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The Man From Glengarry by Ralph Connor

Part 6 out of 8

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did not mean that."

By this time Ranald had himself in hand.

"No," he said, regretfully, forcing himself to speak the truth. "I
know he is no coward; I have seen him where no coward would be,
but," he added, "he struck a man unguarded, and that was a coward's
blow."

"Macdonald," said De Lacy deliberately, "you are right. True, he
called me a cheat, but I should have given him time. Still," he
added, rolling up his sleeves, "I hope you will not deprive
yourself or me of the privilege of settling this little business."

"I will be glad," said Ranald, his eyes once more lighting up.
"Very glad indeed, if you wish."

"Nonsense," cried Harry, passionately, "I tell you I will not have
it. He has given you ample apology, De Lacy; and you, Ranald, I
thought a Macdonald never fought except for sufficient cause!"
Harry remembered the fighting rule of the Macdonald gang.

"That is true," said Ranald, gravely, "but it was a cruel blow,"
pointing to Rouleau, who, supported by LeNoir, was sitting on a
chair, his face badly cut and bleeding, "and that, too, after
taking from him the wages of six months in the bush!"

"I suppose you admit the game was fair," said the lieutenant,
moving nearer to Ranald, the threat in his tone evident to all.

"The game was fair," said Ranald, facing De Lacy, "but I will say
the lad was no fair match for you!"

"He chose to risk his money, which you were not willing to do."
De Lacy felt that he was being put in an unpleasant light and was
determined to anger Ranald beyond control. Ranald caught the
sneer.

"If I did not play," he cried, hotly, "it was for no fear of you
or any of you. It was no man's game whatever," he continued,
contemptuously.

"Now, De Lacy," cried Harry, again, "let this stop. The man who
fights will first fight me!"

"Perhaps Mr. Macdonald would show us how the game should be
played," said Mr. Sims, coming as near to a sneer as he dared.

"It would not be hard to show you this game," said Ranald, ignoring
Mr. Sims, and looking the lieutenant in the eyes, "or perhaps the
other!"

"Good!" cried Harry, gladly seizing the opportunity of averting a
fight. "The game! Take your places, gentlemen!"

The lieutenant hesitated for a moment, as if uncertain what to do.
Then, with a slight laugh, he said, "Very well, one thing at a
time, the other can wait."

"Come on!" cried Harry, "who goes in? LeNoir, you?"

LeNoir looked at Ranald.

"What you say?"

"No," said Ranald, shortly, "this is my game!" With that he turned
aside from the table and spoke a few words in a low tone to LeNoir,
who assisted Rouleau from the room, and after some minutes' absence,
returned with a little linen bag. Ranald took the bag and began
to count out some money upon the table before him.

"I will play to one hundred dollars," he said.

The lieutenant and Mr. Sims each laid the same amount before them
upon the table.

"I have not so much on me," said Harry, "but perhaps my I. O. U.
will do."

"What shall we say," said Mr. Sims, "a dollar to play and five
dollars limit?"

"Say five and twenty-five," said De Lacy, who was commanding
himself with a great effort.

"Is that too high?" said Harry, looking toward Ranald.

"No," said Ranald, "the higher the better."

It was soon evident that Ranald knew the game. He had learned it
during the long winter nights in the shanty from Yankee, who was a
master at it, and he played it warily and with iron nerve. He
seemed to know as by instinct when to retreat and when to pursue;
and he played with the single purpose of bleeding the lieutenant
dry. Often did he refuse to take toll of Harry or Mr. Sims when
opportunity offered, but never once did he allow the lieutenant to
escape.

"You flatter me," said the lieutenant, sarcastically, as Ranald's
purpose became increasingly clear.

"I will have from you all you have won," replied Ranald, in a tone
of such settled resolve that it seemed as if nothing could prevent
the accomplishment of his purpose. In vain the lieutenant sought
to brace his nerves with his brandy-and-sodas. He played now
recklessly and again with over-caution, while Ranald, taking
advantage of every slip and every sign of weakness, followed him
with relentless determination.

With such stakes the game was soon over. It was not long before
the lieutenant was stripped of his hundred, while Harry and Mr.
Sims had each lost smaller amounts.

"You will try another hundred?" said the lieutenant, burning to get
revenge.

Without a word Ranald laid down his hundred; the others did
likewise, and once more the game proceeded. There was no change
in Ranald's play. Thorough knowledge of the game, absolute self-
command, an instinctive reading of his opponent's mind, and
unswerving purpose soon brought about the only result possible.
The lieutenant's second hundred with a part of Harry's and Mr.
Sims's passed into Ranald's possession.

Again De Lacy challenged to play.

"No," said Ranald, "I have done." He put back into his linen bag
his one hundred dollars, counted out two hundred, and gave it to
LeNoir, saying: "That is Rouleau's," and threw the rest upon the
table. "I want no man's money," he said, "that I do not earn."

The lieutenant sprang to his feet.

"Hold!" he cried, "you forget, there is something else!"

"No," said Ranald, as Harry and Mr. Sims put themselves in De
Lacy's way, "there is nothing else to-night; another day, and any
day you wish, you can have the other game," and with that he passed
out of the room.

CHAPTER XX

HER CLINGING ARMS

The ancient capital of Canada--the old gray queen of the mighty St.
Lawrence--is a city of many charms and of much stately beauty. Its
narrow, climbing streets, with their quaint shops and curious
gables, its old market, with chaffering habitant farmers and their
wives, are full of living interest. Its noble rock, crowned with
the ancient citadel, and its sweeping tidal river, lend it a dignity
and majestic beauty that no other city knows; and everywhere about
its citadel and walls, and venerable, sacred buildings, there still
linger the romance and chivalry of heroic days long gone. But there
are times when neither the interests of the living present nor the
charms of the romantic past can avail, and so a shadow lay upon
Maimie's beautiful face as she sat in the parlor of the Hotel de
Cheval Blanc, looking out upon the mighty streets and the huddled
roofs of the lower town. She held in her hand an open note.

"It is just awfully stupid," she grumbled, "and I think pretty mean
of him!"

"Of whom, may I ask?" said Kate, pausing in her singing, "or is
there any need? What says the gallant lieutenant?"

Maimie tossed her the note.

"The picnic is postponed. Well, of course the rain told us that;
and he is unavoidably prevented from calling, and entreats your
sympathy and commiseration. Well, that's a very nice note, I am
sure."

"Where has he been these three days! He might have known it would
be stupid, and Harry gives one no satisfaction." Maimie was
undeniably cross. "And Ranald, too," she went on, "where has he
been? Not even your music could bring him!" with a little spice of
spite. "I think men are just horrid, anyway."

"Especially when they will keep away," said Kate.

"Well, what are they good for if not to entertain us? I wish we
could do without them! But I do think Ranald might have come."

"Well," said Kate, emphatically, "I can't see why you should expect
him."

"Why not?"

"I think you ought to know."

"I, how should I know?" Maimie's innocent blue eyes were wide open
with surprise.

"Nonsense," cried Kate, with impatience rare in her, "don't be
absurd, Maimie; I am not a child."

"What do YOU mean?"

"You needn't tell me you don't know why Ranald comes. Do you want
him to come?"

"Why, of course I do; how silly you are."

"Well," said Kate, deliberately, "I would rather be silly than
cruel and unkind."

"Why, Kate, how dreadful of you!" exclaimed Maimie; "'cruel and
unkind!'"

"Yes." said Kate; "you are not treating Ranald well. You should
not encourage him to--to--care for you when you do not mean to--
to--go on with it."

"Oh, what nonsense; Ranald is not a baby; he will not take any
hurt."

"Oh, Maimie," said Kate, and her voice was low and earnest, "Ranald
is not like other men. He does not understand things. He loves
you and he will love you more every day if you let him. Why don't
you let him go?"

"Let him go!" cried Maimie, "who's keeping him?" But as she spoke
the flush in her cheek and the warm light in her eye told more
clearly than words that she did not mean to let him go just then.

"You are," said Kate, "and you are making him love you."

"Why, how silly you are," cried Maimie; "of course he likes me,
but--"

"No, Maimie," said Kate, with sad earnestness, "he loves you; you
can see it in the way he looks at you; in his voice when he speaks
and--oh, you shouldn't let him unless you mean to--to--go on. Send
him right away!" There were tears in Kate's dark eyes.

"Why, Katie," cried Maimie, looking at her curiously, "what
difference does it make to you? And besides, how can I send him
away? I just treat him as I do Mr. De Lacy."

"De Lacy!" cried Kate, indignantly. "De Lacy can look after
himself, but Ranald is different. He is so serious and--and so
honest, and he means just what he says, and you are so nice to him,
and you look at him in such a way!"

"Why, Kate, do you mean that I try to--" Maimie was righteously
indignant.

"You perhaps don't know," continued Kate, "but you can't help being
fascinating to men; you know you are, and Ranald believes you so,
and--and you ought to be quite straightforward with him!" Poor
Kate could no longer command her voice.

"There, now," said Maimie, caressing her friend, not unpleased with
Kate's description of her; "I'm going to be good. I will just be
horrid to both of them, and they'll go away! But, oh, dear, things
are all wrong! Poor Ranald," she said to herself, "I wonder if he
will come to the picnic on Saturday?"

Kate looked at her friend a moment and wiped away her tears.

"Indeed I hope he will not," she said, indignantly, "for I know you
mean to just lead him on. I have a mind to tell him."

"Tell him what?" said Maimie, smiling.

"Just what you mean to do."

