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  • 1899
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Wainwright apologetically retired to their own quarters. The minister and the students made clouds of smoke, through which sang the eloquent descriptions of late adventures.

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

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

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

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

” But who is the woman ?

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

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

” That’s it. And so she asked you where he was?

” Yes.”

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

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

” No. We only beard it-“

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

” Oh, I don’t know. How is one going to tell what the truth is ? “

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

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

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

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

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

” Harrison! ” she called. ” Where are you going? “

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

“Where are you going?” she demanded with increasing trepidation.

He dropped heavily into a chair. “Going?” he repeated.

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

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

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

“Yes,” he said, “about Marjory.”

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

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

” Then think of yourself! Think of the shame of it! The shame of it ! “

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” I am going to do it,” he answered.

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

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

CHAPTER XXVIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

” Mr. Coleman ! “

“Yes, sir.”

” I–“

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

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

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

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

” Perhaps they can’t find anything very bad about us.”

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

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

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

“Yes, sir,” answered Coleman promptly and gently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” You love her ? ” repeated the professor.

” I love her,” repeated Coleman.

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

” Good-night, sir,” said Coleman. ” And I can’t tell, you, now-“

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

” Well ? ” cried Mrs. Wainwright, starting up. ” Well ? “

” Well-what ? ” he asked.

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

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

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

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

“I Arranged it,”‘ wailed Mrs. Wainwright. ” Arranged what? “

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

” Arranged what? “

” Why, I fixed-I fixed it up.”

” Fixed what up? “

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

” Fixed what? “

” Fixed it. Fixed it with Coleman.”

” Fixed what with Coleman?

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

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

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

” Grrr,” said Mrs. Wainwright.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coleman laughed, and they smoked for a time.

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

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

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

Coleman answered calmly: “Well * * * I think I’ll take your advice.”

CHAPTER XXVIII.

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

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

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

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

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

“I mean-” he said. “I mean that I love you and-“

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

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

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

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

” Come back here, you young scoundrel! Come baok here I “

Peter returned, looking very sheepish. ” I hadn’t the slightest idea you-“

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

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

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

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

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

” Why-what-” began the professor stupidly.

” Oh, I am so happy, daddy!

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

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

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

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

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

” All my life long,” she answered.

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

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

” I am glad,” repeated the professor.

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

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

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

” Why, this between Coleman and Marjory.”

” Yes,” he answered boldly.

” Harrison! That man who-“

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

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

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

” Oh, it’s too dreadful”

” Nonsense,” lie retorted stoutly. ” Only Peter Tounley! He don’t count. What of that ? “

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

” Well,” he answered, somewhat affronted, ” if you like–“

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

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

” Yes,” answered Coleman, ” I’ve been taking your advice.”

” Oh, ho ! ” said the minister.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, sir,” they answered.

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

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

“No, Sir.”

“Well, Marjory Wainwright is engaged to marry Coleman.”

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

Peter Tounley said triumphantly: “I knew it ! “

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coke did not take Peter’s word. “Is that so ? ” he asked the others.

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

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

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

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

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

“Well-what?.” said Coleman, bristling a trifle.

” Is it true ?”

” Is what true ?”

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

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

” Is what true? “

” What the whole hotel is saying.”

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

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

“And well? ” asked Coleman imperturbably.

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

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

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

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

” It isn’t funny at all.”

” Why isn’t it ? “

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

“Whirroo,” exclaimed Peter. “This here is magic.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” I suppose we’ll all be glad to get home,” said Coke, aimlessly.

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

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

“Yes,” answered Nora. “Why?”

“Because I have something to tell you-important.”

“What is it? ” whispered Nora, eagerly.

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

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

” I thought-I don’t know-” murmured Coke in confusion.

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

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

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

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

Well, how did he know?

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

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

CHAPTER XXIX.

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

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

“Don’t bother me. I’m reading.”

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

” I don’t want any luncheon. Don’t bother me. I’ve got a headache.”

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

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

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

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

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

” ‘Marco,'” quoted the old lady startled.

“The prince. The prince. Can’t you understand? I mean the prince.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What did you think?” demanded Nora, suspisciously. ” I thought that Coleman—“

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” Of course she didn’t” assented Mrs. Wainwright. The vicious thing! “

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

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

“Not at all! Not at all!” she hastily answered. ” But * * one doesn’t look for model men these days.”

“‘Who told you he made fifteen thousand a year? asked the professor.

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

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

“Of course it’s true,” said his wife emphatically. ” Peter Tounley says everybody knows it.”

Well * anyhow * money is not everything.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” Well, at any rate,” decided Mrs. Wainwright. ” At any rate-“

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

CHAPTER XXX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The professor and Mrs. Wainwright were left to themselves.

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

“Oh, I’ve told the dragoman to have him sold as soon as he arrives,” said Coleman absently.

” Oh. I’m sorry * * I liked that horse.”

“Why? “

“Oh, because-“

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

” Oh, I know I’m not nearly good enough for you.”

” Good enough for me, dear?

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

“Why, aren ‘t they wretches To think of them saying such a thing! As if-as if anybody could be too–“

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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