise on
the kitchen porch, was pressed into service, and five minutes later
Sally's suit-case was cautiously lowered, on the end of a Mexican
lariat, and Sally was steadying the top of the ladder against her
window-sill. Alma was convulsed with innocent mirth, but her big,
hard hands were effective in steadying the lower end of the ladder.

Sally, who was desperately afraid of ladders, packed her thin skirts
tightly about her, gave a fearful glance below, and began a nervous
descent. At every alternate rung she paused, unwound her skirts,
shut her eyes, and breathed hard.

"PLEASE don't shake it so!" she said.

"Aye dadden't!" said Alma, merrily.

The ladder slipped an inch, settling a little lower. Sally uttered a
smothered scream. She dared not move her eyes from the rung
immediately in front of them. Her face was flushed, her hair had
slipped back from her damp temples. It seemed to her as if she must
already have climbed down several times the length of the ladder. At
every step she had to kick her skirts free.

"Permit me!" said a kind voice in the world of reeling brick walks
and dwarfed gooseberry bushes below her.

Sally, with a thump at her heart, looked down to see Dr. Bates lay a
firm hand upon the rocking ladder.

Speechless, she finished the descent, reeling a little unsteadily
against the doctor's shoulder as she faced about on the walk. Her
face was crimson. To climb down a ladder, with him looking
pleasantly up from below, and then to fall into his very arms! Sally
shook out her skirts like a furious hen, and walked, with one chilly
inclination of the head for acknowledgment of his courtesy, toward
the waiting motor.

"Ferdie has promised Bill Bevis that you will spin me over in the
motor," said the doctor, a little timidly, when they reached it.

Sally eyed him stonily.


"Why, I had promised Bevis that I would look in to-day," pursued the
doctor, uncomfortably; "and when they telephoned about it, a few
minutes ago, one of the maids said that she believed that you were
going right over, and would bring me."

"I have changed my mind," said Sally. "Perhaps you will drive
yourself over?"

"I don't know anything about motors," apologized the doctor,

"Ferd told one of the maids to say I would?" Sally said pleasantly.
"Very well. Will you get in?"

They got in, Sally driving. They swept in silence past the lawns,
and into the wide, white highway. A watering-cart had just passed,
and the air was fresh and wet. The afternoon was one of exquisite
beauty. The steamer from San Francisco was just in, and the road was
filled with other motor-cars and smart traps. Sally and the doctor
nodded and waved to a score of friends.

"I am as sorry as you are," said the doctor, awkwardly, after the
silence had grown very long.

"Don't mention it," said Sally, her face flaming again. "That's my
brother's idea of humor. I--I shall stay at the Bevises' overnight."

"I--why, I said I would do that!" said Dr. Bates, hastily. "I just
called in to the maid, when she telephoned Bevis, and said, 'Ask him
if he can put me up overnight.' You see, I've got my things."

"Well, then, I won't," said Sally. Her tone was cold, but a side
glance at his serious face melted her a little. "This is ALL
Ferdie!" she burst out angrily.

"Too bad to make it so important," said the doctor, regretfully.

"I don't see why you should stay at the Bevises'," said the girl,
fretfully. "It looks very odd--when you had come to us. I--I am
going to Glen Ellen early to-morrow, anyway. I would hate to have
the Bevises suspect--"

"Then I will go back with you," agreed the doctor, pleasantly.

Sally frowned. She opened her lips, but shut them without speaking.
She had turned the car into a wide gateway, and a moment later they
stopped at a piazza full of young people. The noisy, joyous Bevis
girls and boys swarmed rapturously about them.

After an hour of laughter and shouting, Sally and the doctor rose to
go, accompanied to the motor by all the young people.

"Ah, you just got in, doctor?" said gentle Mrs. Bevis, with a glance
at the suit-cases.

Sally flushed, but the doctor serenely let the misunderstanding go.
There was no good reason to give for the presence of two cases in
the car.

"You look quite like an elopement!" said Page Bevis with a joyous

"Put one of the cases in front, Bates, and rest your feet on it,"
suggested the older boy, Kenneth.

As he spoke, he caught up Sally's case, and gave it a mighty swing
from the tonneau to the front seat. In mid-flight, the suit-case
opened. Jars and powders, slippers and beribboned apparel scattered
in every direction. Small silver articles, undeniably feminine in
nature, lay on the grass; a spangled scarf which they had all
admired on Sally's slender shoulders had to be tenderly extricated
from the brake.

With shrieks of laughter, the Bevis family righted the case and
repacked it. Sally was frozen with anger.

"Mother SAID she knew you two would run off and get married quietly
some day!" said pretty, audacious Mary Bevis.

"Dearie!" protested her mother. "I only said--I only thought--I said
I thought--Mary, that's very naughty of you! Sally, you know how
innocently one surmises an engagement, or guesses at things!"

"Oh, mother, you're getting in deeper and deeper!" said her older
son. "Never you mind, Sally! You can elope if you want to!"

"San Rafael's the place to go, Sally," said Mary. "All the elopers
get married there. The court-house, you know. No delays about

"They're very naughty," said their mother, beginning to see how
unwelcome this joking was to the visitors. "Are you going straight
home, dear?"

"Straight home!" said the doctor.

"Well, speaking of San Rafael," pursued the matron, kindly--"can't
you two and Elsie and Ferd go with us all to-night, say about an
hour from now, up to Pastori's and have dinner?"

"Oh, thanks!" said Sally, trying to smile naturally. "I'm afraid not
to-night. I've got a headache, and I'm going home to turn in."

Amid cheerful good-bys, she wheeled the car, and drove it along
rapidly, pursuing thoughts of the Bevis boys hardly short of
murderous. The doctor was silent; but Sally, glancing at him, saw
his quiet smile change to an apologetic look, and hated both the
smile and the apology.

They went more slowly on the steep road from the water front to the
hillside. The level light of the sinking sun shone brilliantly on
daisies and nasturtiums at the roadside. Boats, riding at anchor,
dipped in the wash of another incoming steamer. Dr. Bates hummed;
but Sally frowned, and he was immediately hushed.

"Boy looking for you?" he said presently, as a small and dusty boy
rose from a boulder at one side of the road and shouted something

"Why, I guess he is for me!" said Sally, in the first natural tone
she had used that afternoon.

But the boy, upon being interrogated, said that the telegram was for
"the doc that was visiting up to Miss Sally's house."

Dr. Bates read the little message several times, and absently
dismissed the messenger with a coin, which Sally thought
outrageously large, and a muttered worried word or two.

"Bad news?" she asked.

"In a way," he said quickly. "When's the next train for San Rafael,
Miss Sally? I've got to be there to-night--right away! Do we have to
stand here? Thank you. There's a case Field and I have been
watching; he says that there's got to be an operation at eight--"
His voice trailed off into troubled silence, and he drew out his
watch. "Eight!" he muttered. "It's on seven now!"

"Oh, and you have to operate--horrible for you!" said Sally, taking
the car skilfully toward the railroad station as she spoke. "But I
don't see how you CAN! You've missed the six-thirty train, and
there's not another until after nine. But you can wire Dr. Field
that you will be there the first thing in the morning."

The doctor paid no attention.

"The livery stable is closed, I suppose?" he asked.

"Oh, long ago!"

He ruminated frowningly. Suddenly his face cleared.