"I wish you would tell me that."

"Now I tell you, Maimie," said Kate, "if you go on with Ranald so
any longer I will just tell him you are playing with him."

"Do," said Maimie, scornfully, "and be careful to make clear to him
at the same time that you are speaking solely in his interest!"

Kate's face flushed red at the insinuation, and then grew pale.
She stood for some time looking in silence at her friend, and then
with a proud flash of her dark eyes, she swept from the room
without a word, nor did Maimie see her again that afternoon, though
she stood outside her door entreating with tears to be forgiven.
Poor Kate! Maimie's shaft had gone too near a vital spot, and the
wound amazed and terrified her. Was it for Ranald's sake alone she
cared? Yes, surely it was. Then why this sharp new pain under the
hand pressing hard upon her heart?

Oh, what did that mean? She put her face in her pillow to hide the
red that she knew was flaming in her cheeks, and for a few moments
gave herself up to the joy that was flooding her whole heart and
soul and all her tingling veins. Oh, how happy she was. For long
she had heard of the Glengarry lad from Maimie and more from Harry
till there had grown up in her heart a warm, admiring interest.
And now she had come to know him for herself! How little after all
had they told her of him. What a man he was! How strong and how
fearless! How true-hearted and how his eyes could fill with love!
She started up. Love? Love? Ah, where was her joy! How chill
the day had grown and how hateful the sunlight on the river. She
drew down the blind and threw herself once more upon the bed,
shivering and sick with pain--the bitterest that heart can know.
Once more she started up.

"She is not worthy of him!" she exclaimed, aloud; "her heart is not
deep enough; she does not, cannot love him, and oh, if some one
would only let him know!"

She would tell him herself. No! No! Maimie's sharp arrow was
quivering still in her heart. Once more she threw herself upon the
bed. How could she bear this that had stricken her? She would go
home. She would go to her mother to-morrow. Go away forever from--
ah--could she? No, anything but that! She could not go away.

Over the broad river the warm sunlight lay with kindly glow, and
the world was full of the soft, sweet air of spring, and the songs
of mating birds; but the hours passed, and over the river the
shadows began to creep, and the whole world grew dark, and the
songs of the birds were hushed to silence. Then, from her room,
Kate came down with face serene, and but for the eyes that somehow
made one think of tears, without a sign of the storm that had swept
her soul. She did not go home. She was too brave for that. She
would stay and fight her battle to the end.

That was a dreary week for Ranald. He was lonely and heartsick for
the woods and for his home and friends, but chiefly was he oppressed
with the sense of having played the fool in his quarrel with De
Lacy, whom he was beginning to admire and like. He surely might
have avoided that; and yet whenever he thought of the game that had
swept away from Rouleau all his winter's earnings, and of the cruel
blow that had followed, he felt his muscles stiffen and his teeth
set tight in rage. No, he would do it all again, nor would he
retreat one single step from the position he had taken, but would
see his quarrel through to the end. But worst of all he had not
seen Maimie all the week. His experience with Harry in the ordering
of his suit had taught him the importance of clothes, and he now
understood as he could not before, Maimie's manner to him. "That
would be it," he said to himself, "and no wonder. What would she
do with a great, coarse tyke like me!" Then, in spite of all his
loyalty, he could not help contrasting with Maimie's uncertain and
doubtful treatment of him, the warm, frank friendliness of Kate.
"SHE did not mind my clothes," he thought, with a glow of gratitude,
but sharply checking himself, he added, "but why should she care?"
It rather pleased him to think that Maimie cared enough to feel
embarrassed at his rough dress. So he kept away from the Hotel de
Cheval Blanc till his new suit should be ready. It was not because
of his dress, however, that he steadily refused Harry's invitation
to the picnic.

"No, I will not go," he said, with blunt decision, after listening
to Harry's pleading. "It is Lieutenant De Lacy's picnic, and I
will have nothing to do with him, and indeed he will not be wanting
me!"

"Oh, he's forgotten all about that little affair," cried Harry.

"Has he? Indeed then if he is a man he has not!"

"I guess he hasn't remembered much of anything for the last week,"
said Harry, with a slight laugh.

"Why not?"

"Oh, pshaw, he's been on a big tear. He only sobered up yesterday."

"Huh!" grunted Ranald, contemptuously. He had little respect for a
man who did not know when he had had enough. "What about his job?"
he asked.

"His job? Oh, I see. His job doesn't worry him much. He's absent
on sick-leave. But he's all fit again and I know he will be
disappointed if you do not come to-morrow."

"I will not go," said Ranald, with final decision, "and you can
tell him so, and you can tell him why."

And Harry did tell him with considerable fullness and emphasis not
only of Ranald's decision, but also Ranald's opinion of him, for he
felt that it would do that lordly young man no harm to know that a
man whom he was inclined to patronize held him in contempt and for
cause. The lieutenant listened for a time to all Harry had to say
with apparent indifference, then suddenly interrupting him, he
said: "Oh, I say, old chap, I wouldn't rub it in if I were you. I
have a more or less vague remembrance of having rather indulged in
heroics. One can't keep his head with poker and unlimited brandy-
and-sodas; they don't go together. It's a thing I almost never do;
never in a big game, but the thing got interesting before I knew.
But I say, that Glengarry chap plays a mighty good game. Must get
him on again. Feels hot, eh? I will make that all right, and
what's the French chap's name--Boileau, Rondeau, eh? Rouleau.
Yes, and where could one see him?"

"I can find out from LeNoir, who will be somewhere near Ranald.
You can't get him away from him."

"Well, do," said the lieutenant, lazily. "Bring LeNoir to see me.
I owe that Rouleau chap an apology. Beastly business! And I'll
fix it up with Macdonald. He has the right of it, by Jove! Rather
lucky, I fancy, he didn't yield to my solicitations for a try at
the other game--from what I remember of the street riot, eh? Would
not mind having a go with him with the gloves, though. I will see
him to-morrow morning. Keep your mind at rest."

Next morning when LeNoir came to his work he was full of the
lieutenant's praises to Ranald.

"Das fine feller le Capitaine, eh? Das de Grand Seigneur for sure!
He's mak eet all right wit Rouleau! He's pay de cash money and
he's mak eet de good posish for him, an' set him up the champagne,
too, by gar!"

"Huh," grunted Ranald. "Run that crib around the boom there
LeNoir; break it up and keep your gang moving to-day!"

"Bon!" said LeNoir, with alacrity. "I give 'em de big move, me!"

But however unwilling Ranald was to listen to LeNoir singing the
lieutenant's praises, when he met Harry at noon in the office he
was even more enthusiastic than LeNoir in his admiration of De
Lacy.

"I never saw the likes of him," he said. "He could bring the birds
out of the trees with that tongue of his. Indeed, I could not have
done what he did whatever. Man, but he is a gentleman!"

"And are you going this evening?"

"That I am," said Ranald. "What else could I do? I could not help
myself; he made me feel that mean that I was ready to do anything."

"All right," said Harry, delighted, "I will take my canoe around
for you after six."

"And," continued Ranald, with a little hesitation, "he told me he
would be wearing a jersey and duck trousers, and I think that was
very fine of him."

"Why, of course," said Harry, quite mystified, "what else would he
wear?"

Ranald looked at him curiously for a moment, and said: "A swallow-
tail, perhaps, or a blanket, maybe," and he turned away leaving
Harry more mystified than ever.

Soon after six, Harry paddled around in his canoe, and gave the
stern to Ranald. What a joy it was to him to be in a canoe stern
again; to feel the rush of the water under his knees; to have her
glide swiftly on her soundless way down the full-bosomed, sunbathed
river; to see her put her nose into the little waves and gently,
smoothly push them asunder with never a splash or swerve; to send
her along straight and true as an arrow in its flight, and then
flip! flip to swing her off a floating log or around an awkward
boat lumbering with clumsy oars. That was to be alive again. Oh,
the joy of it! Of all things that move to the will of man there is
none like the canoe. It alone has the sweet, smooth glide, the
swift, silent dart answering the paddle sweep; the quick swerve in
response to the turn of the wrist. Ranald felt as if he could have
gladly paddled on right out to the open sea; but sweeping around a
bend a long, clear call hailed them, and there, far down at the
bottom of a little bay, at the foot of the big, scarred, and
wrinkled rock the smoke and glimmer of the camp-fire could be seen.
A flip of the stern paddle, and the canoe pointed for the waving
figure, and under the rhythmic sweep of the paddles, sped like an
arrow down the waters, sloping to the shore. There, on a great
rock, stood Kate, directing their course.

"Here's a good landing," she cried. Right at the rock dashed the
canoe at full speed. A moment more and her dainty nose would be
battered out of all shape on the cruel rock, but a strong back
stroke, a turn of the wrist, flip, and she lay floating quietly
beside the rock.

"Splendid!" cried Kate.

"Well done, by Jove!" exclaimed the lieutenant, who was himself an
expert with the paddle.

"I suppose you have no idea how fine you look," cried Kate.

