The Lion and the Unicorn
Richard Harding Davis

Part 1 out of 3

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British Military Attache with the United States Army








Prentiss had a long lease on the house, and because it stood in
Jermyn Street the upper floors were, as a matter of course,
turned into lodgings for single gentlemen; and because Prentiss
was a Florist to the Queen, he placed a lion and unicorn over his
flowershop, just in front of the middle window on the first
floor. By stretching a little, each of them could see into the
window just beyond him, and could hear all that was said inside;
and such things as they saw and heard during the reign of Captain
Carrington, who moved in at the same time they did! By day the
table in the centre of the room was covered with maps, and the
Captain sat with a box of pins, with different-colored flags
wrapped around them, and amused himself by sticking them in the
maps and measuring the spaces in between, swearing meanwhile to
himself. It was a selfish amusement, but it appeared to be the
Captain's only intellectual pursuit, for at night, the maps were
rolled up, and a green cloth was spread across the table, and
there was much company and popping of soda-bottles, and little
heaps of gold and silver were moved this way and that across the
cloth. The smoke drifted out of the open windows, and the
laughter of the Captain's guests rang out loudly in the empty
street, so that the policeman halted and raised his eyes
reprovingly to the lighted windows, and cabmen drew up beneath
them and lay in wait, dozing on their folded arms, for the
Captain's guests to depart. The Lion and the Unicorn were rather
ashamed of the scandal of it, and they were glad when, one day,
the Captain went away with his tin boxes and gun-cases piled high
on a four-wheeler.

Prentiss stood on the sidewalk and said: "I wish you good luck,
sir." And the Captain said: "I'm coming back a Major,
Prentiss." But he never came back. And one day--the Lion
remembered the day very well, for on that same day the
newsboys ran up and down Jermyn Street shouting out the news of
"a 'orrible disaster" to the British arms. It was then that a
young lady came to the door in a hansom, and Prentiss went out to
meet her and led her upstairs. They heard him unlock the
Captain's door and say, "This is his room, miss," and after he
had gone they watched her standing quite still by the centre
table. She stood there for a very long time looking slowly about
her, and then she took a photograph of the Captain from the frame
on the mantel and slipped it into her pocket, and when she went
out again her veil was down, and she was crying. She must have
given Prentiss as much as a sovereign, for he called her "Your
ladyship," which he never did under a sovereign.

And she drove off, and they never saw her again either, nor could
they hear the address she gave the cabman. But it was somewhere
up St. John's Wood way.

After that the rooms were empty for some months, and the Lion and
the Unicorn were forced to amuse themselves with the beautiful
ladies and smart-looking men who came to Prentiss to buy
flowers and "buttonholes," and the little round baskets of
strawberries, and even the peaches at three shillings each, which
looked so tempting as they lay in the window, wrapped up in
cotton-wool, like jewels of great price.

Then Philip Carroll, the American gentleman, came, and they heard
Prentiss telling him that those rooms had always let for five
guineas a week, which they knew was not true; but they also knew
that in the economy of nations there must always be a higher
price for the rich American, or else why was he given that
strange accent, except to betray him into the hands of the London
shopkeeper, and the London cabby?

The American walked to the window toward the west, which was the
window nearest the Lion, and looked out into the graveyard of St.
James's Church, that stretched between their street and

"You're lucky in having a bit of green to look out on," he said
to Prentiss. "I'll take these rooms--at five guineas. That's
more than they're worth, you know, but as I know it, too, your
conscience needn't trouble you."

Then his eyes fell on the Lion, and he nodded to him gravely.
"How do you do?" he said. "I'm coming to live with you for a
little time. I have read about you and your friends over there.
It is a hazard of new fortunes with me, your Majesty, so be kind
to me, and if I win, I will put a new coat of paint on your
shield and gild you all over again."

Prentiss smiled obsequiously at the American's pleasantry, but
the new lodger only stared at him.

"He seemed a social gentleman," said the Unicorn, that night,
when the Lion and he were talking it over. "Now the Captain, the
whole time he was here, never gave us so much as a look. This
one says he has read of us."

"And why not?" growled the Lion. "I hope Prentiss heard what he
said of our needing a new layer of gilt. It's disgraceful. You
can see that Lion over Scarlett's, the butcher, as far as Regent
Street, and Scarlett is only one of Salisbury's creations. He
received his Letters-Patent only two years back. We date from

The lodger came up the street just at that moment, and stopped
and looked up at the Lion and the Unicorn from the sidewalk,
before he opened the door with his night-key. They heard him
enter the room and feel on the mantel for his pipe, and a moment
later he appeared at the Lion's window and leaned on the sill,
looking down into the street below and blowing whiffs of smoke up
into the warm night-air.

It was a night in June, and the pavements were dry under foot and
the streets were filled with well-dressed people, going home from
the play, and with groups of men in black and white, making their
way to supper at the clubs. Hansoms of inky-black, with shining
lamps inside and out, dashed noiselessly past on mysterious
errands, chasing close on each other's heels on a mad race, each
to its separate goal. From the cross streets rose the noises of
early night, the rumble of the 'buses, the creaking of their
brakes, as they unlocked, the cries of the "extras," and the
merging of thousands of human voices in a dull murmur. The great
world of London was closing its shutters for the night, and
putting out the lights; and the new lodger from across the sea
listened to it with his heart beating quickly, and laughed to
stifle the touch of fear and homesickness that rose in him.

"I have seen a great play to-night," he said to the Lion, "nobly
played by great players. What will they care for my poor wares?
I see that I have been over-bold. But we cannot go back now--not

He knocked the ashes out of his pipe, and nodded "good-night" to
the great world beyond his window. "What fortunes lie with ye,
ye lights of London town?" he quoted, smiling. And they heard
him close the door of his bedroom, and lock it for the night.

The next morning he bought many geraniums from Prentiss and
placed them along the broad cornice that stretched across the
front of the house over the shop window. The flowers made a band
of scarlet on either side of the Lion as brilliant as a Tommy's

"I am trying to propitiate the British Lion by placing flowers
before his altar," the American said that morning to a

"The British public you mean," said the visitor; "they are each
likely to tear you to pieces."

"Yes, I have heard that the pit on the first night of a bad play
is something awful," hazarded the American.

"Wait and see," said the visitor.

"Thank you," said the American, meekly.

Every one who came to the first floor front talked about a play.
It seemed to be something of great moment to the American. It
was only a bundle of leaves printed in red and black inks and
bound in brown paper covers. There were two of them, and the
American called them by different names: one was his comedy and
one was his tragedy.

"They are both likely to be tragedies," the Lion heard one of the
visitors say to another, as they drove away together. "Our young
friend takes it too seriously."

The American spent most of his time by his desk at the window
writing on little blue pads and tearing up what he wrote, or in
reading over one of the plays to himself in a loud voice. In
time the number of his visitors increased, and to some of these
he would read his play; and after they had left him he was
either depressed and silent or excited and jubilant. The Lion
could always tell when he was happy because then he would go to
the side table and pour himself out a drink and say, "Here's to
me," but when he was depressed he would stand holding the glass
in his hand, and finally pour the liquor back into the bottle
again and say, "What's the use of that?"

After he had been in London a month he wrote less and was more
frequently abroad, sallying forth in beautiful raiment, and
coming home by daylight.

And he gave suppers too, but they were less noisy than the
Captain's had been, and the women who came to them were much more
beautiful, and their voices when they spoke were sweet and low.
Sometimes one of the women sang, and the men sat in silence while
the people in the street below stopped to listen, and would say,
"Why, that is So-and-So singing," and the Lion and the Unicorn
wondered how they could know who it was when they could not see

The lodger's visitors came to see him at all hours. They
seemed to regard his rooms as a club, where they could always
come for a bite to eat or to write notes; and others treated it
like a lawyer's office and asked advice on all manner of strange
subjects. Sometimes the visitor wanted to know whether the
American thought she ought to take Lú10 a week and go on tour, or
stay in town and try to live on Lú8; or whether she should paint
landscapes that would not sell, or racehorses that would; or
whether Reggie really loved her and whether she really loved
Reggie; or whether the new part in the piece at the Court was
better than the old part at Terry's, and wasn't she getting too
old to play "ingenues" anyway.

The lodger seemed to be a general adviser, and smoked and
listened with grave consideration, and the Unicorn thought his
judgment was most sympathetic and sensible.

Of all the beautiful ladies who came to call on the lodger the
one the Unicorn liked the best was the one who wanted to know
whether she loved Reggie and whether Reggie loved her. She
discussed this so interestingly while she consumed tea and
thin slices of bread that the Unicorn almost lost his balance in
leaning forward to listen. Her name was Marion Cavendish and it
was written over many photographs which stood in silver frames in
the lodger's rooms. She used to make the tea herself, while the
lodger sat and smoked; and she had a fascinating way of doubling
the thin slices of bread into long strips and nibbling at them
like a mouse at a piece of cheese. She had wonderful little
teeth and Cupid's-bow lips, and she had a fashion of lifting her
veil only high enough for one to see the two Cupid-bow lips.
When she did that the American used to laugh, at nothing
apparently, and say, "Oh, I guess Reggie loves you well enough."