"Funny how one thinks of the right solution last!" he said in
relief. "How long would it take you to run me up there? Forty

"I don't see how I could," said Sally, flushing. "I can take the car
home, though, and ask Ferd to do it. But that woman's at the hotel,
isn't she? I couldn't go up there and sit outside, with every one I
knew coming out and wondering why I brought you instead of Ferd!
Elsie wouldn't like it. You must see--"

"It would take us fifteen minutes at least to go up and get Ferd,"
objected the doctor, seriously; "and he's not much better than I am
at running it, anyway!"

"Well, I'm sorry," said Sally, shortly, "but I simply couldn't do
it. Dr. Field should have given you more notice. It would look
simply absurd for me to go tearing over these country roads at
night--Elsie would go mad wondering where I was--"

They were in the village now. Troubled and stubborn, Sally stopped
the car, and looked mutinously at her companion. The doctor's rosy
face was flushed under his flaming hair, and in his very blue eyes
was a look that struck her with an almost panicky sensation of
surprise. Sally had never seen any man regard her with an expression
of distaste before, but the doctor's look was actually inimical.

"I feared that you would be the sort of woman to fail one utterly,
like this," he said quietly. "I've often wondered--I've often said
to myself, 'COULD she ever, under any circumstances, throw off that
pretty baby way of hers, and forget that this world was made just
for flirting and dressing and being admired?' By George, I see you
can't! I see you can't! Well! Now, whom can I get to take me up
there within the hour?"

He appeared to ponder. Sally sat as if stupefied.

"Don't resent what I say when I'm upset," said the doctor, absently.
"You can't help your limitations, I can't help mine. I see a young
woman--she's just lost a little boy, and she's all her husband has
left--I see her dying because we're too late. You see a few empty-
headed women saying that Sally Reade actually went driving alone,
without her dinner, for three hours, with a man she hardly knew. I
am not blaming you. You have never pretended to be anything but what
you are. I blame myself for hoping--thinking--but, by George, you'd
be an utter dead weight on a man if it was ever up to you to face an
epidemic, or run a risk, or do one-twentieth of the things that
those very ancestors of yours, that you're so proud of, used to do!"

Sally set her teeth. She leaned from the car to summon a small girl
loitering on the road.

"You're one of the White children, aren't you?" said she to the
child. "I want you to go up to Mrs. Ferdie Potter's house, and tell
Mrs. Potter that her sister won't be home for several hours, and
that I'll explain later. Now," said Sally, turning superbly to the
doctor, "pull your hat down tight. We're going FAST!"

They were three miles farther on their way before he saw that her
little chin was quivering, and great tears were running down her
small face. Time was precious, but for a few memorable moments they
stopped the car again.

Miss Sally and Dr. Bates returned to the sleepy and excited
Ferdies' at one o'clock that night. The light that never was on land
or sea glittered in Sally's wonderful eyes; the doctor was white,
shaken, and radiant. Sally flew to her sister's arms.

"We waited to see--and she came out of it--and she has a fair
fighting chance!" said Sally, joyously; and the look she gave her
doctor made Elsie's heart rise with a bound.

"Runaways," said Elsie, "come in and eat! I never knew a serious
operation to have such a cheering effect on any one before!"

"It all went so well," said Sally, contentedly, over chicken and
ginger ale. "But, Elsie! Such fun!" she burst out, her dimples
suddenly again in view. "I am disgraced forever! After we had done
everything to make the Bevis crowd think we were eloping, what did
we do but run into the whole crowd at San Anselmo! I wish you could
have seen their faces! We had said we couldn't possibly go; and we
were going too fast to stop and explain!"

"We'll explain to-morrow," said the doctor, so significantly that
Ferdie rose instantly to grasp his hand, and Elsie fell again upon
Sally as if she had never kissed her before.

"Not--not really!" gasped Elsie, turning radiantly from one to the

"Oh, really!" said Sally, with her prettiest color. "He despises me,
but he will take the case, anyway! And he has done nothing but
mortify and enrage me all day, but I feel that I should miss it if
it stopped! So we are going to sacrifice our lives to each other--
isn't it edifying and beautiful of us? We'll tell you all about it
to-morrow. Jam--Sam?"


After the meat course, Mrs. Tolley and Min rather languidly removed
the main platters and, by reaching backward, piled the dinner plates
on the shining new oak sideboard. Thus room was made for the salad,
which was always mantled in tepid mayonnaise, whether it was sliced
tomatoes, or potatoes, or asparagus. After the salad there was
another partial clearance, and then every available inch of the
table was needed for peach pies and apple sauce and hot gingerbread
and raspberries, or various similar delicacies, and the coffee and
yellow cheese and soda-crackers with which the meal concluded.

By the time these appeared, on a hot summer evening, the wheezing
clock in the kitchen would have struck six,--dinner was early at
Kirkwood,--and the level rays of the sun would be pouring boldly in
at the uncurtained western windows. The dining, room was bare, and
not entirely free from flies, despite an abundance of new green
screening at the windows. Relays of new stiff oak chairs stood
against its walls, ready for the sudden need of occasional visitors.
On the walls hung framed enlarged photographs of machinery, and
factories, and scaffoldings, and the like. There was one of laborers
and bosses grouped about great generators and water-wheels in
transit, and another of a monster switchboard, with a smiling young
operator, in his apron and overalls, standing beside it.

Mrs. Tolley sat at the head of the table--a big, joyous, vigorous
widow, who had managed the Company House at Kirkwood ever since its
erection two years before, and who had been an employee of the Light
and Power Company, in one capacity or another, for some five years
before that--or ever since, as she put it, "the juice got pore
George." Mrs. Tolley loved every inch of Kirkwood; for her it was
the captured dream.

Min Tolley, sitting next to her mother, loved Kirkwood, too, because
she was going to marry Harry Garvey, who was one of the shift bosses
at the plant. Harry sat next to Min. Then came her brother Roosy,
ten years old; and then the Hopps--Mrs. Lou, and little Lou,
spattering rice and potato all over himself and his chair, and big
Lou, silently, deeply admiring them both. Then there were two empty
chairs, for the Chisholms, the resident manager and superintendent
and his sister, at the end of the table; and then Joe Vorse, the
switchboard operator, and his little wife; and then Monk White,
another shift boss; and lastly, at Mrs. Tolley's left, Paul Forster,
newly come from New York to be Mr. Chisholm's stenographer and

Paul was the first to leave the table that night. He drank his
coffee in three savage gulps, pushed back his crumpled napkin, and
rose. "If you'll excuse me--" he began.

"You're cert'n'y excusable!" said Mrs. Tolley, elegantly--adding,
when the door had closed behind him: "And leave me tell you right
now that somebody was real fond of children to raise YOU!"

"An' I'm not planning to spend the heyday of my girlhood ironing
napkins for you, Pauly Pet!" said Min, reaching for his discarded
napkin and folding it severely into a wooden ring.

Paul did not hear these remarks, but he heard the laughter that
greeted them, and he scowled as he selected a rocker on the front
porch. He put his feet up on the rail, felt in one pocket for
tobacco, in another for papers, and in a third for his match-case,
and set himself to the congenial task of composing a letter in which
he should resign from the employ of the Light and Power Company. It
was a question of a broken contract, so it must be diplomatically
worded. Paul had spent the five evenings since his arrival at
Kirkwood in puzzling over the phrasing of that letter.