"And I am quite sure," answered Harry, "you have no suspicion of
what a beautiful picture you all make." And a beautiful picture it
was: the great rocky cliff in the background, tricked out in its
new spring green of moss and shrub and tree; the grassy plot at its
foot where a little stream gurgled out from the rock; the blazing
camp-fire with the little group about it; and in front the sunlit
river. How happy they all were! And how ready to please and to be
pleased. Even little Mr. Sims had his charm. And at the making of
the tea, which Kate had taken in charge with Ranald superintending,
what fun there was with burning of fingers and upsetting of
kettles! And then, the talk and the laughter at the lieutenant's
brilliant jokes, and the chaffing of the "lumbermen" over their
voracious appetites! It was an hour of never-to-be-forgotten
pleasure. They were all children again, and with children's hearts
were happy in childhood's simple joys. And why not? There are no
joys purer than those of the open air; of grass and trees flooded
with the warm light and sweet scents of the soft springtime. Too
soon it all came to an end, and then they set off to convoy the
stately old lady to her carriage at the top of the cliff. Far in
front went Kate, disdaining the assistance of Harry and Mr. Sims,
who escorted her. Near at hand the lieutenant was in attendance
upon Maimie, who seemed to need his constant assistance; for the
way was rough, and there were so many jutting points of rock for
wonderful views, and often the very prettiest plants were just out
of reach. Last of all came Madame De Lacy, climbing the steep path
with difficulty and holding fast to Ranald's arm. With charming
grace she discoursed of the brave days of old in which her
ancestors had played a worthy part. An interesting tale it was,
but in spite of all her charm of speech, and grace of manner,
Ranald could not keep his mind from following his heart and eyes
that noted every step and move of the beautiful girl, flitting in
and out among the trees before them. And well it was that his eyes
were following so close; for, as she was reaching for a dainty
spray of golden birch, holding by the lieutenant's hand, the
treacherous moss slipped from under Maimie's feet, and with a
piercing shriek she went rolling down the sloping mountain-side,
dragging her escort with her. Like a flash of light Ranald dropped
madame's arm, and seizing the top of a tall birch that grew up from
the lower ledge, with a trick learned as a boy in the Glengarry
woods, he swung himself clear over the edge, and dropping lightly
on the mossy bank below, threw himself in front of the rolling
bodies, and seizing them held fast. In another moment leaving the
lieutenant to shift for himself, Ranald was on his knees beside
Maimie, who lay upon the moss, white and still. "Some water, for
God's sake!" he cried, hoarsely, to De Lacy, who stood dazed beside
him, and then, before the lieutenant could move, Ranald lifted
Maimie in his arms, as if she had been an infant, and bore her down
to the river's edge, and laid her on the grassy bank. Then, taking
up a double handful of water, he dashed it in her face. With a
little sigh she opened her eyes, and letting them rest upon his
face, said, gently, "Oh, Ranald, I am so glad you--I am so sorry I
have been so bad to you." She could say no more, but from her
closed eyes two great tears made their way down her pale cheeks.

"Oh, Maimie, Maimie," said Ranald, in a broken voice, "tell me you
are not hurt."

Again she opened her eyes and said, "No, I am not hurt, but you
will take me home; you will not leave me!" Her fingers closed upon
his hand.

With a quick, strong clasp, he replied: "I will not leave you."

In a few minutes she was able to sit up, and soon they were all
about her, exclaiming and lamenting.

"What a silly girl I am," she said, with a little tremulous laugh,
"and what a fright I must have given you all!"

"Don't rise, my dear," said Madame De Lacy, "until you feel quite
strong."

"Oh, I am quite right," said Maimie, confidently; "I am sure I am
not hurt in the least."

"Oh, I am so thankful!" cried Kate.

"It is the Lord's mercy," said Ranald, in a voice of deep emotion.

"Are you quite sure you are not hurt?" said Harry, anxiously.

"Yes, I really think I am all right, but what a fright I must
look!"

"Thank God!" said Harry fervently; "I guess you're improving," at
which they all laughed.

"Now I think we must get home," said Madame De Lacy. "Do you think
you can walk, Maimie?"

"Oh, yes," cried Maimie, and taking Ranald's hand, she tried to
stand up, but immediately sank back with a groan.

"Oh, it is my foot," she said, "I am afraid it is hurt."

"Let me see!" cried Harry. "I don't think it is broken," he said,
after feeling it carefully, "but I have no doubt it is a very bad
sprain. You can't walk for certain."

"Then we shall have to carry her," said Madame De Lacy, and she
turned to her son.

"I fear I can offer no assistance," said the lieutenant, pointing
to his arm which was hanging limp at his side.

"Why, Albert, are you hurt? What is the matter? You are hurt!"
cried his mother, anxiously.

"Not much, but I fear my arm is useless. You might feel it," he
said to Ranald.

Carefully Ranald passed his hand down the arm.

"Say nothing," whispered the lieutenant to him. "It's broken. Tie
it up some way." Without a word Ranald stripped the bark of a
birch tree, and making a case, laid the arm in it and bound it
firmly with his silk handkerchief.

"We ought to have a sling," he said, turning to Kate,.

"Here," said Madame De Lacy, untying a lace scarf from her neck,
"take this."

Kate took the scarf, and while Ranald held the arm in place she
deftly made it into a sling.

"There," said the lieutenant, "that feels quite comfortable. Now
let's go."

"Come, Maimie, I'll carry you up the hill," said Harry.

"No," said Ranald, decidedly, "she will go in the canoe. That will
be easier."

"Quite right," said the lieutenant. "Sims, perhaps you will give
my mother your arm, and if Miss Kate will be kind enough to escort
me, we can all four go in the carriage; but first we shall see the
rest of the party safely off."

"Come, then, Maimie," said Harry, approaching his sister; "let me
carry you."

But Maimie glanced up at Ranald, who without a word, lifted her in
his arms.

"Put your arm about his neck, Maimie," cried Harry, "you will go
more comfortably that way. Ranald won't mind," he added, with a
laugh.

At the touch of her clinging arms the blood mounted slowly into
Ranald's neck and face, showing red through the dark tan of his
skin.

"How strong you are," said Maimie, softly, "and how easily you
carry me. But you would soon tire of me," she added with a little
laugh.

"I would not tire forever," said Ranald, as he laid her gently down
in the canoe.

"I shall send the carriage to the wharf for you," said Madame De
Lacy, "and you will come right home to me, and you, too, Miss
Raymond."

Ranald took his place in the stern with Maimie reclining in the
canoe so as to face him.

"You are sure you are comfortable," he said, with anxious solicitude
in his tone.

"Quite," she replied, with a cosy little snuggle down among the
cushions placed around her.

"Then let her go," cried Ranald, dipping in his paddle.

"Good by," cried Kate, waving her hand at them from the rock.
"We'll meet you at the wharf. Take good care of your invalid,
Ranald."

With hardly a glance at her Ranald replied: "You may be sure of
that," and with a long, swinging stroke shot the canoe out into the
river. For a moment or two Kate stood looking after them, and
then, with a weary look in her face, turned, and with the
lieutenant, followed Madame De Lacy and Mr. Sims.

"You are tired," said the lieutenant, looking into her face.

"Yes," she replied, with a little sigh, "I think I am tired."

The paddle home was all too short to Ranald, but whether it took
minutes or hours he could not have told. As in a dream he swung
his paddle and guided his canoe. He saw only the beautiful face
and the warm light in the bright eyes before him. He woke to see
Kate on the wharf before them, and for a moment he wondered how she
came there. Once more, as he bore her from the canoe to the
carriage, he felt Maimie's arms clinging about his neck and heard
her whisper, "You will not leave me, Ranald," and again he replied,
"No, I will not leave you."

Swiftly the De Lacy carriage bore them through the crooked,
climbing streets of the city and out along the country road, then
up a stately avenue of beeches, and drew up before the stone steps,
of a noble old chateau. Once more Ranald lifted Maimie in his arms
and carried her up the broad steps, and through the great oak-
paneled hall into Madame De Lacy's own cosy sitting-room, and there
he laid her safely in a snug nest of cushions prepared for her.
There was nothing more to do, but to say good by and come away, but
it was Harry that first brought this to Ranald's mind.

"Good by, Ranald," said Maimie, smiling up into his face. "I
cannot thank you for all you have done to-day, but I am sure Madame
De Lacy will let you come to see me sometimes."

"I shall be always glad to see you," said the little lady, with
gentle, old-fashioned courtesy, "for we both owe much to you this
day."

"Thank you," said Ranald, quietly, "I will come," and passed out of
the room, followed by Harry and Kate.

At the great hall door, Kate stood and watched them drive away,
waving her hand in farewell.

"Good by," cried Harry, "don't forget us in your stately palace,"
but Ranald made no reply. He had no thought for her. But still
she stood and watched the carriage till the beeches hid it from her
view, and then, with her hand pressed against her side, she turned
slowly into the hall.

As the carriage rolled down the stately avenue, Ranald sat absorbed
in deepest thought, heeding not his companion's talk.

"What's the matter with you, Ranald? What are you thinking of?" at
last cried Harry, impatiently.

"What?" answered Ranald, in strange confusion, "I cannot tell you."
Unconsciously as he spoke he put up his hand to his neck, for he
was still feeling the pressure of those clinging arms, and all the
way back the sounds of the rolling wheels and noisy, rattling
streets wrought themselves into one sweet refrain, "You will not
leave me, Ranald," and often in his heart he answered, "No, I will
not," with such a look on his face as men wear when pledging life
and honor.