"But do I love Reggie?" she would ask sadly, with her tea-cup
held poised in air.

" I am sure I hope not," the lodger would reply, and she
would put down the veil quickly, as one would drop a curtain over
a beautiful picture, and rise with great dignity and say, "if you
talk like that I shall not come again."

She was sure that if she could only get some work to do her
head would be filledwith more important matters than whether
Reggie loved her or not.

"But the managers seem inclined to cut their cavendish very fine
just at present," she said. "If I don't get a part soon," she
announced, "I shall ask Mitchell to put me down on the list for
recitations at evening parties."

"That seems a desperate revenge," said the American; "and
besides, I don't want you to get a part, because some one might
be idiotic enough to take my comedy, and if he should, you must
play Nancy."

"I would not ask for any salary if I could play Nancy," Miss
Cavendish answered.

They spoke of a great many things, but their talk always ended by
her saying that there must be some one with sufficient sense to
see that his play was a great play, and by his saying that none
but she must play Nancy.

The Lion preferred the tall girl with masses and folds of brown
hair, who came from America to paint miniatures of the British
aristocracy. Her name was Helen Cabot, and he liked her because
she was so brave and fearless, and so determined to be
independent of every one, even of the lodger--especially of
the lodger, who it appeared had known her very well at home. The
lodger, they gathered, did not wish her to be independent of him
and the two Americans had many arguments and disputes about it,
but she always said, "It does no good, Philip; it only hurts us
both when you talk so. I care for nothing, and for no one but my
art, and, poor as it is, it means everything to me, and you do
not, and, of course, the man I am to marry, must." Then Carroll
would talk, walking up and down, and looking very fierce and
determined, and telling her how he loved her in such a way that
it made her look even more proud and beautiful. And she would
say more gently, "It is very fine to think that any one can care
for like that, and very helpful. But unless I cared in the same
way it would be wicked of me to marry you, and besides--" She
would add very quickly to prevent his speaking again--" I don't
want to marry you or anybody, and I never shall. I want to be
free and to succeed in my work, just as you want to succeed in
your work. So please never speak of this again." When she
went away the lodger used to sit smoking in the big arm-chair and
beat the arms with his hands, and he would pace up and down the
room while his work would lie untouched and his engagements pass

Summer came and London was deserted, dull, and dusty, but the
lodger stayed on in Jermyn Street. Helen Cabot had departed on a
round of visits to country houses in Scotland, where, as she
wrote him, she was painting miniatures of her hosts and studying
the game of golf. Miss Cavendish divided her days between the
river and one of the West End theatres. She was playing a small
part in a farce-comedy.

One day she came up from Cookham earlier than usual, looking very
beautiful in a white boating frock and a straw hat with a Leander
ribbon. Her hands and arms were hard with dragging a punting
pole and she was sunburnt and happy, and hungry for tea.

"Why don't you come down to Cookham and get out of this heat?"
Miss Cavendish asked. "You need it; you look ill."

"I'd like to, but I can't," said Carroll. "The fact is, I paid
in advance for these rooms, and if I lived anywhere else I'd be
losing five guineas a week on them."

Miss Cavendish regarded him severely. She had never quite
mastered his American humor.

"But five guineas--why that's nothing to you," she said.
Something in the lodger's face made her pause. "You don't

"Yes, I do," said the lodger, smiling. "You see, I started in to
lay siege to London without sufficient ammunition. London is a
large town, and it didn't fall as quickly as I thought it would.
So I am economizing. Mr. Lockhart's Coffee Rooms and I are no
longer strangers."

Miss Cavendish put down her cup of tea untasted and leaned toward

"Are you in earnest?" she asked. "For how long?"

"Oh, for the last month," replied the lodger; "they are not at
all bad--clean and wholesome and all that."

"But the suppers you gave us, and this," she cried, suddenly,
waving her hands over the pretty tea-things, "and the cake
and muffins?"

"My friends, at least," said Carroll, "need not go to

"And the Savoy?" asked Miss Cavendish, mournfully shaking her

"A dream of the past," said Carroll, waving his pipe through the
smoke. "Gatti's? Yes, on special occasions; but for necessity,
the Chancellor's, where one gets a piece of the prime roast beef
of Old England, from Chicago, and potatoes for ninepence--a pot
of bitter twopence-halfpenny, and a penny for the waiter. It's
most amusing on the whole. I am learning a little about London,
and some things about myself. They are both most interesting

"Well, I don't like it," Miss Cavendish declared helplessly.
"When I think of those suppers and the flowers, I feel--I feel
like a robber."

"Don't," begged Carroll. "I am really the most happy of men--
that is, as the chap says in the play, I would be if I wasn't so
damned miserable. But I owe no man a penny and I have assets--I
have Lú80 to last me through the winter and two marvellous
plays; and I love, next to yourself, the most wonderful woman God
ever made. That's enough."

"But I thought you made such a lot of money by writing?" asked
Miss Cavendish.

"I do--that is, I could," answered Carroll, "if I wrote the
things that sell; but I keep on writing plays that won't."

"And such plays!" exclaimed Marion, warmly; "and to think that
they are going begging." She continued indignantly, "I can't
imagine what the managers do want."

"I know what they don't want," said the American. Miss Cavendish
drummed impatiently on the tea-tray.

"I wish you wouldn't be so abject about it," she said. "If I
were a man I'd make them take those plays."

"How?" asked the American; "with a gun?"

"Well, I'd keep at it until they read them," declared Marion.
"I'd sit on their front steps all night and I'd follow them in
cabs, and I'd lie in wait for them at the stage-door. I'd just
make them take them."

Carroll sighed and stared at the ceiling. "I guess I'll give up
and go home," he said.

"Oh, yes, do, run away before you are beaten," said Miss
Cavendish, scornfully. "Why, you can't go now. Everybody will
be back in town soon, and there are a lot of new plays coming on,
and some of them are sure to be failures, and that's our chance.
You rush in with your piece and somebody may take it sooner than
close the theatre."

"I'm thinking of closing the theatre myself," said Carroll.
"What's the use of my hanging on here?" he exclaimed. "It
distresses Helen to know I am in London, feeling about her as I
do--and the Lord only knows how it distresses me. And, maybe, if
I went away," he said, consciously, "she might miss me. She
might see the difference."

Miss Cavendish held herself erect and pressed her lips together
with a severe smile. "If Helen Cabot doesn't see the difference
between you and the other men she knows now," she said, "I doubt
if she ever will. Besides--" she continued, and then hesitated.
"Well, go on," urged Carroll.

"Well, I was only going to say," she explained, "that leaving the
girl alone never did the man any good unless he left her alone
willingly. If she's sure he still cares, it's just the same to
her where he is. He might as well stay on in London as go to
South Africa. It won't help him any. The difference comes when
she finds he has stopped caring. Why, look at Reggie. He tried
that. He went away for ever so long, but he kept writing me from
wherever he went, so that he was perfectly miserable--and I went
on enjoying myself. Then when he came back, he tried going about
with his old friends again. He used to come to the theatre with
them--oh, with such nice girls--but he always stood in the back
of the box and yawned and scowled--so I knew. And, anyway, he'd
always spoil it all by leaving them and waiting at the stage
entrance for me. But one day he got tired of the way I treated
him and went off on a bicycle tour with Lady Hacksher's girls and
some men from his regiment, and he was gone three weeks and never
sent me even a line; and I got so scared; I couldn't sleep, and
I stood it for three days more, and then I wired him to come
back or I'd jump off London Bridge; and he came back that very
night from Edinburgh on the express, and I was so glad to see him
that I got confused, and in the general excitement I promised to
marry him, so that's how it was with us."

"Yes," said the American, without enthusiasm; "but then I still
care, and Helen knows I care."

"Doesn't she ever fancy that you might care for some one else?
You have a lot of friends, you know."

"Yes, but she knows they are just that--friends," said the

Miss Cavendish stood up to go, and arranged her veil before the
mirror above the fireplace.

"I come here very often to tea," she said.

"It's very kind of you," said Carroll. He was at the open
window, looking down into the street for a cab.

"Well, no one knows I am engaged to Reggie," continued Miss
Cavendish, "except you and Reggie, and he isn't so sure. SHE
doesn't know it."

"Well?" said Carroll.

Miss Cavendish smiled a mischievous kindly smile at him from the

"Well?" she repeated, mockingly. Carroll stared at her and
laughed. After a pause he said: "It's like a plot in a comedy.
But I'm afraid I'm too serious for play-acting."