Below the porch, the hillside, covered with scrub-oak and chaparral
and madrono trees, and the stumps where redwoods had been, dropped
sharply to the little river, which came tumbling down from the
wooded mountains to plunge roaring into one end of the big power-
house, and which foamed out at the other side to continue its mad
rush down the valley. The power-house, looming up an immense crude
outline in the twilight, rested on the banks of the stream and stood
in a rough clearing. A great gash in the woods above it showed
whence lumber for buildings and fires came; another ugly gash marked
the course of the "pole line" over the mountain. Near the big
building stood lesser ones, two or three rough little unpainted
cottages perched on the hill above it. There was a "cook-house," and
a "bunk-house," and storage sheds, and Mrs. Tolley's locked
provision shed, and the rough shack the builders lived in while
construction was going on, and where the Hopps lived now, rent free.

Nasturtiums languished here and there, where some of the women had
made an effort to fight the unresponsive red clay. Otherwise, even
after two years, the power-house and its environs looked unfinished,
crude, ugly. On all sides the mountains rose dark and steep, the
pointed tops of the redwoods mounting evenly, tier on tier. Except
for the lumber slide and the pole line, there was no break anywhere,
not even a glimpse of the road that wound somehow out of the canyon-
-up, up, up, twelve long miles, to the top of the ridge.

And even at the top, Paul reflected bitterly, there was only an
unpainted farm-house, where the stage stopped three times a week
with mail. From there it was a fifty-mile drive to town--a
California country town, asleep in the curve of two sluggish little
rivers. And from "town" to San Francisco it was almost a day's trip,
and from San Francisco to the Grand Central Station at Forty-second
Street it was nearly five days more.

Paul shoved his hands in his pockets and began again: "Light and
Power Co.--GENTLEMEN."

Night came swiftly to Kirkwood. For a few wonderful moments the last
of the sunlight lingered, hot and gold, on the upper branches of the
highest trees along the ridge; then suddenly the valley was plunged
in soft twilight, and violet shadows began to tangle themselves
about the great shafts of the redwoods. The heat of the day dropped
from the air like a falling veil. A fine mist spun itself above the
river; bats began to wheel on the edge of the clearing.

With the coming of darkness every window in the place was suddenly
alight. The Company House blazed with it; the great power-house
doorway sent a broad stream of yellow into the deepening shadows of
the night; the "cook-house," where Willy Chow Tong cooked for a
score of "hands" and oilers, showed a thousand golden cracks in its
rough walls. The little cottages on the hill were hidden by the
glare from their dangling porch lights. Light was so plentiful, at
this factory of light, that even the Hopps' barnlike home blazed
with a dozen "thirty-twos."

"Nothing like having a little light on the subject, Mr. Fo'ster,"
said Mrs. Tolley, coming out to the porch. The Vorses had small
children that they could not leave very long alone; so, when Min and
her mother had reduced the kitchen to orderly, warm, soap-scented
darkness every night, and wound the clock, and hung up their aprons,
they went up to the Vorses' to play "five hundred."

"Seems's if I never could get enough light, myself," the matron
continued agreeably, descending the porch steps. "Before I come here
I never had nothing in my kitchen but an oil lamp and a reflector.
Jest as sure as I'd be dishing up dinner, hot nights, that lamp
would begin to flicker and suck--well, shucks! I'd look up at it and
I'd say, 'Well, why don't you go out? Go ahead!'" Mrs. Tolley
laughed joyously. "Well, one night--George--" she was continuing
with relish, when Min pulled at her sleeve and, with a sort of
affectionate impatience, said, "Oh, f've'vens' sakes ma!"

"Yes, I'm coming," said Mrs. Tolley, recalled. "Wish't you played
'five hundred,' Mr. Fo'ster," she added politely.

"I don't play either that or old maid," said Paul, distinctly. This
remark was taken in good part by the Tolleys.

"Old maid's a real comical game," Min conceded mildly.

"Well, you won't be s'lunsum next week when the Chisholms get back,"
said Mrs. Tolley, unaffectedly, gathering up the skirt of her
starched gown to avoid contact with the sudden heavy dews. "He's an
awful nice feller, and she--she's twenty-six, but she's as jolly as
a girl. I declare, I just love Patricia Chisholm."

"Twenty-six, is she?" said Paul, disgustedly, to himself, when the
Tolleys had gone. "Only one woman--of any class, that is--in this
forsaken hole, and she twenty-six!" And he had been thinking of this
Patricia with a good deal of interest, he admitted resentfully. Paul
was twenty-four, and liked slender little girls well under twenty.

"Lord, what a place!" he said, for the hundredth time.

He sat brooding in the darkness, discouraged and homesick. So he had
sat for all his nights at Kirkwood.

The men at the cook-house were playing cards, silently, intently.
The cook, serene and cool, was smoking in the doorway of his cabin.
Above the dull roar of the river Paul could hear Min Tolley's cackle
of laughter from the cottages a hundred yards away, and Mrs. Hopps
crooning over her baby.

Presently the night shift went down to the powerhouse, the men
taking great boyish leaps on the steep trail. Some of the lighted
windows were blotted out--the Hopps', the cook-house light. The
singing pole line above Paul's head ceased abruptly, and with a
little rising whine the opposite pole line took up the buzzing
currant. That meant that the copper line had been cut in, and the
aluminum one would be "cold" for the night.

Minutes went by, eventless. Half an hour, an hour--still Paul sat
staring into the velvet dark and wrestling with bitter
discouragement and homesickness.

"Lord, what a PLACE!" he said once or twice under his breath.

Finally, feeling cramped and chilly, he went stiffly indoors,
through the hot, bright halls, that smelled of varnish and matting,
to his room.

The next day was exactly like the five preceding days--hot,
restless, aimless; and the next night Paul sat on the porch again,
and listened to the rush of the river, and Min Tolley's laugh at the
"five hundred" table, and the Hopps' baby's lullaby. And again he
composed his resignation, and calculated that it would take three
days for it to reach San Francisco, and another three for him to
receive their acceptance of it--another week at least of Kirkwood!

On the seventh day the Chisholms rode down the trail that followed
the pole line, and arrived in a hospitable uproar. Alan Chisholm,
some five years older than Paul, was a fine-looking, serious, dark
youth, a fellow of not many words, being given rather to silent
appreciation of his sister's chatter than to speech of his own. Miss
Chisholm was very tall, very easy in manner, and powdered just now
to her eyelashes with fine yellow dust. Paul thought her too tall
and too large for beauty, but he liked her voice, and the fashion
she had of crinkling up her eyes when she smiled. He sat on the
porch while the Chisholms went upstairs to brush and change, and
thought that the wholesome noise of their splashing and calling,
opening drawers, and banging doors was a pleasant change from the
usual quiet of the house.

Miss Chisholm was the first to reappear. She was followed by Min and
Mrs. Tolley, and was asking questions at a rate that kept both
answering at once. Had her kodak films come? Was Minnie going to
have some little sense and be married in a dress she could get some
use out of? How were the guinea-pigs, the ducks, the vegetables, the
caged fox, the "boys" generally, Roosy's ear, Consuelo Vorse's lame
foot? Did Mrs. Tolley know that she had made a deep impression on
the old fellow who drove the stage? "Oh, look at her blush, Min!
Well, really!"

She came, delightfully refreshed by toilet waters and crisp linen,
to take a deep rocker opposite Paul, and leaned luxuriously back,
showing very trim feet shod in white.

"Admit that you've fallen in love with Kirkwood, Mr. Forster," said

"I can't admit anything of the sort," said Paul, firmly, but smiling
because she was so very good to look at. He had to admit that he had
never seen handsomer dark eyes, nor a more tender, more expressive
and characterful mouth than the one that smiled so readily and
showed so even a line of big teeth.