CHAPTER XXI

I WILL REMEMBER

The Albert was by all odds the exclusive club in the capital city
of upper Canada, for men were loath to drop the old name. Its
members belonged to the best families, and moved in the highest
circles, and the entre was guarded by a committee of exceeding
vigilance. They had a very real appreciation of the rights and
privileges of their order, and they cherished for all who assayed
to enter the most lofty ideal. Not wealth alone could purchase
entrance within those sacred precincts unless, indeed, it were of
sufficient magnitude and distributed with judicious and unvulgar
generosity. A tinge of blue in the common red blood of humanity
commanded the most favorable consideration, but when there was
neither cerulean tinge of blood nor gilding of station the candidate
for membership in the Albert was deemed unutterable in his
presumption, and rejection absolute and final was inevitable. A
single black ball shut him out. So it came as a surprise to most
outsiders, though not to Ranald himself, when that young gentleman's
name appeared in the list of accepted members in the Albert. He had
been put up by both Raymond and St. Clair, but not even the powerful
influence of these sponsors would have availed with the members had
it not come to be known that young Macdonald was a friend of Captain
De Lacy's of Quebec, don't you know! and a sport, begad, of the
first water; for the Alberts favored athletics, and loved a true
sport almost as much as they loved a lord. They never regretted
their generous concession in this instance, for during the three
years of his membership, it was the Glengarry Macdonald that had
brought glory to their club more than any half dozen of their other
champions. In their finals with the Montrealers two years ago, it
was he, the prince of all Canadian half-backs, as every one
acknowledged, who had snatched victory from the exultant enemy in
the last quarter of an hour. Then, too, they had never ceased to be
grateful for the way in which he had delivered the name of their
club from the reproach cast upon it by the challenge long flaunted
before their aristocratic noses by the cads of the Athletic, when he
knocked out in a bout with the gloves, the chosen representative of
that ill-favored club--a professional, too, by Jove, as it leaked
out later.

True, there were those who thought him too particular, and
undoubtedly he had peculiar ideas. He never drank, never played
for money, and he never had occasion to use words in the presence
of men that would be impossible before their mothers and sisters;
and there was a quaint, old-time chivalry about him that made him a
friend of the weak and helpless, and the champion of women, not
only of those whose sheltered lives had kept them fair and pure,
but of those others as well, sad-eyed and soul-stained, the cruel
sport of lustful men. For his open scorn of their callous lust
some hated him, but all with true men's hearts loved him.

The club-rooms were filling up; the various games were in full
swing.

"Hello, little Merrill!" Young Merrill looked up from his billiards.

"Glengarry, by all the gods!" throwing down his cue, and rushing at
Ranald. "Where in this lonely universe have you been these many
months, and how are you, old chap?" Merrill was excited.

"All right, Merrill?" inquired the deep voice.

"Right, so help me--" exclaimed Merrill, solemnly, lifting up his
hand. "He's inquiring after my morals," he explained to the men
who were crowding about; "and I don't give a blank blank who knows
it," continued little Merrill, warmly, "my present magnificent
manhood," smiting himself on the breast, "I owe to that same dear
old solemnity there," pointing to Ranald.

"Shut up, Merrill, or I'll spank you," said Ranald.

"You will, eh?" cried Merrill, looking at him. "Look at him
vaunting his beastly fitness over the frail and weak. I say, men,
did you ever behold such condition! See that clear eye, that
velvety skin, that--Oh, I say! pax! pax! peccavi!"

"There," said Ranald, putting him down from the billiard-table,
"perhaps you will learn when to be seen."

"Brute," murmured little Merrill, rubbing the sore place; "but
ain't he fit?" he added, delightedly. And fit he looked. Four
years of hard work and clean living had done for him everything
that it lies in years to do. They had made of the lank, raw,
shanty lad a man, and such a man as a sculptor would have loved to
behold. Straight as a column he stood two inches over six feet,
but of such proportions that seeing him alone, one would never have
guessed his height. His head and neck rose above his square
shoulders with perfect symmetry and poise. His dark face, tanned
now to a bronze, with features clear-cut and strong, was lit by a
pair of dark brown eyes, honest, fearless, and glowing with a
slumbering fire that men would hesitate to stir to flame. The
lines of his mouth told of self-control, and the cut of his chin
proclaimed a will of iron, and altogether, he bore himself with an
air of such quiet strength and cool self-confidence that men never
feared to follow where he led. Yet there was a reserve about him
that set him a little apart from men, and a kind of shyness that
saved him from any suspicion of self-assertion. In vain he tried
to escape from the crowd that gathered about him, and more
especially from the foot-ball men, who utterly adored him.

"You can't do anything for a fellow that doesn't drink," complained
Starry Hamilton, the big captain of the foot-ball team.

"Drink! a nice captain you are, Starry," said Ranald, "and
Thanksgiving so near."

"We haven't quite shut down yet," explained the captain.

"Then I suppose a cigar is permitted," replied Ranald, ordering the
steward to bring his best. In a few minutes he called for his
mail, and excusing himself, slipped into one of the private rooms.
The manager of the Raymond & St. Clair Company and prominent
clubman, much sought after in social circles, he was bound to find
letters of importance awaiting him, but hastily shuffling the
bundle, he selected three, and put the rest in his pocket.

"So she's back," he said to himself, lifting up one in a square
envelope, addressed in large, angular writing. He turned it over
in his hand, feasting his eyes upon it, as a boy holds a peach,
prolonging the blissful anticipation. Then he opened it slowly and
read:

MY DEAR RANALD: All the way home I was hoping that on my return,
fresh from the "stately homes of England," and from association
with lords and dukes and things, you would be here to receive your
share of the luster and aroma my presence would shed (that's a
little mixed, I fear); but with a most horrible indifference to
your privileges you are away at the earth's end, no one knows
where. Father said you were to be home to-day, so though you don't
in the least deserve it, I am writing you a note of forgiveness;
and will you be sure to come to my special party to-morrow night?
I put it off till to-morrow solely on your account, and in spite of
Aunt Frank, and let me tell you that though I have seen such heaps
of nice men, and all properly dear and devoted, still I want to see
you, so you must come. Everything else will keep. Yours,

MAIMIE.

Over and over again he read the letter, till the fire in his eyes
began to gleam and his face became radiant with a tender glow.

"'Yours, Maimie,' eh? I wonder now what she means," he mused.
"Seven years and for my life I don't know yet, but to-morrow night--
yes, to-morrow night, I will know!" He placed the letter in its
envelope and put it carefully in his inside pocket. "Now for Kate,
dear old girl, no better anywhere." He opened his letter and read:

DEAR RANALD: What a lot of people will be delighted to see you
back! First, dear old Dr. Marshall, who is in despair over the
Institute, of which he declares only a melancholy ruin will be left
if you do not speedily return. Indeed, it is pretty bad. The boys
are quite terrible, and even my "angels" are becoming infected.
Your special pet, Coley, after reducing poor Mr. Locke to the verge
of nervous prostration, has "quit," and though I have sought him in
his haunts, and used my very choicest blandishments, he remains
obdurate. To my remonstrances, he finally deigned to reply: "Naw,
they ain't none of 'em any good no more; them ducks is too pious
for me." I don't know whether you will consider that a compliment
or not. So the Institute and all its people will welcome you with
acclaims of delight and sighs of relief. And some one else whom
you adore, and who adores you, will rejoice to see you. I have
begged her from Maimie for a few precious days. But that's a
secret, and last of all and least of all, there is

Your friend,

KATE.

P. S.--Of course you will be at the party to-morrow night. Maimie
looks lovelier than ever, and she will be so glad to see you.

K.

"What a trump she is," murmured Ranald; "unselfish, honest to the
core, and steady as a rock. 'Some one else whom you adore.' Who
can that be? By Jove, is it possible? I will go right up to-night."

His last letter was from Mr. St. Clair, who was the chief executive
of the firm. He glanced over it hurriedly, then with a curious
blending of surprise, perplexity, and dismay on his face, he read
it again with careful deliberation:

MY DEAR RANALD: Welcome home! We shall all be delighted to see
you. Your letter from North Bay, which reached me two days ago,
contained information that places us in rather an awkward position.
Last May, just after you left for the north, Colonel Thorp, of the
British-American Coal and Lumber Company, operating in British
Columbia and Michigan, called to see me, and made an offer of
$75,000 for our Bass River limits. Of course you know we are
rather anxious to unload, and at first I regarded his offer with
favor. Soon afterwards I received your first report, sent
apparently on your way up. I thereupon refused Colonel Thorp's
offer. Then evidently upon the strength of your report, which I
showed him, Colonel Thorp, who by the way is a very fine fellow,
but a very shrewd business man, raised his offer to an even hundred
thousand. This offer I feel inclined to accept. To tell you the
truth, we have more standing timber than we can handle, and as you
know, we are really badly crippled for ready money. It is a little
unfortunate that your last report should be so much less favorable
in regard to the east half of the limits. However, I don't suppose
there is any need of mentioning that to Colonel Thorp, especially
as his company are getting a good bargain as it is, and one which
of themselves, they could not possibly secure from the government.
I write you this note in case you should run across Colonel Thorp
in town to-morrow, and inadvertently say something that might
complicate matters. I have no doubt that we shall be able to close
the deal in a few days.

Now I want to say again how delighted we all are to have you back.
We never realized how much we were dependent upon you. Mr. Raymond
and I have been talking matters over, and we have agreed that some
changes ought to be made, which I venture to say will not be
altogether disagreeable to you. I shall see you first thing in the
morning about the matter of the limits.

Maimie has got home, and is, I believe, expecting you at her party
to-morrow night. Indeed, I understand she was determined that it
should not come off until you had returned, which shows she shares
the opinion of the firm concerning you.

I am yours sincerely,

EUGENE ST. CLAIR.