"Yes, it is serious," said Miss Cavendish. She seated herself
again and regarded the American thoughtfully. "You are too good
a man to be treated the way that girl is treating you, and no one
knows it better than she does. She'll change in time, but just
now she thinks she wants to be independent. She's in love with
this picture-painting idea, and with the people she meets. It's
all new to her--the fuss they make over her and the titles, and
the way she is asked about. We know she can't paint. We know
they only give her commissions because she's so young and pretty,
and American. She amuses them, that's all. Well, that cannot
last; she'll find it out. She's too clever a girl, and she is
too fine a girl to be content with that long. Then--then she'll
come back to you. She feels now that she has both you and the
others, and she's making you wait: so wait and be cheerful.
She's worth waiting for; she's young, that's all. She'll see the
difference in time. But, in the meanwhile, it would hurry
matters a bit if she thought she had to choose between the new
friends and you."

"She could still keep her friends, and marry me," said Carroll;
"I have told her that a hundred times. She could still paint
miniatures and marry me. But she won't marry me."

"She won't marry you because she knows she can whenever she wants
to;" cried Marion. "Can't you see that? But if she thought you
were going to marry some one else now?"

"She would be the first to congratulate me," said Carroll. He
rose and walked to the fireplace, where he leaned with his arm on
the mantel. There was a photograph of Helen Cabot near his hand,
and he turned this toward him and stood for some time staring at
it. "My dear Marion," he said at last, "I've known Helen ever
since she was as young as that. Every year I've loved her more,
and found new things in her to care for; now I love her more
than any other man ever loved any other woman."

Miss Cavendish shook her head sympathetically.

"Yes, I know," she said; "that's the way Reggie loves me, too."

Carroll went on as though he had not heard her.

"There's a bench in St. James's Park," he said, "where we used to
sit when she first came here, when she didn't know so many
people. We used to go there in the morning and throw penny buns
to the ducks. That's been my amusement this summer since you've
all been away--sitting on that bench, feeding penny buns to the
silly ducks--especially the black one, the one she used to like
best. And I make pilgrimages to all the other places we ever
visited together, and try to pretend she is with me. And I
support the crossing sweeper at Lansdowne Passage because she
once said she felt sorry for him. I do all the other absurd
things that a man in love tortures himself by doing. But to what
end? She knows how I care, and yet she won't see why we
can't go on being friends as we once were. What's the use of it
all? "

"She is young, I tell you," repeated Miss Cavendish, "and she's
too sure of you. You've told her you care; now try making her
think you don't care."

Carroll shook his head impatiently.

"I will not stoop to such tricks and pretence, Marion," he cried
impatiently. "All I have is my love for her; if I have to cheat
and to trap her into caring, the whole thing would be degraded."

Miss Cavendish shrugged her shoulders and walked to the door.
"Such amateurs!" she exclaimed, and banged the door after her.

Carroll never quite knew how he had come to make a confidante of
Miss Cavendish. Helen and he had met her when they first arrived
in London, and as she had acted for a season in the United
States, she adopted the two Americans--and told Helen where to go
for boots and hats, and advised Carroll about placing his plays.
Helen soon made other friends, and deserted the artists, with
whom her work had first thrown her. She seemed to prefer the
society of the people who bought her paintings, and who
admired and made much of the painter. As she was very beautiful
and at an age when she enjoyed everything in life keenly and
eagerly, to give her pleasure was in itself a distinct
pleasure; and the worldly tired people she met were considering
their own entertainment quite as much as hers when they asked her
to their dinners and dances, or to spend a week with them in the
country. In her way, she was as independent as was Carroll in
his, and as she was not in love, as he was, her life was not
narrowed down to but one ideal. But she was not so young as to
consider herself infallible, and she had one excellent friend on
whom she was dependent for advice and to whose directions she
submitted implicitly. This was Lady Gower, the only person to
whom Helen had spoken of Carroll and of his great feeling for
her. Lady Gower, immediately after her marriage, had been a
conspicuous and brilliant figure in that set in London which
works eighteen hours a day to keep itself amused, but after the
death of her husband she had disappeared into the country as
completely as though she had entered a convent, and after
several years had then re-entered the world as a professional
philanthropist. Her name was now associated entirely with
Women's Leagues, with committees that presented petitions to
Parliament, and with public meetings, at which she spoke with
marvellous ease and effect. Her old friends said she had taken
up this new pose as an outlet for her nervous energies, and as an
effort to forget the man who alone had made life serious to her.
Others knew her as an earnest woman, acting honestly for what she
thought was right. Her success, all admitted, was due to her
knowledge of the world and to her sense of humor, which taught
her with whom to use her wealth and position, and when to demand
what she wanted solely on the ground that the cause was just.

She had taken more than a fancy for Helen, and the position of
the beautiful, motherless girl had appealed to her as one filled
with dangers. When she grew to know Helen better, she recognized
that these fears were quite unnecessary, and as she saw more of
her she learned to care for her deeply. Helen had told her much
of Carroll and of his double purpose in coming to London; of
his brilliant work and his lack of success in having it
recognized; and of his great and loyal devotion to her, and of
his lack of success, not in having that recognized, but in her
own inability to return it. Helen was proud that she had been
able to make Carroll care for her as he did, and that there was
anything about her which could inspire a man whom she admired so
much, to believe in her so absolutely and for so long a time.
But what convinced her that the outcome for which he hoped was
impossible, was the very fact that she could admire him, and see
how fine and unselfish his love for her was, and yet remain
untouched by it.

She had been telling Lady Gower one day of the care he had taken
of her ever since she was fourteen years of age, and had quoted
some of the friendly and loverlike acts he had performed in her
service, until one day they had both found out that his attitude
of the elder brother was no longer possible, and that he loved
her in the old and only way. Lady Gower looked at her rather
doubtfully and smiled.

"I wish you would bring him to see me, Helen" she said; "I think
I should like your friend very much. From what you tell me of
him I doubt if you will find many such men waiting for you in
this country. Our men marry for reasons of property, or they
love blindly, and are exacting and selfish before and after they
are married. I know, because so many women came to me when my
husband was alive to ask how it was that I continued so happy in
my married life."

"But I don't want to marry any one," Helen remonstrated gently.
"American girls are not always thinking only of getting married."

"What I meant was this," said Lady Gower, "that, in my
experience, I have heard of but few men who care in the way this
young man seems to care for you. You say you do not love him;
but if he had wanted to gain my interest, he could not have
pleaded his cause better than you have done. He seems to see
your faults and yet love you still, in spite of them--or on
account of them. And I like the things he does for you. I like,
for instance, his sending you the book of the moment every
week for two years. That shows a most unswerving spirit of
devotion. And the story of the broken bridge in the woods is a
wonderful story. If I were a young girl, I could love a man for
that alone. It was a beautiful thing to do."

Helen sat with her chin on her hands, deeply considering this new
point of view.

"I thought it very foolish of him," she confessed questioningly,
"to take such a risk for such a little thing."

Lady Gower smiled down at her from the height of her many years.

"Wait," she said dryly, "you are very young now--and very rich;
every one is crowding to give you pleasure, to show his
admiration. You are a very fortunate girl. But later, these
things which some man has done because he loved you, and which
you call foolish, will grow large in your life, and shine out
strongly, and when you are discouraged and alone, you will take
them out, and the memory of them will make you proud and happy.
They are the honors which women wear in secret."

Helen came back to town in September, and for the first few days
was so occupied in refurnishing her studio and in visiting the
shops that she neglected to send Carroll word of her return.
When she found that a whole week had passed without her having
made any effort to see him, and appreciated how the fact would
hurt her friend, she was filled with remorse, and drove at once
in great haste to Jermyn Street, to announce her return in
person. On the way she decided that she would soften the blow of
her week of neglect by asking him to take her out to luncheon.
This privilege she had once or twice accorded him, and she felt
that the pleasure these excursions gave Carroll were worth the
consternation they caused to Lady Gower.

The servant was uncertain whether Mr. Carroll was at home or not,
but Helen was too intent upon making restitution to wait for the
fact to be determined, and, running up the stairs, knocked
sharply at the door of his study.

A voice bade her come in, and she entered, radiant and smiling
her welcome. But Carroll was not there to receive it, and
instead, Marion Cavendish looked up at her from his desk where
she was busily writing. Helen paused with a surprised laugh, but
Marion sprang up and hailed her gladly. They met half way across
the room and kissed each other with the most friendly feeling.

Philip was out, Marion said, and she had just stepped in for a
moment to write him a note. If Helen would excuse her, she would
finish it, as she was late for rehearsal.