"Oh, you will!" she assured him easily. "There's no place like
Kirkwood, is there, Alan?" she said to her brother, as he came out.
He smiled.

"We don't think there is, Forster. My sister's been crazy about the
place since we got here--that's eighteen months ago; and I'm crazy
about it myself now!"

"Wait until you've slept out on the porch for a while," said Miss
Chisholm, "and wait until you've got used to a plunge in the pool
before breakfast every morning. Alan, you must take him down to the
pool to-morrow, and I'll listen for his shrieks. Where are you going
now--the power-house? No, thank you, I won't go. I'm going out to
find something special to cook you for your suppers."

The something special was extremely delicious; Paul had a vague
impression that there was fried chicken in it, and mushrooms, and
cream, and sherry. Miss Chisholm served it from a handsome little
copper blazer, and also brewed them her own particular tea, in a
Canton tea-pot. Paul found it much pleasanter at this end of the
table. To his surprise, no one resented this marked favoritism--Mrs.
Tolley observing contentedly that her days of messing for men were
over, and Mrs. Vorse remarking that she'd "orghter reely git out her
chafing-dish and do some cooking" herself.

Paul found that Miss Chisholm possessed a leisurely gift of fun; she
was droll, whether she quite meant to be or not. Everybody laughed.
Mrs. Tolley became tearful with mirth.

"Now, this is the nicest part of the day," said Patricia, when they
three had carried their coffee out to the porch and were seated.
"Did you ever watch the twilight come, sitting here, Mr. Forster?"

"It seems to me I have never done anything else," said Paul. She
gave him a keen glance over her lifted teaspoon; then she drank her
coffee, set the cup down, and said:

"Well! How is that combination of vaudeville and railway station and
zotrope that is known as New York?"

"Oh, the little old berg is all there," said Paul, lightly. But his
heart gave a sick throb. He hoped she would go on talking about it.
But it was some time before any one spoke, and then it was Alan
Chisholm, who took his pipe out of his mouth to say:

"Patricia hates New York."

"I can't imagine any one doing that," Paul said emphatically.

"Well, there was a time when I thought I couldn't live anywhere
else," said Alan, good-naturedly; "but there's a lot of the pioneer
in any fellow, if he gives it a chance."

"Oh, I had a nice enough time in New York," said Patricia, lazily,
"but it just WEARS YOU OUT to live there; and what do you get out of
it? Now, HERE--well, one's equal to the situation here!"

"And then some," Paul said; and the brother and sister laughed at
his tone.

"But, honestly," said Miss Chisholm, "you take a little place like
Kirkwood, and you don't need a Socialist party. We all eat the same;
we all dress about the same; and certainly, if any one works hard
here, it's Alan, and not the mere hands. Why, last Christmas there
wasn't a person here who didn't have a present--even Willy Chow
Tong! Every one had all the turkey he could eat; every one a fire,
and a warm bed, and a lighted house. Mrs. Tolley gets only fifty
dollars a month, and Monk White gets fifty--doesn't he, Alan? But
money doesn't make much difference here. You know how the boys adore
Monk for his voice; and as for Mrs. Tolley, she's queen of the
place! Now, how much of that's true of New York!"

"Oh, well, put it that way--" Paul said, in the tone of an offended

"Apropos of Mrs. Tolley's being queen of the place," said Alan to
his sister, "it seems she's rubbing it into poor little Mollie
Peavy. Len brought Mollie and the baby down from the ranch a week
ago, and nobody's been near 'em."

"Who said so?" flashed Miss Chisholm, reddening.

"Why, I saw Len to-night, sort of lurking round the power-house, and
he told me he had 'em in that little cottage, across the creek,
where the lumbermen used to live. Said Mollie was in agony because
nobody came near her."

"Oh, that makes me furious!" said Patricia, passionately. "I'll see
about it to-morrow. Nobody went near her? The poor little thing!"

"Who are they?" said Paul.

"Why, she's a little blonde, sickly-looking thing of sixteen,"
explained Miss Chisholm, "and Len's a lumberman. They have a little
blue-nosed, sickly baby; it was born about six weeks ago, at her
father's ranch, above here. She was--she had no mother, the poor

"And in fact, my sister escorted the benefit of clergy to them about
two months ago," said Alan, "and the ladies of the Company House
are very haughty about it."

"They won't be long," predicted Miss Chisholm, confidently. "The
idea! I can forgive Mrs. Hopps, because she's only a kid herself;
but Mrs. Tolley ought to have been big enough! However!"

"This place honestly can't spare you for ten minutes, Pat," her
brother said.

"Well, honestly," she was beginning seriously, when she saw he was
laughing at her, and broke off, with a shamefaced, laughing look for
Paul. Then she announced that she was going down to the power-house,
and, packing her thin white skirts about her, she started off, and
they followed.

Paul was not accustomed to seeing a lady in the power-house, and
thought that her enthusiasm was rather nice to watch. She flitted
about the great barnlike structure like a contented child, insisted
upon displaying the trim stock-room to Paul, demanded a
demonstration of the switchboard, spread her pretty hands over the
whirling water that showed under the glass of the water-wheels, and
hung, fascinated, over the governors.

"I never get used to it," said Patricia, above the steady roaring of
the river. "Do you realize that you are in one of the greatest force
factories of the world? Look at it!" She swept with a gesture the
monster machinery that shone and glittered all about them. "Do you
realize that people miles and miles away are reading by lights and
taking street-cars that are moved by this? Don't talk to me about
the subway and the Pennsylvania Terminal!"

"Oh, come, now!" said Paul.

"Well!" she flared. "Do you suppose that anything bigger was ever
done in this world than getting these things--these generators and
water-wheels and the corrugated iron for the roof, and the door-
knobs and tiles and standards and switchboard, and everything else,
up to the top of the ridge from Emville and down this side of the
ridge? I see that never occurred to you! Why, you don't KNOW what it
was. Struggle, struggle, struggle, day after day--ropes breaking,
and tackle breaking, and roads giving way, and rain coming! Suppose
one of these had slipped off the trail--well, it would have stayed
where it fell. But wait--wait!" she said, interrupting herself with
her delightful smile. "You'll love it as we do one of these days!"

"Not," said Paul to himself, as they started back to the house.

After that he saw Miss Chisholm every day, and many times a day; and
she was always busy and always cheerful. She wanted her brother and
Paul to ride with her up to the dam for a swim; she wanted to go to
the woods for ferns for Min's wedding; she was going to make candy
and they could come in. She packed delicious suppers, to be eaten in
cool places by the creek, and to be followed by their smoking and
her careless snatches of songs; she played poker quite as well as
they; she played old opera scores and sang to them; she had jig-saw
puzzles for slow evenings. She could not begin a game of what Mrs.
Tolley called "halmy," with that good lady, without somehow
attracting the boys to the table, where they hung, championing and
criticising. Paul was more amused than surprised to find Mrs. Peavy
having tea with the other ladies on the porch less than a week
later. The little mother looked scared and shamed; but Mrs. Tolley
had the baby, and was bidding him "love his Auntie Gussie," while
she kissed his rounding little cheek. One night, some four weeks
after his arrival, Patricia decided that Paul's room must be made
habitable; and she and Alan and Paul spent an entire busy evening
there, discussing photographs and books, and deciding where to cross
the oars, and where to hang the Navajo blanket, and where to put the
college colors. Miss Chisholm, who had the quality of grace and
could double herself up comfortably on the floor like a child,
became thoughtful over the class annual.