Ranald sat staring at the letter for a long time. He saw with
perfect clearness Mr. St. Clair's meaning, and a sense of keen
humiliation possessed him as he realized what it was that he was
expected to do. But it took some time for the full significance of
the situation to dawn upon him. None knew better than he how
important it was to the firm that this sale should be effected.
The truth was if the money market should become at all close the
firm would undoubtedly find themselves in serious difficulty. Ruin
to the company meant not only the blasting of his own prospects,
but misery to her whom he loved better than life; and after all,
what he was asked to do was nothing more than might be done any day
in the world of business. Every buyer is supposed to know the
value of the thing he buys, and certainly Colonel Thorp should not
commit his company to a deal involving such a large sum of money
without thoroughly informing himself in regard to the value of the
limits in question, and when he, as an employee of the Raymond and
St. Clair Lumber Company, gave in his report, surely his
responsibility ceased. He was not asked to present any incorrect
report; he could easily make it convenient to be absent until the
deal was closed. Furthermore, the chances were that the British-
American Coal and Lumber Company would still have good value for
their money, for the west half of the limits was exceptionally
good; and besides, what right had he to besmirch the honor of his
employer, and to set his judgment above that of a man of much
greater experience? Ranald understood also Mr. St. Clair's
reference to the changes in the firm, and it gave him no small
satisfaction to think that in four years he had risen from the
position of lumber checker to that of manager, with an offer of a
partnership; nor could he mistake the suggestion in Mr. St. Clair's
closing words. Every interest he had in life would be furthered by
the consummation of the deal, and would be imperiled by his
refusing to adopt Mr. St. Clair's suggestion. Still, argue as he
might, Ranald never had any doubt as to what, as a man of honor, he
ought to do. Colonel Thorp was entitled to the information that he
and Mr. St. Clair alone possessed. Between his interests and his
conscience the conflict raged.

"I wish I knew what I ought to do," he groaned, all the time
battling against the conviction that the information he possessed
should by rights be given to Colonel Thorp. Finally, in despair of
coming to a decision, he seized his hat, saying, "I will go and see
Kate," and slipping out of a side door, he set off for the Raymond
home. "I will just look up Coley on the way," he said to himself,
and diving down an alley, he entered a low saloon with a billiard
hall attached. There, as he had expected, acting as marker, he
found Coley.

Mike Cole, or Coley, as his devoted followers called him, was king
of St. Joseph's ward. Everywhere in the ward his word ran as law.
About two years ago Coley had deigned to favor the Institute with a
visit, his gang following him. They were welcomed with
demonstrations of joy, and regaled with cakes and tea, all of which
Coley accepted with lordly condescension. After consideration,
Coley decided that the night classes might afford a not unpleasant
alternative on cold nights, to alley-ways and saloons, and he
allowed the gang to join. Thenceforth the successful conduct of
the classes depended upon the ability of the superintendent to
anticipate Coley's varying moods and inclinations, for that young
man claimed and exercised the privilege of introducing features
agreeable to the gang, though not necessarily upon the regular
curriculum of study. Some time after Ranald's appearance in the
Institute as an assistant, it happened one night that a sudden
illness of the superintendent laid upon his shoulders the
responsibility of government. The same night it also happened that
Coley saw fit to introduce the enlivening but quite impromptu
feature of a song and dance. To this Ranald objected, and was
invited to put the gang out if he was man enough. After the ladies
had withdrawn beyond the reach of missiles, Ranald adopted the
unusual tactics of preventing exit by locking the doors, and then
immediately became involved in a discussion with Coley and his
followers. It cost the Institute something for furniture and
windows, but thenceforth in Ranald's time there was peace. Coley
ruled as before, but his sphere of influence was limited, and the
day arrived when it became the ambition of Coley's life to bring
the ward and its denizens into subjection to his own over-lord,
whom he was prepared to follow to the death. But like any other
work worth doing, this took days and weeks and months.

"Hello, Coley!" said Ranald, as his eyes fell upon his sometime
ally and slave. "If you are not too busy I would like you to go
along with me."

Coley looked around as if seeking escape.

"Come along," said Ranald, quietly, and Coley, knowing that
anything but obedience was impossible, dropped his marking and
followed Ranald out of the saloon.

"Well, Coley, I have had a great summer," began Ranald, "and I wish
very much you could have been with me. It would have built you up
and made a man of you. Just feel that," and he held out his arm,
which Coley felt with admiring reverence. "That's what the canoe
did," and then he proceeded to give a graphic account of his varied
adventures by land and water during the last six months. As they
neared Mr. Raymond's house, Ranald turned to Coley and said: "Now
I want you to cut back to the Institute and tell Mr. Locke, if he
is there, that I would like him to call around at my office to-
morrow. And furthermore, Coley, there's no need of your going back
into that saloon. I was a little ashamed to see one of my friends
in a place like that. Now, good night, and be a man, and a clean
man."

Coley stood with his head hung in abject self-abasement, and then
ventured to say, "I couldn't stand them ducks nohow!"

"Who do you mean?" said Ranald.

"Oh, them fellers that runs the Institute now, and so I cut."

"Now look here, Coley," said Ranald, "I wouldn't go throwing stones
at better men than yourself, and especially at men who are trying
to do something to help other people and are not so beastly mean as
to think only of their own pleasure. I didn't expect that of you,
Coley. Now quit it and start again," and Ranald turned away.

Coley stood looking after him for a few moments in silence, and
then said to himself, in a voice full of emphasis: "Well, there's
just one of his kind and there ain't any other." Then he set out
at a run for the Institute.

It was Kate herself who came to answer Ranald's ring.

"I knew it was you," she cried, with her hand eagerly outstretched
and her face alight with joy. "Come in, we are all waiting for
you, and prepare to be surprised." When they came to the drawing-
room she flung open the door and with great ceremony announced "The
man from Glengarry, as Harry would say."

"Hello, old chap!" cried Harry, springing to his feet, but Ranald
ignored him. He greeted Kate's mother warmly for she had shown him
a mother's kindness ever since he had come to the city, and they
were great friends, and then he turned to Mrs. Murray, who was
standing waiting for him, and gave her both his hands.

"I knew from Kate's letter," he said, "that it would be you, and I
cannot tell you how glad I am." His voice grew a little unsteady
and he could say no more. Mrs. Murray stood holding his hands and
looking into his face.

"It cannot be possible," she said, "that this is Ranald Macdonald!
How changed you are!" She pushed him a little back from her. "Let
me look at you; why, I must say it, you are really handsome!"

"Now, auntie," cried Harry, reprovingly, "don't flatter him. He
is utterly ruined now by every one, including both Kate and her
mother."

"But really, Harry," continued Mrs. Murray, in a voice of delighted
surprise, "it is certainly wonderful; and I am so glad! And I have
been hearing about your work with the boys at the Institute, and I
cannot tell you the joy it gave me."

"Oh, it is not much that I have done," said Ranald, deprecatingly.

"Indeed, it is a noble work and worthy of any man," said Mrs.
Murray, earnestly, "and I thank God for you."

"Then," said Ranald, firmly, "I owe it all to yourself, for it is
you that set me on this way."

"Listen to them admiring each other! It is quite shameless," said
Harry.

Then they began talking about Glengarry, of the old familiar
places, of the woods and the fields, of the boys and girls now
growing into men and women, and of the old people, some of whom
were passed away. Before long they were talking of the church and
all the varied interests centering in it, but soon they went back
to the theme that Glengarry people everywhere are never long
together without discussing--the great revival. Harry had heard a
good deal about it before, but to Kate and her mother the story was
mostly new, and they listened with eager interest as Mrs. Murray
and Ranald recalled those great days. With eyes shining, and in
tones of humble, grateful wonder they reminded each other of the
various incidents, the terrors, the struggles, the joyful surprises,
the mysterious powers with which they were so familiar during those
eighteen months. Then Mrs. Murray told of the permanent results;
how over three counties the influence of the movement was still
felt, and how whole congregations had been built up under its
wonderful power.

"And did you hear," she said to Ranald, "that Donald Stewart was
ordained last May?"

"No," replied Ranald; "that makes seven, doesn't it?"

"Seven what?" said Kate.

"Seven men preaching the Gospel to-day out of our own congregation,"
replied Mrs. Murray.

"But, auntie," cried Harry, "I have always thought that all that
must have been awfully hard work."

"It was," said Ranald, emphatically; and he went on to sketch Mrs.
Murray's round of duties in her various classes and meetings
connected with the congregation.

"Besides what she has to do in the manse!" exclaimed Harry; "but
it's a mere trifle, of course, to look after her troop of boys."

"How can you do it?" said Kate, gazing at her in admiring wonder.

"It isn't so terrible as Harry thinks. That's my work, you see,
said Mrs. Murray; "what else would I do? And when it goes well it
is worth while."

"But, auntie, don't you feel sometimes like getting away and having
a little fun? Own up, now."

"Fun?" laughed Mrs. Murray.

"Well, not fun exactly, but a good time with things you enjoy so
much, music, literature, and that sort of thing. Do you remember,
Kate, the first time you met auntie, when we took her to Hamlet?"

Kate nodded.

"She wasn't quite sure about it, but I declare till I die I will
never forget the wonder and the delight in her face. I tell you I
wept that night, but not at the play. And how she criticised the
actors; even Booth himself didn't escape," continued Harry; "and so
I say it's a beastly shame that you should spend your whole life in
the backwoods there and have so little of the other sort of thing.
Why you are made for it!"

"Harry," answered Mrs. Murray, in surprise, "that was my work,
given me to do. Could I refuse it? And besides after all, fun, as
you say, passes; music stops; books get done with; but those other
things, the things that Ranald and I have seen, will go on long
after my poor body is laid away."