But she asked over her shoulder, with great interest, if Helen
had passed a pleasant summer. She thought she had never seen her
looking so well. Helen thought Miss Cavendish herself was
looking very well also, but Marion said no; that she was too
sunburnt, she would not be able to wear a dinner-dress for a
month. There was a pause while Marion's quill scratched
violently across Carroll's note-paper. Helen felt that in some
way she was being treated as an intruder; or worse, as a guest.
She did not sit down, it seemed impossible to do so, but she
moved uncertainly about the room. She noted that there were
many changes, it seemed more bare and empty; her picture was
still on the writing-desk, but there were at least six new
photographs of Marion. Marion herself had brought them to the
room that morning, and had carefully arranged them in conspicuous
places. But Helen could not know that. She thought there was an
unnecessary amount of writing scribbled over the face of each.

Marion addressed her letter and wrote "Immediate" across the
envelope, and placed it before the clock on the mantelshelf.
"You will find Philip looking very badly," she said, as she
pulled on her gloves. "He has been in town all summer, working
very hard--he has had no holiday at all. I don't think he's
well. I have been a great deal worried about him," she added.
Her face was bent over the buttons of her glove, and when she
raised her blue eyes to Helen they were filled with serious

"Really," Helen stammered, "I--I didn't know--in his letters he
seemed very cheerful."

Marion shook her head and turned and stood looking
thoughtfully out of the window. "He's in a very hard place," she
began abruptly, and then stopped as though she had thought better
of what she intended to say. Helen tried to ask her to go on,
but could not bring herself to do so. She wanted to get away.

"I tell him he ought to leave London," Marion began again; "he
needs a change and a rest."

"I should think he might," Helen agreed, "after three months of
this heat. He wrote me he intended going to Herne Bay or over to

"Yes, he had meant to go," Marion answered. She spoke with the
air of one who possessed the most intimate knowledge of Carroll's
movements and plans, and change of plans. "But he couldn't," she
added. "He couldn't afford it. Helen," she said, turning to the
other girl, dramatically, "do you know--I believe that Philip is
very poor."

Miss Cabot exclaimed incredulously, "Poor!" She laughed. "Why,
what do you mean?"

"I mean that he has no money," Marion answered, sharply. "These
rooms represent nothing. He only keeps them on because he paid
for them in advance. He's been living on three shillings a day.
That's poor for him. He takes his meals at cabmen's shelters and
at Lockhart's, and he's been doing so for a month."

Helen recalled with a guilty thrill the receipt of certain boxes
of La France roses--cut long, in the American fashion--which had
arrived within the last month at various country houses. She
felt indignant at herself, and miserable. Her indignation was
largely due to the recollection that she had given these flowers
to her hostess to decorate the dinner-table.

She hated to ask this girl of things which she should have known
better than any one else. But she forced herself to do it. She
felt she must know certainly and at once.

"How do you know this?" she asked. "Are you sure there is no

"He told me himself," said Marion, "when he talked of letting the
plays go and returning to America. He said he must go back;
that his money was gone."

"He is gone to America!" Helen said, blankly.

"No, he wanted to go, but I wouldn't let him," Marion went on.
"I told him that some one might take his play any day. And this
third one he has written, the one he finished this summer in
town, is the best of all, I think. It's a love-story. It's
quite beautiful." She turned and arranged her veil at the glass,
and as she did so, her eyes fell on the photographs of herself
scattered over the mantelpiece, and she smiled slightly. But
Helen did not see her--she was sitting down now, pulling at the
books on the table. She was confused and disturbed by emotions
which were quite strange to her, and when Marion bade her good-by
she hardly noticed her departure. What impressed her most of all
in what Marion had told her, was, she was surprised to find, that
Philip was going away. That she herself had frequently urged him
to do so, for his own peace of mind, seemed now of no
consequence. Now that he seriously contemplated it, she
recognized that his absence meant to her a change in
everything. She felt for the first time the peculiar place he
held in her life. Even if she had seen him but seldom, the fact
that he was within call had been more of a comfort and a
necessity to her than she understood.

That he was poor, concerned her chiefly because she knew that,
although this condition could only be but temporary, it would
distress him not to have his friends around him, and to entertain
them as he had been used to do. She wondered eagerly if she
might offer to help him, but a second thought assured her that,
for a man, that sort of help from a woman was impossible.

She resented the fact that Marion was deep in his confidence;
that it was Marion who had told her of his changed condition and
of his plans. It annoyed her so acutely that she could not
remain in the room where she had seen her so complacently in
possession. And after leaving a brief note for Philip, she went
away. She stopped a hansom at the door, and told the man to
drive along the Embankment--she wanted to be quite alone, and she
felt she could see no one until she had thought it all out,
and had analyzed the new feelings.

So for several hours she drove slowly up and down, sunk far back
in the cushions of the cab, and staring with unseeing eyes at the
white enamelled tariff and the black dash-board.

She assured herself that she was not jealous of Marion, because,
in order to be jealous, she first would have to care for Philip
in the very way she could not bring herself to do.

She decided that his interest in Marion hurt her, because it
showed that Philip was not capable of remaining true to the one
ideal of his life. She was sure that this explained her
feelings--she was disappointed that he had not kept up to his own
standard; that he was weak enough to turn aside from it for the
first pretty pair of eyes. But she was too honest and too just
to accept that diagnosis of her feelings as final--she knew there
had been many pairs of eyes in America and in London, and that
though Philip had seen them, he had not answered them when they
spoke. No, she confessed frankly, she was hurt with herself
for neglecting her old friend so selfishly and for so long a
time; his love gave him claims on her consideration, at least,
and she had forgotten that and him, and had run after strange
gods and allowed others to come in and take her place, and to
give him the sympathy and help which she should have been the
first to offer, and which would have counted more when coming
from her than from any one else. She determined to make amends
at once for her thoughtlessness and selfishness, and her brain
was pleasantly occupied with plans and acts of kindness. It was
a new entertainment, and she found she delighted in it. She
directed the cabman to go to Solomons's, and from there sent
Philip a bunch of flowers and a line saying that on the following
day she was coming to take tea with him. She had a guilty
feeling that he might consider her friendly advances more
seriously than she meant them, but it was her pleasure to be
reckless: her feelings were running riotously, and the sensation
was so new that she refused to be circumspect or to consider
consequences. Who could tell, she asked herself with a
quick, frightened gasp, but that, after all, it might be that she
was learning to care? From Solomons's she bade the man drive to
the shop in Cranbourne Street where she was accustomed to
purchase the materials she used in painting, and Fate, which uses
strange agents to work out its ends, so directed it that the
cabman stopped a few doors below this shop, and opposite one
where jewelry and other personal effects were bought and sold.
At any other time, or had she been in any other mood, what
followed might not have occurred, but Fate, in the person of the
cabman, arranged it so that the hour and the opportunity came

There were some old mezzotints in the window of the loan shop, a
string of coins and medals, a row of new French posters; and far
down to the front a tray filled with gold and silver cigarette-
cases and watches and rings. It occurred to Helen, who was still
bent on making restitution for her neglect, that a cigarette-case
would be more appropriate for a man than flowers, and more
lasting. And she scanned the contents of the window with the
eye of one who now saw in everything only something which might
give Philip pleasure. The two objects of value in the tray upon
which her eyes first fell were the gold seal-ring with which
Philip had sealed his letters to her, and, lying next to it, his
gold watch! There was something almost human in the way the ring
and watch spoke to her from the past--in the way they appealed to
her to rescue them from the surroundings to which they had been
abandoned. She did not know what she meant to do with them nor
how she could return them to Philip; but there was no question of
doubt in her manner as she swept with a rush into the shop.
There was no attempt, either, at bargaining in the way in which
she pointed out to the young woman behind the counter the
particular ring and watch she wanted. They had not been left as
collateral, the young woman said; they had been sold outright.

"Then any one can buy them?" Helen asked eagerly. "They are for
sale to the public--to any one?"

The young woman made note of the customer's eagerness, but
with an unmoved countenance.

"Yes, miss, they are for sale. The ring is four pounds and the
watch twenty-five."

"Twenty-nine pounds!" Helen gasped.

That was more money than she had in the world, but the fact did
not distress her, for she had a true artistic disregard for ready
money, and the absence of it had never disturbed her. But now it
assumed a sudden and alarming value. She had ten pounds in her
purse and ten pounds at her studio--these were just enough to pay
for a quarter's rent and the rates, and there was a hat and cloak
in Bond Street which she certainly must have. Her only assets
consisted of the possibility that some one might soon order a
miniature, and to her mind that was sufficient. Some one always
had ordered a miniature, and there was no reasonable doubt but
that some one would do it again. For a moment she questioned if
it would not be sufficient if she bought the ring and allowed the
watch to remain. But she recognized that the ring meant more to
her than the watch, while the latter, as an old heirloom which
had been passed down to him from a great-grandfather, meant
more to Philip. It was for Philip she was doing this, she
reminded herself. She stood holding his possessions, one in each
hand, and looking at the young woman blankly. She had no doubt
in her mind that at least part of the money he had received for
them had paid for the flowers he had sent to her in Scotland.
The certainty of this left her no choice. She laid the ring and
watch down and pulled the only ring she possessed from her own
finger. It was a gift from Lady Gower. She had no doubt that it
was of great value.