"The Dicky, and the Hasty Pudding!" she commented. "Weren't you the

Paul, who was standing with a well-worn pillow in his hand, turned
and said hungrily:

"Oh, you know Harvard?"

"Why, I'm Radcliffe!" she said simply.

Paul was stupefied.

"Why, but you never SAID so! I thought yours was some Western
college like your brother's!"

"Oh, no; I went to Radcliffe for four years," said she, casually.
Then, tapping a picture thoughtfully, she went on: "There's a boy
whose face looks familiar."

"Well, but--well, but--didn't you love it?" stammered Paul.

"I liked it awfully well," said Patricia. "Alan, you've got that one
a little crooked," she added calmly. Paul decided disgustedly that
he gave her up. His own heart was aching so for old times and old
voices that it was far more pain than pleasure to handle all these
reminders: the photographs, the yacht pennant, the golf-clubs, the
rumpled and torn dominoes, the tumbler with "Cafe Henri" blown in
the glass, the shabby camera, the old Hawaiian banjo. Oh, what fun
it had all been, and what good fellows they were!

"It was lovely, of course," said Patricia, in a businesslike tone;
"but this is real life! Cheer up, Paul," she went on (they had
reached Christian names some weeks before). "I am going to have two
darling girls here for two weeks at Thanksgiving, just from Japan.
And think of the concert next month, with Harry Garvey and Laurette
Hopps in a play, and Mrs. Tolley singing 'What Are the Wild Waves
Saying?' Then, if Alan sends you to Sacramento, you can go to the
theatre every night you're there, and pretend"--her eyes danced
mischievously--"that you're going to step out on Broadway when the
curtain goes down, and can look up the street at electric signs of
cocoa and ginger beer and silk petticoats--"

"Oh, don't!" said Paul; and, as if she were a little ashamed of
herself, she began to busy herself with the book-case, and was
particularly sweet for the rest of the evening. But she wouldn't
talk Radcliffe, and Paul wondered if her college days hadn't been
happy; she seemed rather uneasy when he repeatedly brought up the

But a day or two later, when he and she were taking a long ride and
resting their horses by a little stream high up in the hills, she
began to talk of the East; and they let an hour, and then another,
go by, while they compared notes. Paul did most of the talking, and
Miss Chisholm listened, with downcast eyes, flinging little stones
from the crumbling bank into the pool the while.

A lazy leaf or two drifted upon the surface of the water, and where
gold sunlight fell through the thick leafage overhead and touched
the water, brown water-bugs flitted and jerked. Once a great dragon-
fly came through on some mysterious journey, and paused for a
palpitating bright second on a sunny rock. The woods all about were
silent in the tense hush of the summer afternoon; even the horses
were motionless, except for an occasional idle lipping of the
underbrush. Now and then a breath of pine, incredibly sweet, crept
from the forest.

Paul watched his companion as he talked. She was, as always, quite
unself-conscious. She sat most becomingly framed by the lofty rise
of oak and redwood and maple trees about her. Her sombrero had
slipped back on her braids, and the honest, untouched beauty of her
thoughtful face struck Paul forcibly. He wondered if she had ever
been in love--what her manner would be to the man she loved.

"What did you come for, Paul?" She was ending some long sentence
with the question.

"Come here?" Paul said. "Oh, Lord, there seemed to be reasons
enough, though I can't remember now why I ever thought I'd stay."

"You came straight from college?"

"No," he said, a little uneasily; "no. I finished three years ago.
You see, my mother married an awfully rich old guy named Steele, the
last year I was at college; and he gave me a desk in his office. He
has two sons, but they're not my kind. Nice fellows, you know, but
they work twenty hours a day, and don't belong to any clubs,--
they'll both die rich, I guess,--and whenever I was late, or forgot
something, or beat it early to catch a boat, they'd go to the old
man. And he'd ask mother to speak to me."

"I see," said Patricia.

"After a while he got me a job with a friend of his in a
Philadelphia iron-works," said the boy; "but that was a ROTTEN job.
So I came back to New York; and I'd written a sketch for an amateur
theatrical thing, and a manager there wanted me to work it up--said
he'd produce it. I tinkered away at that for a while, but there was
no money in it, and Steele sent me out to see how I'd like working
in one of the Humboldt lumber camps. I thought that sounded good.
But I got my leg broken the first week, and had to wire him from the
hospital for money. So, when I got well again, he sent me a night
wire about this job, and I went to see Kahn the next day, and came
up here."

"I see," she said again. "And you don't think you'll stay?"

"Honestly, I can't, Patricia. Honest--you don't know what it is! I
could stand Borneo, or Alaska, or any place where the climate and
customs and natives stirred things up once in a while. But this is
like being dead! Why, it just makes me sick to see the word 'New
York' on the covers of magazines--I'm going crazy here."

She nodded seriously.

"Yes, I know. But you've got to do SOMETHING. And since your course
was electrical engineering--! And the next job mayn't be half so
easy, you know--!"

"Well, it'll be a little nearer Broadway, believe me. No, I'm sorry.
I never knew two dandier people than you and your brother, and I
like the work, but--!"

He drew a long breath on the last word, and Miss Chisholm sighed,

"I'm sorry," she said, staring at the big seal ring on her finger.
"I tell you frankly that I think you're making a mistake. I don't
argue for Alan's sake or mine, though we both like you thoroughly,
and your being here would make a big difference this winter. But I
think you've made a good start with the company, and it's a good
company, and I think, from what you've said to-day, and other hints
you're given me, that you'd make your mother very happy by writing
her that you think you've struck your groove. However!"

She got up, brushed the leaves from her skirt, and went to her
horse. They rode home through the columned aisles of the forest
almost silently. The rough, straight trunks of the redwoods rose all
about them, catching gold and red on their thick, fibrous bark from
the setting sun. The horses' feet made no sound on the corduroy

For several days nothing more was said of Paul's going or staying.
Miss Chisholm went her usual busy round. Paul wrote his letter of
resignation and carried it to the dinner-table one night, hoping to
read it later to her, and win her approval of its finely rounded

But a heavy mail came down the trail that evening, brought by the
obliging doctor from Emville, who had been summoned to dress the
wounds of one of the line-men who had got too close to the murderous
"sixty thousand" and had been badly burned by "the juice." And after
the letters were read, and the good doctor had made his patient
comfortable, he proved an excellent fourth hand at the game of
bridge for which they were always hungering.

So at one o'clock Paul went upstairs with his letter still
unapproved. He hesitated in the dim upper hallway, wondering if
Patricia, who had left the men to beer and crackers half an hour
earlier, had retired, or was, by happy chance, still gossiping with
Mrs. Tolley or Min. While he loitered in the hall, the door of her
room swung slowly open.

Paul had often been in this room, which was merely a kind of adjunct
to the sleeping-porch beyond. He went to the doorway and said,

The room, wide and charmingly furnished, was quite empty. On the
deep couch letters were scattered in a wide circle, and in their
midst was an indentation as if some one had been kneeling on the
floor with her elbows there. Paul noticed this with a curious
feeling of unease, and then called softly again, "Patricia!"

No answer. He walked hesitatingly to his own room and to the window.
Why he should have looked down at the dark path with the expectation
of seeing her, he did not know; but it was almost without surprise
that he recognized the familiar white ruffles and dark head moving
away in the gloom. Paul unhesitatingly followed.

He followed her down the trail as far as he had seen her go, and was
standing, a little undecidedly, wondering just which way she had
turned, when his heart was suddenly brought into his throat by the
sound of her bitter sobbing.