"But still you must get tired," persisted Harry.

"Yes, I get tired," she replied, quietly. At the little touch of
weariness in the voice, Kate, who was looking at the beautiful
face, so spiritual, and getting, oh, so frail, felt a sudden rush
of tears in her eyes. But there was no self-pity in that heroic
soul. "Yes, I get tired," she repeated, "but, Harry, what does
that matter? We do our work and then we will rest. But oh, Harry,
my boy, when I come to your city and see all there is to do, I wish
I were a girl again, and I wonder at people thinking life is just
for fun."

Harry, like other young men, hated to be lectured, but from his
aunt he never took anything amiss. He admired her for her
brilliant qualities, and loved her with a love near to worship.

"I say, auntie," he said, with a little uncertain laugh, "it's like
going to church to hear you, only it's a deal more pleasant."

"But, Harry, am I not right?" she replied, earnestly. "Do you
think that you will get the best out of your life by just having
fun? Oh, do you know when I went with Kate to the Institute the
other night and saw those boys my heart ached. I thought of my own
boys, and--" The voice ceased in a pathetic little catch, the
sensitive lips trembled, the beautiful gray-brown eyes filled with
sudden tears. For a few moments there was silence; then, with a
wavering smile, and a gentle, apologetic air, she said: "But I
must not make Harry think he is in church."

"Dear Aunt Murray," cried Harry, "do lecture me. I'd enjoy it, and
you can't make it too strong. You are just an angel." He left his
seat, and going over to her chair, knelt down and put his arms
about her.

"Don't you all wish she was your aunt?" he said, kissing her.

"She IS mine," cried Kate, smiling at her through shining tears.

"She's more," said Ranald, and his voice was husky with emotion.

But with the bright, joyous little laugh Ranald knew so well, she
smoothed back Harry's hair, and kissing him on the forehead, said:
"I am sure you will do good work some day. But I shall be quite
spoiled here; I must really get home."

As Ranald left the Raymond house he knew well what he should say to
Mr. St. Clair next morning. He wondered at himself that he had
ever been in doubt. He had been for an hour in another world where
the atmosphere was pure and the light clear. Never till that night
had he realized the full value of that life of patient self-
sacrifice, so unconscious of its heroism. He understood then, as
never before, the mysterious influence of that gentle, sweet-faced
lady over every one who came to know her, from the simple,
uncultured girls of the Indian Lands to the young men about town of
Harry's type. Hers was the power of one who sees with open eyes
the unseen, and who loves to the forgetting of self those for whom
the Infinite love poured Itself out in death.

"Going home, Harry?" inquired Ranald.

"Yes, right home; don't want to go anywhere else to-night. I say,
old chap, you're a better and cleaner man than I am, but it ain't
your fault. That woman ought to make a saint out of any man."

"Man, you would say so if you knew her," said Ranald, with a touch
of impatience; "but then no one does know her. They certainly
don't down in the Indian Lands, for they don't know what she's
given up."

"That's the beauty of it," replied Harry; "she doesn't feel it that
way. Given up? not she! She thinks she's got everything that's
good!"

"Well," said Ranald, thoughtfully, after a pause, "she knows, and
she's right."

When they came to Harry's door Ranald lingered just a moment.
"Come in a minute," said Harry.

"I don't know; I'm coming in to-morrow."

"Oh, come along just now. Aunt Frank is in bed, but Maimie will be
up," said Harry, dragging him along to the door.

"No, I think not to-night." While they were talking the door
opened and Maimie appeared.

"Ranald," she cried, in an eager voice, "I knew you would be at
Kate's, and I was pretty sure you would come home with Harry.
Aren't you coming in?"

"Where's Aunt Frank?" asked Harry.

"She's upstairs," said Maimie.

"Thank the Lord, eh?" added Harry, pushing in past her.

"Go away in and talk to her," said Maimie. Then turning to Ranald
and looking into his devouring eyes, she said, "Well? You might
say you're glad to see me." She stood where the full light of the
doorway revealed the perfect beauty of her face and figure.

"Glad to see you! There is no need of saying that," replied Ranald,
still gazing at her.

"How beautiful you are, Maimie," he added, bluntly.

"Thank you, and you are really quite passable."

"And I AM glad to see you."

"That's why you won't come in."

"I am coming to-morrow night."

"Everybody will be here to-morrow night."

"Yes, that's certainly a drawback."

"And I shall be very busy looking after my guests. Still," she
added, noticing the disappointment in his face, "it's quite
possible--"

"Exactly," his face lighting up again.

"Have you seen father's study?" asked Maimie, innocently.

"No," replied Ranald, wonderingly. "Is it so beautiful?"

"No, but it's upstairs, and--quiet."

"Well?" said Ranald.

"And perhaps you might like to see it to-morrow night."

"How stupid I am. Will you show it to me?"

"I will be busy, but perhaps Harry--"

"Will you?" said Ranald, coming close to her, with the old
imperative in his voice.

Maimie drew back a little.

"Do you know what you make me think of?" she asked, lowering her
voice.

"Yes, I do. I have thought of it every night since."

"You were very rude, I remember."

"You didn't think so then," said Ranald, boldly.

"I ought to have been very angry," replied Maimie, severely.

"But you weren't, you know you weren't; and do you remember what
you said?"

"What I said? How awful of you; don't you dare! How can I
remember?"

"Yes, you do remember, and then do you remember what _I_ said?"

"What YOU said indeed! Such assurance!"

"I have kept my word," said Ranald, "and I am coming to-morrow
night. Oh, Maimie, it has been a long, long time." He came close
to her and caught her hand, the slumbering fire in his eyes blazing
now in flame.

"Don't, don't, I'm sure there's Aunt Frank. No, no," she pleaded,
in terror, "not to-night, Ranald!"

"Then will you show me the study to-morrow night?"

"Oh, you are very mean. Let me go!"

"Will you?" he demanded, still holding her hand.

"Yes, yes, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. My hand is quite
sore. There, now, good night. No, I won't shake hands! Well,
then, if you must have it, good night."

CHAPTER XXII

FORGET THAT I LOVED YOU

"The night for dreaming, but the morn for seeing." And so Ranald
found it; for with the cold, calm light of the morning, he found
himself facing his battle with small sense of victory in his blood.
He knew he had to deal that morning with the crisis of his life.
Upon the issue his whole future would turn, but his heart without
haste or pause preserved its even beat. The hour of indecision had
passed. He saw his way and he meant to walk it. What was beyond
the turn was hid from his eyes, but with that he need not concern
himself now. Meantime he would clear away some of this accumulated
correspondence lying on his desk. In the midst of his work Harry
came in and laid a bundle of bills before him.

"Here you are, old chap," he said, quietly. "That's the last of
it."

Ranald counted the money.

"You are sure you can spare all this? There is no hurry, you know."

"No," said Harry, "I can't spare it, but it's safer with you than
with me, and besides, it's yours. And I owe you more than money."
He drew a deep breath to steady himself, and then went on: "And I
want to say, Ranald, that I have bet my last stake."

Ranald pushed back his chair and rose to his feet.

"Now that's the best thing I've heard for some time," he said,
offering Harry his hand; "and that's the last of that business."

He sat down, drew in his chair, and turning over his papers with a
nervousness that he rarely showed, he continued: "And, Harry, I
want you to do something for me. Before you go home this afternoon,
will you come in here? I may want to send a note to Maimie by you."

"But--" began Harry.

"Wait a moment. I want to prevent all possibility of mistake.
There may be a reply, and Harry, old chap, I'd rather not answer
any questions."

Harry gazed at him a moment in perplexity. "All right, Ranald," he
said, quietly, "you can trust me. I haven't the ghost of an idea
what's up, but I know you're square."

"Thanks, old fellow," said Ranald, "I will never give you reason to
change your opinion. Now get out; I'm awfully busy."

For some minutes after Harry had left the room Ranald sat gazing
before him into space.

"Poor chap, he's got his fight, too, but I begin to think he'll
win," he said to himself, and once more returned to his work. He
had hardly begun his writing when the inner door of his office
opened and Mr. St. Clair came in. His welcome was kindly and
cordial, and Ranald's heart, which had been under strong discipline
all morning, leaped up in warm response.

"You had a pleasant trip, I hope?" inquired Mr. St. Clair.

"Fine most of the way. Through May and June the flies were bad,
but not so bad as usual, they said, and one gets used to them."

"Good sport?"

"Never saw anything like it. What a country that is!" cried
Ranald, his enthusiasm carrying him away. "Fishing of all kinds
and superb. In those little lonely lakes you get the finest black
and white bass, beauties and so gamy. In the bigger waters,
maskalonge and, of course, any amount of pike and pickerel. Then
we were always running up against deer, moose and red, and everywhere
we got the scent of bear. Could have loaded a boat with furs in
a week."

"We must go up some day," replied Mr. St. Clair. "Wish I could get
away this fall, but the fact is we are in shallow water, Ranald,
and we can't take any chances."

Ranald knew well how serious the situation was. "But," continued
Mr. St. Clair, "this offer of the British-American Lumber and Coal
Company is most fortunate, and will be the saving of us. With one
hundred thousand set free we are certain to pull through this
season, and indeed, the financial stringency will rather help than
hinder our operations. Really it is most fortunate. Indeed," he
added, with a slight laugh, "as my sister-in-law would say, quite
providential!"