"Can you lend me some money on that?" she asked. It was the
first time she had conducted a business transaction of this
nature, and she felt as though she were engaging in a burglary.

"We don't lend money, miss," the girl said, "we buy outright. I
can give you twenty-eight shillings for this," she added.

"Twenty-eight shillings," Helen gasped; "why, it is worth--oh,
ever so much more than that!"

"That is all it is worth to us," the girl answered. She regarded
the ring indifferently and laid it away from her on the counter.
The action was final.

Helen's hands rose slowly to her breast, where a pretty watch
dangled from a bowknot of crushed diamonds. It was her only
possession, and she was very fond of it. It also was the gift of
one of the several great ladies who had adopted her since her
residence in London. Helen had painted a miniature of this
particular great lady which had looked so beautiful that the
pleasure which the original of the portrait derived from the
thought that she still really looked as she did in the miniature
was worth more to her than many diamonds.

But it was different with Helen, and no one could count what it
cost her to tear away her one proud possession.

"What will you give me for this?" she asked defiantly.

The girl's eyes showed greater interest. "I can give you twenty
pounds for that," she said.

"Take it, please," Helen begged, as though she feared if she
kept it a moment longer she might not be able to make the

"That will be enough now," she went on, taking out her ten-pound
note. She put Lady Gower's ring back upon her finger and picked
up Philip's ring and watch with the pleasure of one who has come
into a great fortune. She turned back at the door.

"Oh," she stammered, "in case any one should inquire, you are not
to say who bought these."

"No, miss, certainly not," said the woman. Helen gave the
direction to the cabman and, closing the doors of the hansom, sat
looking down at the watch and the ring, as they lay in her lap.
The thought that they had been his most valued possessions, which
he had abandoned forever, and that they were now entirely hers,
to do with as she liked, filled her with most intense delight and
pleasure. She took up the heavy gold ring and placed it on the
little finger of her left hand; it was much too large, and she
removed it and balanced it for a moment doubtfully in the palm of
her right hand. She was smiling, and her face was lit with
shy and tender thoughts. She cast a quick glance to the left and
right as though fearful that people passing in the street would
observe her, and then slipped the ring over the fourth finger of
her left hand. She gazed at it with a guilty smile and then,
covering it hastily with her other hand, leaned back, clasping it
closely, and sat frowning far out before her with puzzled eyes.

To Carroll all roads led past Helen's studio, and during the
summer, while she had been absent in Scotland it was one of his
sad pleasures to make a pilgrimage to her street and to pause
opposite the house and look up at the empty windows of her rooms.

It was during this daily exercise that he learned, through the
arrival of her luggage, of her return to London, and when day
followed day without her having shown any desire to see him or to
tell him of her return he denounced himself most bitterly as a
fatuous fool.

At the end of the week he sat down and considered his case quite
calmly. For three years he had loved this girl, deeply and
tenderly. He had been lover, brother, friend, and guardian.
During that time, even though she had accepted him in every
capacity except as that of the prospective husband, she had never
given him any real affection, nor sympathy, nor help; all she had
done for him had been done without her knowledge or intent. To
know her, to love her, and to scheme to give her pleasure had
been its own reward, and the only one. For the last few months
he had been living like a crossing-sweeper in order to be able to
stay in London until she came back to it, and that he might still
send her the gifts he had always laid on her altar. He had not
seen her in three months. Three months that had been to him a
blank, except for his work--which like all else that he did, was
inspired and carried on for her. Now at last she had returned
and had shown that, even as a friend, he was of so little account
in her thoughts, of so little consequence in her life, that after
this long absence she had no desire to learn of his welfare or to
see him--she did not even give him the chance to see her. And
so, placing these facts before him for the first time since
he had loved her, he considered what was due to himself. "Was it
good enough?" he asked. "Was it just that he should continue to
wear out his soul and body for this girl who did not want what he
had to give, who treated him less considerately than a man whom
she met for the first time at dinner? He felt he had reached the
breaking-point; that the time had come when he must consider what
he owed to himself. There could never be any other woman save
Helen, but as it was not to be Helen, he could no longer, with
self-respect, continue to proffer his love only to see it
slighted and neglected. He was humble enough concerning himself,
but of his love he was very proud. Other men could give her more
in wealth or position, but no one could ever love her as he did.
"He that hath more let him give," he had often quoted to her
defiantly, as though he were challenging the world, and now he
felt he must evolve a make-shift world of his own--a world in
which she was not his only spring of acts; he must begin all over
again and keep his love secret and sacred until she
understood it and wanted it. And if she should never want it he
would at least have saved it from many rebuffs and insults.

With this determination strong in him, the note Helen had left
for him after her talk with Marion, and the flowers, and the note
with them, saying she was coming to take tea on the morrow,
failed to move him except to make him more bitter. He saw in
them only a tardy recognition of her neglect--an effort to make
up to him for thoughtlessness which, from her, hurt him worse
than studied slight.

A new regime had begun, and he was determined to establish it
firmly and to make it impossible for himself to retreat from it;
and in the note in which he thanked Helen for the flowers and
welcomed her to tea, he declared his ultimatum.

"You know how terribly I feel," he wrote; "I don't have to tell
you that, but I cannot always go on dragging out my love and
holding it up to excite your pity as beggars show their sores. I
cannot always go on praying before your altar, cutting myself
with knives and calling upon you to listen to me. You know
that there is no one else but you, and that there never can be
any one but you, and that nothing is changed except that after
this I am not going to urge and torment you. I shall wait as I
have always waited--only now I shall wait in silence. You know
just how little, in one way, I have to offer you, and you know
just how much I have in love to offer you. It is now for you to
speak--some day, or never. But you will have to speak first.
You will never hear a word of love from me again. Why should
you? You know it is always waiting for you. But if you should
ever want it, you must come to me, and take off your hat and put
it on my table and say, 'Philip, I have come to stay.' Whether
you can ever do that or not can make no difference in my love for
you. I shall love you always, as no man has ever loved a woman
in this world, but it is you who must speak first; for me, the
rest is silence."

The following morning as Helen was leaving the house she found
this letter lying on the hall-table, and ran back with it to her
rooms. A week before she would have let it lie on the table
and read it on her return. She was conscious that this was what
she would have done, and it pleased her to find that what
concerned Philip was now to her the thing of greatest interest.
She was pleased with her own eagerness--her own happiness was a
welcome sign, and she was proud and glad that she was learning to

She read the letter with an anxious pride and pleasure in each
word that was entirely new. Philip's recriminations did not hurt
her, they were the sign that he cared; nor did his determination
not to speak of his love to her hurt her, for she believed him
when he said that he would always care. She read the letter
twice, and then sat for some time considering the kind of letter
Philip would have written had he known her secret--had he known
that the ring he had abandoned was now upon her finger.

She rose and, crossing to a desk, placed the letter in a drawer,
and then took it out again and re-read the last page. When she
had finished it she was smiling. For a moment she stood
irresolute, and then, moving slowly toward the centre-table, cast
a guilty look about her and, raising her hands, lifted her
veil and half withdrew the pins that fastened her hat.

"Philip," she began in a frightened whisper, "I have--I have come

The sentence ended in a cry of protest, and she rushed across the
room as though she were running from herself. She was blushing

"Never!" she cried, as she pulled open the door; "I could never
do it--never!"

The following afternoon, when Helen was to come to tea, Carroll
decided that he would receive her with all the old friendliness,
but that he must be careful to subdue all emotion.

He was really deeply hurt at her treatment, and had it not been
that she came on her own invitation he would not of his own
accord have sought to see her. In consequence, he rather
welcomed than otherwise the arrival of Marion Cavendish, who came
a half-hour before Helen was expected, and who followed a hasty
knock with a precipitate entrance.

"Sit down," she commanded breathlessly; "and listen. I've been
at rehearsal all day, or I'd have been here before you were
awake." She seated herself nervously and nodded her head at
Carroll in an excited and mysterious manner.

"What is it?" he asked. "Have you and Reggie--"

"Listen," Marion repeated, "our fortunes are made; that is what's
the matter--and I've made them. If you took half the interest in
your work I do, you'd have made yours long ago. Last night," she
began impressively, "I went to a large supper at the Savoy, and I
sat next to Charley Wimpole. He came in late, after everybody
had finished, and I attacked him while he was eating his supper.
He said he had been rehearsing 'Caste' after the performance;
that they've put it on as a stop-gap on account of the failure of
the 'Triflers,' and that he knew revivals were of no use; that he
would give any sum for a good modern comedy. That was my cue,
and I told him I knew of a better comedy than any he had produced
at his theatre in five years, and that it was going begging. He
laughed, and asked where was he to find this wonderful comedy,
and I said, 'It's been in your safe for the last two months
and you haven't read it.' He said, 'Indeed, how do you know
that?' and I said, 'Because if you'd read it, it wouldn't be in
your safe, but on your stage.' So he asked me what the play was
about, and I told him the plot and what sort of a part his was,
and some of his scenes, and he began to take notice. He forgot
his supper, and very soon he grew so interested that he turned
his chair round and kept eying my supper-card to find out who I
was, and at last remembered seeing me in 'The New Boy'--and a
rotten part it was, too--but he remembered it, and he told me to
go on and tell him more about your play. So I recited it, bit by
bit, and he laughed in all the right places and got very much
excited, and said finally that he would read it the first thing
this morning." Marion paused, breathlessly. "Oh, yes, and he
wrote your address on his cuff," she added, with the air of
delivering a complete and convincing climax.