A moment later he saw her. She was sitting on a smooth fallen trunk,
and had buried her face in her hands. Paul had never heard such
sobs; they seemed to shake her from head to foot. Hardly would they
lessen, bringing him the hope that her grief, whatever it was, was
wearing itself out, when a fresh paroxysm would shake her, and she
would abandon herself to it. This lasted for what seemed a long,
long time.

After a while Paul cleared his throat, but she did not hear him. And
again he stood motionless, waiting and waiting. Finally, when she
straightened up and began to mop her eyes, he said, trembling a


Instantly she stopped crying.

"Who is that?" she said, with an astonishing control of her voice.
"Is that you, Alan? I'm all right, dear. Did I frighten you? Is that
you, Alan?"

"It's Paul," the boy said, coming nearer.

"Oh--Paul!" she said, relieved. "Does Alan know I'm here?"

"No," he reassured her; then, affectionately: "What is it, Pat?"

"Just--just that I happen to be a fool!" she said huskily, but with
an effort at lightness. Paul sat down, beginning to see in the
darkness. "I'm all right now," went on Patricia, hardily. "I just--I
suppose I just had the blues." She put out a smooth hand in the
darkness, and patted Paul's appreciatively. "I'm ashamed of myself!"
said she, catching a little sob, as she spoke, like a child.

"Bad news--in your letters?" he hazarded.

"No, GOOD; that's the trouble!" she said, with her whimsical smile,
but with trembling lips. "You see, all my friends are in the East,
and some of them happened to be at the same house-party at Newport,
and they--they were saying how they missed me," her voice shook a
little, "and--and it seems they toasted me, all standing, and--and--
" And suddenly she gave up the fight for control, and began to cry
bitterly again. "Oh, I'm so HOMESICK!" she sobbed, "and I'm so
LONESOME! And I'm so sick, sick, sick of this place! Oh, I think
I'll go crazy if I can't go home! I bear it and I BEAR it," said
Patricia, in a sort of desperate self-defence, "and then the time
comes when I simply CAN'T bear it!" And again she wept luxuriously,
and Paul, in an agony of sympathy, patted her hand.

"My heart is just breaking!" she burst out again, her tears and
words tumbling over each other. "It--it isn't RIGHT! I want my
friends, and I want my youth--I'll never be twenty-six again! I want
to put my things into a suit-case and go off with the other girls
for country visits--and I want to dance!" She put her head down
again, and after a moment Paul ventured a timid, "Patricia, dear,

He thought she had not heard him, but after a moment, he was
relieved to see her resolutely straighten up again, and dry her
eyes, and push up her tumbled hair.

"Well, I really will STOP," she said determinedly. "This will not
do! If Alan even suspected! But, you see, I'm naturally a sociable
person, and I had--well, I don't suppose any girl ever had such a
good time in New York! My aunt did for me just what she did for her
own daughters--a dance at Sherry's, and dinners--! Paul, I'd give a
year of my life just to drive down the Avenue again on a spring
afternoon, and bow to every one, and have tea somewhere, and smell
the park--oh, did you ever smell Central Park in the spring?"

Both were silent. After a long pause Paul said:

"Why DO you stay? You've not got to ask a stepfather for a job."

"Alan," she answered simply. "No, don't say that," she interrupted
him quickly; "I'm nothing of the sort! But my mother--my mother, in
a way, left Alan and me to each other, and I have never done
anything for Alan. I went to the Eastern aunt, and he stayed here;
and after a while he drifted East--and he had too much money, of
course! And I wasn't half affectionate enough; he had his friends
and I had mine! Well then he got ill, and first it was just a cold
and then it was, suddenly--don't you know?--a question of
consultations, and a dry climate, and no dinners or wine or late
hours. And Alan refused--refused flat to go anywhere, until I said
I'd LOVE to come! I'll never forget the night it came over me that I
ought to. I am--I was--engaged, you know?" She paused.

Paul cleared his throat. "No, I didn't know," he said.

"It wasn't announced," said Miss Chisholm. "He's a good deal older
than I. A doctor." There was a long silence. "He said he would wait,
and he will," she said softly, ending it. "It's not FOREVER, you
know. Another year or two, and he'll come for me! Alan's quite a
different person now. Another two years!" She jumped up, with a
complete change of manner. "Well, I'm over my nonsense for another
while!" said she. "And it's getting cold. I can't tell you how I've
enjoyed letting off steam this way, Paul!"

"Whenever we feel this way," he said, giving her a steadying hand in
the dark, "we'll come out for a jaw. But cheer up; we'll have lots
of fun this winter!"

"Oh, lots!" she said contentedly. They entered the dark, open
doorway together.

Patricia went ahead of him up the stairs, and at the top she turned,
and Paul felt her hand for a second on his shoulder, and felt
something brush his forehead that was all fragrance and softness and

Then she was gone.

Paul went into his room, and stood at the window, staring out into
the dark. Only the door of the power-house glowed smoulderingly, and
a broad band of light fell from Miss Chisholm's window.

He stood there until this last light suddenly vanished. Then he took
a letter from his pocket, and began to tear it methodically to
pieces. While he did so Paul began to compose another letter, this
time to his mother.


"Well, I am discovered--and lost." Julie, lazily making the
announcement after a long silence, shut her magazine with a sigh of
sleepy content; and braced herself more comfortably against the old
rowboat that was half buried in sand at her back. She turned as she
spoke to smile at the woman near her, a frail, keen-faced little
woman luxuriously settled in an invalid's wheeled chair.

"Ann--you know you're not interested in that book. Did you hear what
I said? I'm discovered."

"Well, it was sure to happen, sooner or later, I suppose." Mrs.
Arbuthnot, suddenly summoned from the pages of a novel brought her
gaze promptly to the younger woman's face, with the pitifully alert
interest of the invalid. "You were bound to be recognized by some
one, Ju!"

"Don't worry, a cannon wouldn't wake him!" said Julia, in reference
to Mrs. Arbuthnot's lowered voice, and the solicitous look the wife
had given a great opened beach umbrella three feet away, under which
Dr. Arbuthnot slumbered on the warm sands. "He's forty fathoms deep.
No," continued the actress, returning aggrievedly to her own
affairs, "I suppose there's no such thing as escaping recognition--
even as late in the season as this, and at such an out-of-the-way
place. Of course, I knew," she continued crossly, "that various
people here had placed me, but I did rather hope to escape actual

"Who is it--some one you know?" Mrs. Arbuthnot adjusted the pillow
at her back, and settled herself enjoyably for a talk.

"Indirectly; it's that little butterfly of a summer girl--the one
Jim calls 'The Dancing Girl'--of all people in the world!" said
Julie, locking her arms comfortably behind her head. "You know how
she's been haunting me, Ann? She's been simply DETERMINED upon an
introduction ever since she placed me as her adored Miss Ives of
matinee fame. I imagine she's rather a nice child--every evidence of
money--the ambitious type that longs to do something big--and is
given to desperate hero worship. She's been under my feet for a
week, with a Faithful Tray expression that drives me crazy. I've
taken great pains not to see her."