"I have no doubt of that," said Ranald, gravely; "but, Mr. St.
Clair--"

"Yes, no doubt, no doubt," said Mr. St. Clair, hastening to recover
the tone, which by his unfortunate reference to Mrs. Murray, he had
lost. The thought of her was not in perfect harmony with purely
commercial considerations. "The fact is," he continued, "that
before this offer came I was really beginning to despair. I can
tell you that now."

Ranald felt his heart tighten.

"One does not mind for one's self, but when family interests are
involved--but that's all over now, thank God!"

Ranald tried to speak, but his mind refused to suggest words. His
silence, however, was enough for Mr. St. Clair, who, with nervous
haste once more changed the theme. "In my note to you last night--
you got it, I suppose--I referred to some changes in the firm. "

Ranald felt that he was being crowded against the ropes. He must
get to freer fighting ground. "I think before you go on to that,
Mr. St. Clair," he began, "I ought to--"

"Excuse me, I was about to say," interrupted Mr. St. Clair,
hastily, "Mr. Raymond and I have felt that we must strengthen our
executive. As you know, he has left this department almost
entirely to me, and he now realizes what I have long felt, that the
burden has grown too heavy for one to carry. Naturally we think of
you, and I may say we are more than glad, though it is a very
unusual thing in the business world, that we can, with the fullest
confidence, offer you a partnership." Mr. St. Clair paused to
allow the full weight of this announcement to sink into his
manager's mind.

Then Ranald pulled himself together. He must break free or the
fight would be lost before he had struck a blow.

"I need not say," he began once more, "how greatly gratified I am
by this offer, and I feel sure you will believe that I am deeply
grateful." Ranald's voice was low and even, but unknown to himself
there was in it a tone of stern resolve that struck Mr. St. Clair's
ear. He knew his manager. That tone meant war. Hastily he
changed his front.

"Yes, yes, we are quite sure of that," he said, with increasing
nervousness, "but we are thinking of our own interests as well as
yours. Indeed, I feel sure"--here his voice became even more
kindly and confidential--"that in advancing your position and
prospects we are--I am only doing what will bring myself the
greatest satisfaction in the end, for you know, Ranald, I--we do
not regard you as a stranger." Ranald winced and grew pale. "We--
my family--have always felt toward you as--well, in fact, as if you
were one of us."

Mr. St. Clair had delivered his last and deadliest blow and it
found Ranald's heart, but with pain blanching his cheek Ranald
stood up determined to end the fight. It was by no means easy for
him to strike. Before him he saw not this man with his ingenious
and specious pleading--it would not have been a difficult matter to
have brushed him aside--but he was looking into the blue eyes of
the woman he had for seven years loved more than he loved his life,
and he knew that when his blow fell it would fall upon the face
that, only a few hours ago, had smiled upon him, and upon the lips
that had whispered to him, "I will remember, Ranald." Yet he was
none the less resolved. With face set and bloodless, and eyes of
gleaming fire, he faced the man that represented what was at once
dearest in life and what was most loathsome in conduct.

"Give me a moment, Mr. St. Clair," he said, with a note of
authority in his tone. "You have made me an offer of a position
such as I could hardly hope to expect for years to come, but I
value it chiefly because it means you have absolute confidence in
me; you believe in my ability and in my integrity. I am determined
that you will never have cause to change your opinion of me. You
are about to complete a deal involving a very large sum of money.
I have a report here," tapping his desk, "which you have not yet
seen."

"It really doesn't matter!" interjected Mr. St. Clair; "you see, my
dear fellow--"

"It matters to me. It is a report which not only you ought to
have, but which, in justice, the buyer of the Bass River Limits
ought to see. That report, Mr. St. Clair, ought to be given to
Colonel Thorp."

"This is sheer folly," exclaimed Mr. St. Clair, impatiently.

"It is the only honorable course."

"Do you mean to insult me, sir?"

"There is only one other thing I would rather not do," said Ranald,
in a grave voice, "and that is refuse Colonel Thorp the information
he is entitled to from us."

"Sir!" exclaimed Mr. St. Clair, "this is outrageous, and I demand
an apology or your resignation!"

"Colonel Thorp," announced a clerk, opening the door.

"Tell Colonel Thorp I cannot--ah, Colonel Thorp, I am glad to see
you. Will you step this way?" opening the door leading to his own
office.

The colonel, a tall, raw-boned, typical "Uncle Sam," even to the
chin whisker and quid of tobacco, had an eye like an eagle. He
shot a keen glance at Mr. St. Clair and then at Ranald.

"Yes," he said, helping himself to a chair, "this here's all right.
This is your manager, eh?"

"Mr. Macdonald," said Mr. St. Clair, introducing him.

"How do you do? Heard about you some," said the colonel, shaking
hands with him. "Quite a knocker, I believe. Well, you rather
look like it. Used to do some myself. Been up north, so the boss
says. Good country, eh?"

"Fine sporting country, Colonel," interrupted St. Clair. "The
game, Mr. Macdonald says, come right into your tent and bed to be
shot."

"Do, eh?" The colonel's eagle eye lighted up. "Now, what sort of
game?"

"Almost every kind, Colonel," replied Ranald.

"Don't say! Used to do a little myself. Moose?"

"Yes, I saw a number of moose and any amount of other deer and, of
course, plenty of bear."

"Don't say! How'd you come to leave them? Couldn't have done it
myself, by the great Sam! Open timber?"

"Well," replied Ranald, slowly, "on the east of the Bass River--"

"All that north country, Colonel," said Mr. St. Clair, "is pretty
much the same, I imagine; a little of all kinds."

"Much water, streams, and such?"

"Yes, on the west side of the Bass there is plenty of water, a
number of small streams and lakes, but--"

"Oh, all through that north country, Colonel, you are safe in
having a canoe in your outfit," said Mr. St. Clair, again
interrupting Ranald.

"Lots of water, eh? Just like Maine, ha, ha!" The colonel's quiet
chuckle was good to hear.

"Reminds me"--here he put his hand into his inside pocket and
pulled out a flask, "excuse the glass," he said, offering it to Mr.
St. Clair, who took a slight sip and handed it back.

"Have a little refreshment," said the colonel, offering it to
Ranald.

"I never take it, thank you."

"Don't? Say, by the great Sam, how'd you get through all that wet
country? Wall, it will not hurt you to leave it alone," solemnly
winking at St. Clair, and taking a long pull himself. "Good for
the breath," he continued, putting the flask in his pocket. "Now,
about those limits of mine, the boss here has been telling you
about our deal?"

"A little," said Ranald.

"We've hardly had time to look into anything yet," said Mr. St.
Clair; "but if you will step into my office, Colonel, I have the
papers and maps there." Mr. St. Clair's tone was anxious. Once
more the colonel shot a glance at him.

"You have been on the spot, I judge," he said to Ranald, rising and
following Mr. St. Clair.

"Yes, over it all."

"Wall, come along, you're the map we want, eh? Maps are chiefly
for purposes of deception, I have found, ha, ha! and there ain't
none of 'em right," and he held the door for Ranald to enter.

Mr. St. Clair was evidently annoyed. Unfolding a map he laid it
out on the table. "This is the place, I believe," he said, putting
his finger down upon the map.

"Ain't surveyed, I judge," said the colonel to Ranald.

"No, only in part; the old Salter lines are there, but I had to go
away beyond these."

"Warn't 'fraid of gettin' lost, eh? Ha, ha! Wall show us your
route."

Ranald put his finger on the map, and said: "I struck the Bass
River about here, and using that as a base, first explored the
whole west side, for, I should say, about ten miles back from the
river."

"Don't say! How'd you grub? Game mostly?"

"Well, we carried some pork and Hudson Bay hard tack and tea, and
of course, we could get all the fish and game we wanted."

"Lots of game, eh? Small and big?" The colonel was evidently much
interested in this part of Ranald's story. "By the great Sam, must
go up there!"

"It would do you all the good in the world, Colonel," said Mr. St.
Clair, heartily. "You must really go up with your men and help
them lay out the ground, you know."

"That's so! Now if you were lumbering in there, how'd you get the
timber out?"

"Down the Bass River to Lake Nipissing," said Ranald, pointing out
the route.

"Yes, but how'd you get it to the Bass? These limits, I understand,
lie on both sides of the Bass, don't they?"

"Yes."

"And the Bass cuts through it the short way?"

"Yes."

"Wall, does that mean six or eight or ten miles of a haul?"

"On the west side," replied Ranald, "no. There are a number of
small streams and lakes which you could utilize."

"And on the east side?"

"You see, Colonel," broke in Mr. St. Clair, "that whole country is
one net-work of water-ways. Notice the map here; and there are
always a number of lakes not marked."

"That is quite true," said Ranald, "as a rule; but on the east
side--"

"Oh, of course," said Mr. St. Clair, hastily, "you will find great
differences in different parts of the country."

Mr. St. Clair folded up the map and threw it on the table.

"Let's see," said the colonel, taking up the map again. "Now how
about the camps, Mr. Macdonald, where do you locate them?"

"I have a rough draught here in which the bases for camps are
indicated," said Ranald, ignoring the imploring and angry looks of
his chief.

"Let's have a look at 'em," said the colonel.

"Oh, you haven't shown me this," said Mr. St. Clair, taking the
draught from Ranald.

"No, sir, you have not seen my final report."

"No, not yet, of course. We have hardly had time yet, Colonel, but
Mr. Macdonald will make a copy of this for you and send it in a day
or two," replied Mr. St. Clair, folding up the sketch, nervously,
and placing it on his desk. The colonel quietly picked up the
sketch and opened it out.