Carroll stared at her and pulled excitedly on his pipe.

"Oh, Marion!" he gasped, "suppose he should? He won't
though," he added, but eying her eagerly and inviting

"He will," she answered, stoutly, "if he reads it."

"The other managers read it," Carroll suggested, doubtfully.

"Yes, but what do they know?" Marion returned, loftily. "He
knows. Charles Wimpole is the only intelligent actor-manager in

There was a sharp knock at the door, which Marion in her
excitement had left ajar, and Prentiss threw it wide open with an
impressive sweep, as though he were announcing royalty: "Mr.
Charles Wimpole," he said.

The actor-manager stopped in the doorway bowing gracefully, his
hat held before him and his hand on his stick as though it were
resting on a foil. He had the face and carriage of a gallant of
the days of Congreve, and he wore his modern frock-coat with as
much distinction as if it were of silk and lace. He was
evidently amused. "I couldn't help overhearing the last line,"
he said, smiling. "It gives me a good entrance."

Marion gazed at him blankly: "Oh," she gasped, "we--we--were just
talking about you."

"If you hadn't mentioned my name," the actor said, "I should
never have guessed it. And this is Mr. Carroll, I hope."

The great man was rather pleased with the situation. As he read
it, it struck him as possessing strong dramatic possibilities:
Carroll was the struggling author on the verge of starvation:
Marion, his sweetheart, flying to him gave him hope; and he was
the good fairy arriving in the nick of time to set everything
right and to make the young people happy and prosperous. He
rather fancied himself in the part of the good fairy, and as he
seated himself he bowed to them both in a manner which was
charmingly inclusive and confidential.

"Miss Cavendish, I imagine, has already warned you that you might
expect a visit from me," he said tentatively. Carroll nodded.
He was too much concerned to interrupt.

"Then I need only tell you," Wimpole continued, "that I got up at
an absurd hour this morning to read your play; that I did
read it; that I like it immensely--and that if we can come to
terms I shall produce it I shall produce it at once, within a
fortnight or three weeks."

Carroll was staring at him intently and continued doing so after
Wimpole had finished speaking. The actor felt he had somehow
missed his point, or that Carroll could not have understood him,
and repeated, "I say I shall put it in rehearsal at once."

Carroll rose abruptly, and pushed back his chair. "I should be
very glad," he murmured, and strode over to the window, where he
stood with his back turned to his guests. Wimpole looked after
him with a kindly smile and nodded his head appreciatively. He
had produced even a greater effect than his lines seemed to
warrant. When he spoke again, it was quite simply, and
sincerely, and though he spoke for Carroll's benefit, he
addressed himself to Marion.

"You were quite right last night," he said, "it is a most
charming piece of work. I am really extremely grateful to you
for bringing it to my notice." He rose, and going to
Carroll, put his hand on his shoulder. "My boy," he said, "I
congratulate you. I should like to be your age, and to have
written that play. Come to my theatre to-morrow and we will talk
terms. Talk it over first with your friends, so that I sha'n't
rob you. Do you think you would prefer a lump sum now, and so be
done with it altogether, or trust that the royalties may--"

"Royalties," prompted Marion, in an eager aside.

The men laughed. "Quite right," Wimpole assented, good-
humoredly; "it's a poor sportsman who doesn't back his own horse.

Well, then, until to-morrow."

"But," Carroll began, "one moment please. I haven't thanked

"My dear boy," cried Wimpole, waving him away with his stick, "it
is I who have to thank you."

"And--and there is a condition," Carroll said, "which goes with
the play. It is that Miss Cavendish is to have the part of

Wimpole looked serious and considered for a moment.

"Nancy," he said, "the girl who interferes--a very good part.
I have cast Miss Maddox for it in my mind, but, of course, if the
author insists--"

Marion, with her elbows on the table, clasped her hands
appealingly before her.

"Oh, Mr. Wimpole!" she cried, "you owe me that, at least."

Carroll leaned over and took both of Marion's hands in one of

"It's all right," he said; "the author insists."

Wimpole waved his stick again as though it were the magic wand of
the good fairy.

"You shall have it," he said. "I recall your performance in 'The
New Boy' with pleasure. I take the play, and Miss Cavendish
shall be cast for Nancy. We shall begin rehearsals at once. I
hope you are a quick study."

"I'm letter-perfect now{,}" laughed Marion.

Wimpole turned at the door and nodded to them. They were both so
young, so eager, and so jubilant that he felt strangely old and
out of it. "Good-by, then," he said.

"Good-by, sir," they both chorussed. And Marion cried after
him, "And thank you a thousand times."

He turned again and looked back at them, but in their rejoicing
they had already forgotten him. "Bless you, my children," he
said, smiling. As he was about to close the door a young girl
came down the passage toward it, and as she was apparently going
to Carroll's rooms, the actor left the door open behind him.

Neither Marion nor Carroll had noticed his final exit. They were
both gazing at each other as though, could they find speech, they
would ask if it were true.

"It's come at last, Marion," Philip said, with an uncertain

"I could weep," cried Marion. " Philip," she exclaimed, "I would
rather see that play succeed than any play ever written, and I
would rather play that part in it than--Oh, Philip," she ended.
"I'm so proud of you!" and rising, she threw her arms about his
neck and sobbed on his shoulder.

Carroll raised one of her hands and kissed the tips of her
fingers gently. "I owe it to you, Marion," he said--"all to

This was the tableau that was presented through the open door to
Miss Helen Cabot, hurrying on her errand of restitution and good-
will, and with Philip's ring and watch clasped in her hand. They
had not heard her, nor did they see her at the door, so she drew
back quickly and ran along the passage and down the stairs into
the street.

She did not need now to analyze her feelings. They were only too
evident. For she could translate what she had just seen as
meaning only one thing--that she had considered Philip's love so
lightly that she had not felt it passing away from her until her
neglect had killed it--until it was too late. And now that it
was too late she felt that without it her life could not go on.
She tried to assure herself that only the fact that she had lost
it made it seem invaluable, but this thought did not comfort
her--she was not deceived by it, she knew that at last she cared
for him deeply and entirely. In her distress she blamed herself
bitterly, but she also blamed Philip no less bitterly for having
failed to wait for her. "He might have known that I must love
him in time," she repeated to herself again and again. She
was so unhappy that her letter congratulating Philip on his good
fortune in having his comedy accepted seemed to him cold and
unfeeling, and as his success meant for him only what it meant to
her, he was hurt and grievously disappointed.

He accordingly turned the more readily to Marion, whose interests
and enthusiasm at the rehearsals of the piece seemed in contrast
most friendly and unselfish. He could not help but compare the
attitude of the two girls at this time, when the failure or
success of his best work was still undecided. He felt that as
Helen took so little interest in his success he could not dare to
trouble her with his anxieties concerning it, and she attributed
his silence to his preoccupation and interest in Marion. So the
two grew apart, each misunderstanding the other and each troubled
in spirit at the other's indifference.

The first night of the play justified all that Marion and Wimpole
had claimed for it, and was a great personal triumph for the new
playwright. The audience was the typical first-night
audience of the class which Charles Wimpole always commanded. It
was brilliant, intelligent, and smart, and it came prepared to be

From one of the upper stage-boxes Helen and Lady Gower watched
the successful progress of the play with an anxiety almost as
keen as that of the author. To Helen it seemed as though the
giving of these lines to the public--these lines which he had so
often read to her, and altered to her liking--was a desecration.
It seemed as though she were losing him indeed--as though he now
belonged to these strange people, all of whom were laughing and
applauding his words, from the German Princess in the Royal box
to the straight-backed Tommy in the pit. Instead of the painted
scene before her, she saw the birch-trees by the river at home,
where he had first read her the speech to which they were now
listening so intensely--the speech in which the hero tells the
girl he loves her. She remembered that at the time she had
thought how wonderful it would be if some day some one made such
a speech to her--not Philip--but a man she loved. And now?
If Philip would only make that speech to her now!

He came out at last, with Wimpole leading him, and bowed across a
glaring barrier of lights at a misty but vociferous audience that
was shouting the generous English bravo! and standing up to
applaud. He raised his eyes to the box where Helen sat, and saw
her staring down at the tumult, with her hands clasped under her
chin. Her face was colorless, but lit with the excitement of the
moment; and he saw that she was crying.