"And now--?" prompted the other, as the actress fell silent, and sat
staring dreamily at the brilliant sweep of beach and sea before

"Oh--now," Miss Ives took up her narrative briskly. "Well, a new
young man arrived on the afternoon boat and, of course, the Dancing
Girl instantly captivated him. She has one simple yet direct method
with them all," she interrupted herself to digress a little. "She
gets one of her earlier victims to introduce him; they all go down
for a swim, she fascinates him with her daring and her bobbing red
cap, she returns to white linen and leads him down to play tennis--
they have tea at the 'Casino,' and she promises him the second two-
step and the first extra that evening. He is then hers to command,"
concluded Julie, bringing her amused eyes back to Mrs. Arbuthnot's
face, "for the remainder of his stay!"

"That's exactly what she DOES do," said Mrs. Arbuthnot, laughing,
"but I don't see yet--"

"Oh, I forgot to say," Miss Ives amended hastily, "that to-day's
young man happens to be an acquaintance of mine; at least his uncle
introduced him to me at a tea last winter. She led him by to the
tennis courts an hour ago, and, to my disgust, I recognized him.
That's all Miss Dancing Girl wants. Now--you'll see! They'll come up
to our table in the dining-room to-night, and to-morrow she'll bring
up a group of dear friends and he'll bring up another--to be
introduced; and--there we'll be!"

"Oh, not so bad as that, Julie!"

"Oh, yes, indeed, Ann!" pursued Miss Ives with morose enjoyment.
"You don't know how helpless one is. I'll be annoyed to death for
the rest of the month, just so that the Dancing Girl can go back to
the city this winter and say, 'Oh, girls, Julia Ives was staying
where mamma and I were this summer, and she's just a DEAR! She
doesn't make up one bit off the stage, and she dresses just as
PLAIN! I saw her every day and got some dandy snapshots. She's just
a darling when you know her.'"

"Well! What an unspoiled modest little soul you are, Julie!"
interrupted the doctor's admiring voice. He wheeled away the
umbrella and, lying luxuriously on his elbows in the sun, beamed at
them both through his glasses.

"Jim," said the actress, severely, "it's positively indecent--the
habit you're getting of evesdropping on Ann and me!"

"It gives me sidelights on your characters," said the doctor, quite

"Ann--don't you call that disgraceful?"

"I certainly do, Ju," his wife agreed warmly. "But Jim has no sense
of honor." Ann Arbuthnot, in the fifteen years of her married life,
had never been able to keep a thrill of adoration out of her voice
when she spoke, however jestingly, of her husband. It trembled there

"Well, what's wrong, Julie? Some old admirer turn up?" asked the
doctor, sleepily content to follow any conversational lead, in the
idle pleasantness of the hour.

"No--no!" she corrected him, "just some silly social complications
ahead--which I hate!"

"Be rude," suggested the doctor, pleasantly.

"Now, you know, I'd love that!" said Mrs. Arbuthnot, youthfully.
"I'd simply love to be followed and envied and adored!"

"No, you wouldn't, Ann!" Miss Ives assured her promptly. "You'd like
it, as I did, for a little while. And then the utter USELESSNESS of
it would strike you. Especially from such little complacent, fluffy
whirlings as that Dancing Girl!"

"Yes, and that's the kind of a girl I like," persisted the other,

"That's the kind of a girl you WERE, Ann, I've no doubt," said the
actress, vivaciously, "only sweeter. I know she wore white ruffles
and a velvet band on her hair, didn't she, Jim? And roses in her

"She did," said the doctor, reminiscently. "I believe she flirted in
her kindergarten days. She was always engaged to ride or dance or
row on the river with the other men--and always splitting her
dances, and forgetting her promises, and wearing the rings and pins
of her adorers."

"And the fun was, Ju," said Mrs. Arbuthnot, girlishly, with bright
color in her cheeks, "that when Jim came there to give two lectures,
you know, all the older girls were crazy about him--and he was ten
years older than I, you know, and I never DREAMED--"

"Oh, you go to, Ann! You never DREAMED!" said Miss Ives, lazily.

"Honestly, I didn't!" Mrs. Arbuthnot protested. "I remember my
brother Billy saying, 'Babs, you don't think Dr. Arbuthnot is coming
here to see ME, do you?' and then it all came over me! Why, I was
only eighteen."

"And engaged to Billy's chum," said the doctor.

"Well," said the wife, naively, "he knew all along it wasn't

"You must have been a rose," said Miss Ives, "and I would have hated
you! Now, when I went to dances," she pursued half seriously, "I sat
in one place and smiled fixedly, and watched the other girls dance.
Or I talked with great animation to the chaperons. Ann, I've felt
sometimes that I would gladly die, to have the boys crowd around me
just once, and grab my card and scribble their names all over it. I
didn't dress very well, or dance very well--and I never could talk
to boys." She began to trace a little watercourse in the sand with
an exquisite finger tip. "I was the most unhappy girl on earth, I
think! I felt every birthday was a separate insult--twenty, and
twenty-two, and twenty-four! We were poor, and life was--oh, not
dramatic or big!--but just petty and sordid. I used to rage because
the dining-room was the only place for the sewing-machine, and rage
because my bedroom was really a back parlor. Well!--I joined a
theatrical company--came away. And many a night, tired out and
discouraged, I've cried myself to sleep because I'd never have any
girlhood again!"

She stopped with a half-apologetic laugh. The doctor was watching
her with absorbed, bright eyes. Mrs. Arbuthnot, unable to imagine
youth without joy and beauty, protested:

"Julie--I don't believe you--you're exaggerating! Do you mean you
didn't go on the stage until you were twenty-four!"

"I was twenty-six. I was leading lady my second season, and starred
my third," said the actress, without enthusiasm. "I was starred in
'The Jack of Clubs.' It ran a season in New York and gave me my
start. Lud, how tired we all got of it!"

"And then I hope you went back home, Ju, and were lionized," said
the other woman, vigorously.

"Oh, not then! No, I'd been meaning to go--and meaning to go--all
those three years. The little sisters used to write me--such forlorn
little letters!--and mother, too--but I couldn't manage it. And
then--the very night 'Jack' played the three hundredth time, as it
happened--I had this long wire from Sally and Beth. Mother was very
ill, wanted me--they'd meet a certain train, they were counting the

Miss Ives demolished her watercourse with a single sweep of her
palm. There was a short silence.

"Well!" she said, breaking it. "Mother got well, as it happened, and
I went home two months later. I had the guest room, I remember.
Sally was everything to mother then, and I tried to feel glad. Beth
was engaged. Every one was very flattering and very kind in the
intervals left by engagements and weddings and new babies and family
gatherings. Then I came back to 'Jack,' and we went on the road. And
then I broke down and a strange doctor in a strange hospital put me
together again," she went on with a flashing smile and a sudden
change of tone, "and his wholly adorable wife sent me double white
violets! And they--the Arbuthnots, not the violets--were the nicest
thing that ever happened to me!"

"So that was the way of it?" said the doctor.

"That was the way of it."

"And as the Duchess would say, the moral of THAT is--?"

"The moral is for me. Or else it's for little dancing girls, I don't
know which." Miss Ives wiped her eyes openly and, restoring her
handkerchief to its place, announced that she perceived she had been
talking too much.

Presently the Dancing Girl came down from the tennis-court, with her
devoted new captive in tow. The captive, a fat, amiable-looking
youth, was warm and wilted, but the girl was fresh and buoyant as
ever. They heard her allude to the "second two-step" and something
was said of the "supper dance," but her laughing voice stopped as
she and her escort came nearer the actress, and she gave Julie her
usual look of mute adoration. The boy, flushing youthfully, lifted
his hat, and Julie bowed briefly.

They were lingering over their coffee two hours later, when the
newly arrived young man made the expected move. He threaded the
tables between his own and the doctor's carefully, the eager Dancing
Girl in his wake.