"You have got that last report of yours, I suppose," he said, with
a swift glance at Mr. St. Clair. That gentleman's face was pallid
and damp; his whole fortune hung on Ranald's reply. It was to him
a moment of agony.

Ranald glanced at his face, and paused. Then drawing his lips a
little tighter, he said: "Colonel Thorp, my final report has not
yet been handed in. Mr. St. Clair has not seen it. In my
judgment--" here Mr. St. Clair leaned his hand hard upon his desk--
"you are getting full value for your money, but I would suggest
that you go yourself or send your inspector to explore the limits
carefully before you complete the deal."

Colonel Thorp, who had been carefully scanning the sketch in his
hand, suddenly turned and looked Ranald steadily in the eye.
"These marks on the west side mean camps?"

"Yes."

"There are very few on the east side?"

"There are very few; the east side is inferior to the west."

"Much?"

"Yes, much inferior."

"But in your opinion the limit is worth the figure?"

"I would undertake to make money out of it; it is good value."

The colonel chewed hard for a minute, then turning to Mr. St.
Clair, he said: "Wall, Mr. St. Clair, I'll give you one hundred
thousand for your limit; but by the great Sam, I'd give twice the
sum for your manager, if he's for sale! He's a man!" The emphasis
on the he was ever so slight, but it was enough. Mr. St. Clair
bowed, and sinking down into his chair, busied himself with his
papers.

"Wall," said the colonel, "that's settled; and that reminds me," he
added, pulling out his flask, "good luck to the Bass River Limits!"

He handed the flask to Mr. St. Clair, who eagerly seized it and
took a long drink.

"Goes good sometimes," said the colonel, innocently. "Wall, here's
lookin' at you," he continued, bowing toward Ranald; "and by the
great Sam, you suit me well! If you ever feel like a change of
air, indicate the same to Colonel Thorp."

"Ah, Colonel," said Mr. St. Clair, who had recovered his easy,
pleasant manner, "we can sell limits but not men."

"No, by the great Sammy," replied the colonel, using the more
emphatic form of his oath, "ner buy 'em! Wall," he added, "when
you have the papers ready, let me know. Good day!"

"Very good, Colonel, good by, good by!"

The colonel did not notice Mr. St. Clair's offered hand, but
nodding to Ranald, sauntered out of the office, leaving the two men
alone. For a few moments Mr. St. Clair turned over his papers in
silence. His face was flushed and smiling.

"Well, that is a most happy deliverance, Ranald," he said, rubbing
his hands. "But what is the matter? You are not well."

White to the lips, Ranald stood looking at his chief with a
resolved face.

"Mr. St. Clair, I wish to offer you my resignation as manager."

"Nonsense, Ranald, we will say no more about that. I was a little
hasty. I hope the change I spoke of will go into immediate effect."

"I must beg to decline." The words came slowly, sternly from
Ranald's white lips.

"And why, pray?"

"I have little doubt you can discover the reason, Mr. St. Clair.
A few moments ago, for honorable dealing, you would have dismissed
me. It is impossible that I should remain in your employ."

"Mr. Macdonald, are you serious in this? Do you know what you are
doing? Do you know what you are saying?" Mr. St. Clair rose and
faced his manager.

"Only too well," said Ranald, with lips that began to quiver, "and
all the more because of what I must say further. Mr. St. Clair, I
love your daughter. I have loved her for seven years. It is my
one desire in life to gain her for my wife."

Mr. St. Clair gazed at him in utter astonishment.

"And in the same breath," he said at length, "you insult me and ask
my permission."

"It is vain to ask your permission, I fear, but it is right that
you should know my desire and my purpose."

"Your purpose?"

"My unalterable purpose."

"You take my daughter out of my house in--in spite of my teeth?"
Mr. St. Clair could hardly find words.

"She will come with me," said Ranald, a little proudly.

"And may I ask how you know? Have you spoken to my daughter?"

"I have not spoken to her openly." The blood rose in his dark
face. "But I believe she loves me."

"Well, Mr. Macdonald, your confidence is only paralleled by your
prodigious insolence."

"I hope not," said Ranald, lowering his head from its proud pose.
"I have no desire to be insolent."

Once more Mr. St. Clair looked at him in silence. Then slowly and
with quiet emphasis, he said: "Mr. Macdonald, you are a determined
man, but as God lives, this purpose of yours you will never carry
out. I know my daughter, I think, better than you know her, and I
tell you," here a slight smile of confidence played for a moment on
his face, "she will never be your wife."

Ranald bowed his head.

"It shall be as she wills," he said, in a grave, almost sad, voice.
"She shall decide," and he passed into his office.

All day long Ranald toiled at his desk, leaving himself no time for
thought. In the late afternoon Harry came in on his way home.

"Thanks, old chap," said Ranald, looking up from his work; "sha'n't
be able to come to-night, I am sorry to say."

"Not come?" cried Harry.

"No, it is impossible."

"What rot, and Maimie has waited ten days for you. Come along!"

"It is quite impossible, Harry," said Ranald, "and I want you to
take this note to Maimie. The note will explain to her."

"But, Ranald, this is--"

"And, Harry, I want to tell you that this is my last day here."

Harry gazed at him speechless.

"Mr. St. Clair and I have had a difference that can never be made
right, and to-night I leave the office for good."

"Leave the office for good? Going to leave us? What the deuce can
the office do without you? And what does it all mean? Come,
Ranald, don't be such a confounded sphynx! Why do you talk such
rubbish?"

"It is true," said Ranald, "though I can hardly realize it myself;
it is absolutely and finally settled; and I say, old man, don't
make it harder for me. You don't know what it means to me to leave
this place, and--you, and--all!" In spite of his splendid nerve
Ranald's voice shook a little. Harry gazed at him in amazement.

"I will give your note to Maimie," he said, "but you will be back
here if I know myself. I'll see father about this."

"Now, Harry," said Ranald, rising and putting his hand on his
shoulder, "you are not going to mix up in this at all; and for my
sake, old chap, don't make any row at home. Promise me," said
Ranald again holding him fast.

"Well, I promise," said Harry, reluctantly, "but I'll be hanged if
I understand it at all; and I tell you this, that if you don't come
back here, neither shall I."

"Now you are talking rot, Harry," said Ranald, and sat down again
to his desk. Harry went out in a state of dazed astonishment.
Alone Ranald sat in his office writing steadily except that now and
then he paused to let a smile flutter across his stern, set face,
as a gleam of sunshine over a rugged rock on a cloudy day. He was
listening to his heart, whose every beat kept singing the refrain,
"I love her, I love her; she will come to me!"

At that very moment Maimie was showing her Aunt Murray her London
dresses and finery, and recounting her triumphs in that land of
social glory.

"How lovely, how wonderfully lovely they are," said Mrs. Murray,
touching the beautiful fabrics with fond fingers; "and I am sure
they will suit you well, my dear. Have you worn most of them?"

"No, not all. This one I wore the evening I went with the Lord
Archers to the Heathcote's ball. Lord Heathcote, you know, is an
uncle of Captain De Lacy."

"Was Captain De Lacy there?" inquired Mrs. Murray.

"Yes, indeed," cried Maimie, "and we had a lovely time!" either the
memory of that evening brought the warm blushes to her face, or it
may be the thought of what she was about to tell her aunt; "and
Captain De Lacy is coming to-morrow."

"Coming to-morrow?"

"Yes, he has written to Aunt Frank, and to papa as well."

Mrs. Murray sat silent, apparently not knowing what to say, and
Maimie stood with the dress in her hands waiting for her aunt to
speak. At length Mrs. Murray said: "You knew Captain De Lacy
before, I think."

"Oh, I have known him for a long time, and he's just splendid,
auntie, and he's coming to--" Maimie paused, but her face told her
secret.

"Do you mean he is going to speak to your father about you,
Maimie?" Maimie nodded. "And are you glad?"

"He's very handsome, auntie, and very nice, and he's awfully well
connected, and that sort of thing, and when Lord Heathcote dies he
has a good chance of the estates and the title."

"Do you love him, Maimie?" asked her aunt, quietly.

Maimie dropped the dress, and sitting down upon a low stool, turned
her face from her aunt, and looked out of the window.

"Oh, I suppose so, auntie," she said. "He's very nice and
gentlemanly and I like to be with him--"

"But, Maimie, dear, are you not sure that you love him?"

"Oh, I don't know," said Maimie, petulantly. "Are you not pleased,
auntie?"

"Well, I confess I am surprised. I do not know Captain De Lacy,
and besides I thought it was--I thought you--" Mrs. Murray paused,
while Maimie's face grew hot with fiery blushes, but before she
could reply they heard Harry's step on the stairs, and in a moment
he burst into the room.

"Ranald isn't coming!" he exclaimed. "Here's a note for you,
Maimie. But what the--but what he means," said Harry, checking
himself, "I can't make out."

"Not coming?" cried Maimie, the flush fading from her face. "What
can he mean?" She opened the note, and as she read the blood
rushed quickly into her face again, and as quickly fled, leaving
her pale and trembling.

"Well, what does he say?" inquired Harry, bluntly.

"He says it is impossible for him to come tonight," said Maimie,
putting the note into her bosom.

"Huh!" grunted Harry, and flung out of the room.

Immediately Maimie pulled out the note.

"Oh, auntie," she cried, "I am so miserable; Ranald is not coming
and he says--there read it." She hurriedly thrust the note into

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