Lady Gower, from behind her, was clapping her hands delightedly.

"But, my dear Helen," she remonstrated breathlessly, "you never
told me he was so good-looking."

"Yes," said Helen, rising abruptly, "he is--very good-looking."

She crossed the box to where her cloak was hanging, but instead
of taking it down buried her face in its folds.

"My dear child!" cried Lady Gower, in dismay. "What is it? The
excitement has been too much for you."

"No, I am just happy," sobbed Helen. "I am just happy for him."

"We will go and tell him so then," said Lady Gower. "I am sure
he would like to hear it from you to-night."

Philip was standing in the centre of the stage, surrounded by
many pretty ladies and elderly men. Wimpole was hovering over
him as though he had claims upon him by the right of discovery.

But when Philip saw Helen, he pushed his way toward her eagerly
and took her hand in both of his.

"I am so glad, Phil," she said. She felt it all so deeply that
she was afraid to say more, but that meant so much to her that
she was sure he would understand.

He had planned it very differently. For a year he had dreamed
that, on the first night of his play, there would be a supper,
and that he would rise and drink her health, and tell his friends
and the world that she was the woman he loved, and that she had
agreed to marry him, and that at last he was able, through the
success of his play, to make her his wife.

And now they met in a crowd to shake hands, and she went her way
with one of her grand ladies, and he was left among a group of
chattering strangers. The great English playwright took him by
the hand and in the hearing of all, praised him gracefully and
kindly. It did not matter to Philip whether the older playwright
believed what he said or not; he knew it was generously meant.

"I envy you this," the great man was saying. "Don't lose any of
it, stay and listen to all they have to say. You will never live
through the first night of your first play but once."

"Yes, I hear them," said Philip, nervously; "they are all too
kind. But I don't hear the voice I have been listening for," he
added in a whisper. The older man pressed his hand again
quickly. "My dear boy," he said, "I am sorry."

"Thank you," Philip answered.

Within a week he had forgotten the great man's fine words of
praise, but the clasp of his hand he cherished always.

Helen met Marion as she was leaving the stage door and stopped to
congratulate her on her success in the new part. Marion was
radiant. To Helen she seemed obstreperously happy and jubilant.

"And, Marion," Helen began bravely, "I also want to congratulate
you on something else. You--you--neither of you have told me
yet," she stammered, "but I am such an old friend of both that I
will not be kept out of the secret." At these words Marion's air
of triumphant gayety vanished; she regarded Helen's troubled eyes
closely and kindly.

"What secret, Helen?" she asked.

"I came to the door of Philip's room the other day when you did
not know I was there," Helen answered; "and I could not help
seeing how matters were. And I do congratulate you both--and
wish you--oh, such happiness!" Without a word Marion dragged her
back down the passage to her dressing-room, and closed the door.

"Now tell me what you mean," she said.

"I am sorry if I discovered anything you didn't want known yet,"
said Helen, "but the door was open. Mr. Wimpole had just left
you and had not shut it, and I could not help seeing."

Marion interrupted her with an eager exclamation of

"Oh, you were there, then," she cried. "And you?" she asked
eagerly--"you thought Phil cared for me--that we are engaged, and
it hurt you; you are sorry? Tell me," she demanded, "are you

Helen drew back and stretched out her hand toward the door.

"How can you! she exclaimed, indignantly. "You have no right."

Marion stood between her and the door.

"I have every right," she said, "to help my friends, and I want
to help you and Philip. And indeed I do hope you ARE sorry.
I hope you are miserable. And I'm glad you saw me kiss him.
That was the first and the last time, and I did it because I was
happy and glad for him; and because I love him too, but not in
the least in the way he loves you. No one ever loved any one as
he loves you. And it's time you found it out. And if I have
helped to make you find it out I'm glad, and I don't care how
much I hurt you."

"Marion!" exclaimed Helen," what does it mean? Do you mean
that you are not engaged; that--"

"Certainly not," Marion answered. "I am going to marry Reggie.
It is you that Philip loves, and I am very sorry for you that you
don't love him."

Helen clasped Marion's hands in both of hers.

"But, Marion!" she cried, "I do, oh, I do!"

There was a thick yellow fog the next morning, and with it rain
and a sticky, depressing dampness which crept through the window-
panes, and which neither a fire nor blazing gas-jets could

Philip stood in front of the fireplace with the morning papers
piled high on the centre-table and scattered over the room about

He had read them all, and he knew now what it was to wake up
famous, but he could not taste it. Now that it had come it meant
nothing, and that it was so complete a triumph only made it the
harder. In his most optimistic dreams he had never imagined
success so satisfying as the reality had proved to be; but in
his dreams Helen had always held the chief part, and without her,
success seemed only to mock him.

He wanted to lay it all before her, to say, "If you are pleased,
I am happy. If you are satisfied, then I am content. It was
done for you, and I am wholly yours, and all that I do is yours."

And, as though in answer to his thoughts, there was an instant
knock at the door, and Helen entered the room and stood smiling
at him across the table.

Her eyes were lit with excitement, and spoke with many emotions,
and her cheeks were brilliant with color. He had never seen her
look more beautiful.

"Why, Helen!" he exclaimed, "how good of you to come. Is there
anything wrong? Is anything the matter?"

She tried to speak, but faltered, and smiled at him appealingly.

"What is it?" he asked in great concern.

Helen drew in her breath quickly, and at the same moment motioned
him away--and he stepped back and stood watching her in much

With her eyes fixed on his she raised her hands to her head,
and her fingers fumbled with the knot of her veil. She pulled it
loose, and then, with a sudden courage, lifted her hat proudly,
as though it were a coronet, and placed it between them on his

"Philip," she stammered, with the tears in her voice and eyes,
"if you will let me--I have come to stay."

The table was no longer between them. He caught her in his arms
and kissed her face and her uncovered head again and again. From
outside the rain beat drearily and the fog rolled through the
street, but inside before the fire the two young people sat close
together, asking eager questions or sitting in silence, staring
at the flames with wondering, happy eyes.

The Lion and the Unicorn saw them only once again. It was a
month later when they stopped in front of the shop in a four-
wheeler, with their baggage mixed on top of it, and steamer-
labels pasted over every trunk.

"And, oh, Prentiss!" Carroll called from the cab-window. "I came
near forgetting. I promised to gild the Lion and the Unicorn
if I won out in London. So have it done, please, and send the
bill to me. For I've won out all right." And then he shut the
door of the cab, and they drove away forever.

"Nice gal, that," growled the Lion. "I always liked her. I am
glad they've settled it at last."

The Unicorn sighed, sentimentally. "The other one's worth two of
her," he said.


There were four rails around the ship's sides, the three lower
ones of iron and the one on top of wood, and as he looked between
them from the canvas cot he recognized them as the prison-bars
which held him in. Outside his prison lay a stretch of blinding
blue water which ended in a line of breakers and a yellow coast
with ragged palms. Beyond that again rose a range of mountain-
peaks, and, stuck upon the loftiest peak of all, a tiny block-
house. It rested on the brow of the mountain against the naked
sky as impudently as a cracker-box set upon the dome of a great

As the transport rode on her anchor-chains, the iron bars around
her sides rose and sank and divided the landscape with parallel
lines. From his cot the officer followed this phenomenon with
severe, painstaking interest. Sometimes the wooden rail swept up
to the very block-house itself, and for a second of time
blotted it from sight. And again it sank to the level of the
line of breakers, and wiped them out of the picture as though
they were a line of chalk.

The soldier on the cot promised himself that the next swell of
the sea would send the lowest rail climbing to the very top of
the palm-trees or, even higher, to the base of the mountains; and
when it failed to reach even the palm-trees he felt a distinct
sense of ill use, of having been wronged by some one. There was
no other reason for submitting to this existence, save these
tricks upon the wearisome, glaring landscape; and, now, whoever
it was who was working them did not seem to be making this effort
to entertain him with any heartiness.

It was most cruel. Indeed, he decided hotly, it was not to be
endured; he would bear it no longer, he would make his escape.
But he knew that this move, which could be conceived in a
moment's desperation, could only be carried to success with great
strategy, secrecy, and careful cunning. So he fell back upon his
pillow and closed his eyes, as though he were asleep, and
then opening them again, turned cautiously, and spied upon his
keeper. As usual, his keeper sat at the foot of the cot turning
the pages of a huge paper filled with pictures of the war printed
in daubs of tawdry colors. His keeper was a hard-faced boy
without human pity or consideration, a very devil of obstinacy
and fiendish cruelty. To make it worse, the fiend was a person
without a collar, in a suit of soiled khaki, with a curious red
cross bound by a safety-pin to his left arm. He was intent upon
the paper in his hands; he was holding it between his eyes and
his prisoner. His vigilance had relaxed, and the moment seemed
propitious. With a sudden plunge of arms and legs, the prisoner
swept the bed sheet from him, and sprang at the wooden rail and
grasped the iron stanchion beside it. He had his knee pressed
against the top bar and his bare toes on the iron rail beneath
it. Below him the blue water waited for him. It was cool and
dark and gentle and deep. It would certainly put out the fire in
his bones, he thought; it might even shut out the glare of the
sun which scorched his eyeballs.