"I don't know whether you remember me, Miss Ives--?" he began, when
he could extend a hand.

Julie turned her splendid, unsmiling eyes toward him.

"Mr. Polk. How do you do? Yes, indeed, I remember you," she said,
unenthusiastically. "How is Mr. Gilbert?"

"Uncle John? Oh, he's fine!" said young Polk, rapturously. "I wonder
why he didn't tell me you were spending the summer here I"

"I don't tell any one," said Julie, simply. "My winters are so
crowded that I try to get away from people in the summer."

"Oh!" said the boy, a little blankly. There was an instant's pause
before he added rather uncomfortably:

"Miss Ives--Miss Carter has been so anxious to meet you--"

"How do you do, Miss Carter?" said Julie, promptly, politely. She
gave her young adorer a ready hand. The usually poised Dancing Girl
could not recall at the moment one of the things she had planned to
say when this great moment came. But she thought of them all as she
lay in bed that night, and the conviction that she had bungled the
long-wished-for interview made her burn from her heels to the lobes
of her ears. What HAD she said? Something about having longed for
this opportunity, which the actress hadn't answered, and something
about her desperate admiration for Miss Ives, at which Miss Ives had
merely smiled. Other things were said, or half said--the girl
reviewed them mercilessly in the dark--and then the interview had
terminated, rather flatly. Marian Carter writhed at the

But the morning brought courage. She passed Julie, who was fresh
from a plunge in the ocean, and briskly attacking a late breakfast,
on her way from the dining-room.

"Good morning, Miss Ives! Isn't it a lovely morning?"

"Oh, good morning, Miss Carter. I beg pardon--?"

"I said, 'Isn't it a lovely morning?'"

"Oh--? Yes, quite delightful."

"Miss Ives--but I'm interrupting you?"

Julie gave her book a glance and raised her eyes expectantly to Miss
Carter's face, but did not speak.

"Miss Ives," said Miss Carter, a little confusedly, "mamma was
wondering if you've taken the trip to Fletcher's Forest? We've our
motor-car here, you know, and they serve a very good lunch at the

"Oh, thank you, no!" said Julie, positively. "VERY good of you--but
I'm with the Arbuthnots, you know. Thank you, no."

"I hoped you would," said Miss Carter, disappointed. "I know you use
a motor in town," she answered daringly. "You see I know all about

Miss Ives paid to this confession only the small tribute of raised
eyebrows and an absent smile. She was quite at her ease, but in the
little silence that followed Miss Carter had time to feel baffled--
in the way. "Here is Mrs. Arbuthnot," she said in relief, as Ann
came slowly in on the doctor's arm. Before they reached the table
the girl had slipped away.

That afternoon she asked Miss Ives, pausing beside the basking group
on the sands to do so, if she would have tea informally with mamma
and a few friends. Oh--thank you, Miss Ives couldn't, to-day. Thank
you. The next day Miss Carter wondered if Miss Ives would like to
spin out to the Point to see the sunset? No, thank you so much. Miss
Ives was just going in. Another day brought a request for Miss
Ives's company at dinner, with just mamma and Mr. Polk and the
Dancing Girl herself. Declined. A fourth day found Miss Carter,
camera in hand, smilingly confronting the actress as she came out on
the porch.

"Will you be very cross if I ask you to stand still just a moment,
Miss Ives?" asked the Dancing Girl.

"Oh, I'm afraid I will," said Julie, annoyed. "I DON'T like to be
photographed!" But she was rather disarmed at the speed with which
Miss Carter shut up her little camera.

"I know I bother you," said the girl, with a wistful sincerity that
was most becoming and with a heightened color, "but--but I just
can't seem to help it!" She walked down the steps beside Julie,
laughing almost with vexation at her own weakness. "I've always
admired so--the people who DO things! I've always wanted to do
something myself," said Miss Carter, awkwardly. "You don't know how
unhappy it makes me. You don't know how I'd love to do something for

"You can, you can let me off being photographed, like a sweet
child!" said Julie, lightly. But twenty minutes later when, very
trim and dainty in her blue bathing suit and scarlet cap, she came
out of the bath-house to join Ann and the doctor on the beach, she
reproached herself. She might have met the stammered little
confidence with something warmer than a jesting word, she thought
with a little shame.

"You're not going in again!" protested Ann. "Oh, CHIL-dren!"

"_I_ am," said Miss Ives, buoyantly. "I don't know about Jim. At
Jim's age every step counts, I suppose. These fashionable doctors
habitually overeat and oversleep, I understand, and it makes them

"I AM going in, Ann," said the doctor, with dignity, rising from the
sand and pointedly addressing his wife. A few moments later he and
Julie joyously breasted the sleepy roll of the low breakers, and
pushed their way steadily through the smoother water beyond.

"Oh, that was glorious, Jim!" gasped the actress, as they gained the
raft that was always their goal and pulling herself up to sit siren-
wise upon it. She was breathless, radiant, bubbling with the joy of
sun and air and green water. She took off her cap and let the
sunlight beat on her loosened braids.

"How you love the water, Julie!"

"Yes--best of all. I'm never so satisfied as when I'm in it!"

"You never look so happy as when you are," he said.

"Oh, these are happy days!" said Julie. "I wish they could last
forever. Just resting and playing--wouldn't you like a year of it,

The doctor eyed her quietly.

"I don't know that I would," he said seriously, impersonally.

There was a little silence. Then the girl began to pin up her braids
with fingers that trembled a little.

"Ann's waving!" she said presently, and the doctor caught up her
scarlet cap to signal back to the far blur on the beach that was
Ann. He watched the tiny distant groups a moment.

"Here comes your admirer!" said he.

"Where?" Julie was ready at once to slip into the water.

"Oh--finish your hair--take your time! She's just in the breakers.
We'll be off long before she gets here."

"That reminds me, Jim," Miss Ives was quite herself again, "that
when I was in the bath-house a few moments ago your Dancing Girl and
that pretty little girl who is visiting her came into the next room.
You know how flimsy the walls are? I could hear every word they

"If you'd been a character in a story, Ju, you'd have felt it your
duty to cough!"

"Well, I didn't," grinned Miss Ives; "not that I wanted to hear what
they were saying. I didn't even know who they were until I heard
little Miss Carter say solemnly, 'Ethel, I used to want mamma to get
that Forty-eighth Street house, and I used to want to do Europe, but
I think if I had ONE wish now, it would be to do something that
would MAKE everybody know me--and everybody talk about me. I'd LOVE
to be pointed out wherever I went. I'd love to have people stare at
me. I'd like to be just as popular and just as famous as Julia

"She HAS got it badly, Ju!" the doctor observed.

"She has. And it will be fuel on the flames to have me start to swim
back to shore while she is swimming as hard as she can to the raft!"
said the lady, tucking the last escaping lock under her cap and
springing up for the plunge that started the home trip.

It was only a little after midnight that night when Julie, lying
wakeful in the sultry summer darkness, was startled by a person in
her room.

"It's Emma, Miss Ives," said Mrs. Arbuthnot's maid, stumbling about,
"Mrs. Arbuthnot wants you."

"She's ill!" Julie felt rather than said the words, instantly alert
and alarmed, and reaching for her wrapper and slippers.

"No, ma'am. But the doctor feels like he ought to go down to the
fire, and she's nervous--"

"The fire?"

"Yes'm," said Emma, simply, "the windmill is afire!"

"And I sleeping through it all!" Miss Ives was still bewildered,

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