But as he balanced for the leap, a swift weakness and nausea
swept over him, a weight seized upon his body and limbs. He
could not lift the lower foot from the iron rail, and he swayed
dizzily and trembled. He trembled. He who had raced his men and
beaten them up the hot hill to the trenches of San Juan. But now
he was a baby in the hands of a giant, who caught him by the
wrist and with an iron arm clasped him around his waist and
pulled him down, and shouted, brutally, "Help, some of you'se,
quick; he's at it again. I can't hold him."

More giants grasped him by the arms and by the legs. One of them
took the hand that clung to the stanchion in both of his, and
pulled back the fingers one by one, saying, "Easy now,

The ragged palms and the sea and block-house were swallowed up in
a black fog, and his body touched the canvas cot again with a
sense of home-coming and relief and rest. He wondered how he
could have cared to escape from it. He found it so good to be
back again that for a long time he wept quite happily, until the
fiery pillow was moist and cool.

The world outside of the iron bars was like a scene in a theatre
set for some great event, but the actors were never ready. He
remembered confusedly a play he had once witnessed before that
same scene. Indeed, he believed he had played some small part in
it; but he remembered it dimly, and all trace of the men who had
appeared with him in it was gone. He had reasoned it out that
they were up there behind the range of mountains, because great
heavy wagons and ambulances and cannon were emptied from the
ships at the wharf above and were drawn away in long lines behind
the ragged palms, moving always toward the passes between the
peaks. At times he was disturbed by the thought that he should
be up and after them, that some tradition of duty made his
presence with them imperative. There was much to be done back of
the mountains. Some event of momentous import was being carried
forward there, in which he held a part; but the doubt soon passed
from him, and he was content to lie and watch the iron bars
rising and falling between the block-house and the white

If they had been only humanely kind, his lot would have been
bearable, but they starved him and held him down when he wished
to rise; and they would not put out the fire in the pillow, which
they might easily have done by the simple expedient of throwing
it over the ship's side into the sea. He himself had done this
twice, but the keeper had immediately brought a fresh pillow
already heated for the torture and forced it under his head.

His pleasures were very simple, and so few that he could not
understand why they robbed him of them so jealously. One was to
watch a green cluster of bananas that hung above him from the
awning twirling on a string. He could count as many of them as
five before the bunch turned and swung lazily back again, when he
could count as high as twelve; sometimes when the ship rolled
heavily he could count to twenty. It was a most fascinating
game, and contented him for many hours. But when they found this
out they sent for the cook to come and cut them down, and the
cook carried them away to his galley.

Then, one day, a man came out from the shore, swimming through
the blue water with great splashes. He was a most charming man,
who spluttered and dove and twisted and lay on his back and
kicked his legs in an excess of content and delight. It was a
real pleasure to watch him; not for days had anything so amusing
appeared on the other side of the prison-bars. But as soon as
the keeper saw that the man in the water was amusing his
prisoner, he leaned over the ship's side and shouted, "Sa-ay,
you, don't you know there's sharks in there?"

And the swimming man said, "The h--ll there is!" and raced back
to the shore like a porpoise with great lashing of the water, and
ran up the beach half-way to the palms before he was satisfied to
stop. Then the prisoner wept again. It was so disappointing.
Life was robbed of everything now. He remembered that in a
previous existence soldiers who cried were laughed at and mocked.

But that was so far away and it was such an absurd superstition
that he had no patience with it. For what could be more
comforting to a man when he is treated cruelly than to cry.
It was so obvious an exercise, and when one is so feeble that one
cannot vault a four-railed barrier it is something to feel that
at least one is strong enough to cry.

He escaped occasionally, traversing space with marvellous
rapidity and to great distances, but never to any successful
purpose; and his flight inevitably ended in ignominious recapture
and a sudden awakening in bed. At these moments the familiar and
hated palms, the peaks and the block-house were more hideous in
their reality than the most terrifying of his nightmares.

These excursions afield were always predatory; he went forth
always to seek food. With all the beautiful world from which to
elect and choose, he sought out only those places where eating
was studied and elevated to an art. These visits were much more
vivid in their detail than any he had ever before made to these
same resorts. They invariably began in a carriage, which carried
him swiftly over smooth asphalt. One route brought him across a
great and beautiful square, radiating with rows and rows of
flickering lights; two fountains splashed in the centre of the
square, and six women of stone guarded its approaches. One of
the women was hung with wreaths of mourning. Ahead of him the
late twilight darkened behind a great arch, which seemed to rise
on the horizon of the world, a great window into the heavens
beyond. At either side strings of white and colored globes hung
among the trees, and the sound of music came joyfully from
theatres in the open air. He knew the restaurant under the trees
to which he was now hastening, and the fountain beside it, and
the very sparrows balancing on the fountain's edge; he knew every
waiter at each of the tables, he felt again the gravel crunching
under his feet, he saw the maitre d'hotel coming forward
smiling to receive his command, and the waiter in the green apron
bowing at his elbow, deferential and important, presenting the
list of wines. But his adventure never passed that point, for he
was captured again and once more bound to his cot with a close
burning sheet.

Or else, he drove more sedately through the London streets in
the late evening twilight, leaning expectantly across the doors
of the hansom and pulling carefully at his white gloves. Other
hansoms flashed past him, the occupant of each with his mind
fixed on one idea--dinner. He was one of a million of people who
were about to dine, or who had dined, or who were deep in dining.

He was so famished, so weak for food of any quality, that the
galloping horse in the hansom seemed to crawl. The lights of the
Embankment passed like the lamps of a railroad station as seen
from the window of an express; and while his mind was still torn
between the choice of a thin or thick soup or an immediate attack
upon cold beef, he was at the door, and the chasseur touched
his cap, and the little chasseur put the wicker guard over the
hansom's wheel. As he jumped out he said, "Give him half-a-
crown," and the driver called after him, "Thank you, sir."

It was a beautiful world, this world outside of the iron bars.
Every one in it contributed to his pleasure and to his comfort.
In this world he was not starved nor manhandled. He thought
of this joyfully as he leaped up the stairs, where young men with
grave faces and with their hands held negligently behind their
backs bowed to him in polite surprise at his speed. But they had
not been starved on condensed milk. He threw his coat and hat at
one of them, and came down the hall fearfully and quite weak with
dread lest it should not be real. His voice was shaking when he
asked Ellis if he had reserved a table. The place was all so
real, it must be true this time. The way Ellis turned and ran
his finger down the list showed it was real, because Ellis always
did that, even when he knew there would not be an empty table for
an hour. The room was crowded with beautiful women; under the
light of the red shades they looked kind and approachable, and
there was food on every table, and iced drinks in silver buckets.

It was with the joy of great relief that he heard Ellis say to
his underling, "Numero cinq, sur la terrace, un couvert." It was
real at last. Outside, the Thames lay a great gray shadow. The
lights of the Embankment flashed and twinkled across it, the
tower of the House of Commons rose against the sky, and here,
inside, the waiter was hurrying toward him carrying a smoking
plate of rich soup with a pungent intoxicating odor.

And then the ragged palms, the glaring sun, the immovable peaks,
and the white surf stood again before him. The iron rails swept
up and sank again, the fever sucked at his bones, and the pillow
scorched his cheek.

One morning for a brief moment he came back to real life again
and lay quite still, seeing everything about him with clear eyes
and for the first time, as though he had but just that instant
been lifted over the ship's side. His keeper, glancing up, found
the prisoner's eyes considering him curiously, and recognized the
change. The instinct of discipline brought him to his feet with
his fingers at his sides.

"Is the Lieutenant feeling better?"

The Lieutenant surveyed him gravely.

"You are one of our hospital stewards."

"Yes, Lieutenant."

"Why ar'n't you with the regiment?"

"I was wounded, too, sir. I got it same time you did,

"Am I wounded? Of course, I remember. Is this a hospital ship?"

The steward shrugged his shoulders. "She's one of the
transports. They have turned her over to the fever cases."

The Lieutenant opened his lips to ask another question; but his
own body answered that one, and for a moment he lay silent.

"Do they know up North that I--that I'm all right?"

"Oh, yes, the papers had it in--there was pictures of the
Lieutenant in some of them."

"Then I've been ill some time?"

"Oh, about eight days."

The soldier moved uneasily, and the nurse in him became

"I guess the Lieutenant hadn't better talk any more," he said.
It was his voice now which held authority.

The Lieutenant looked out at the palms and the silent gloomy
mountains and the empty coast-line, where the same wave was
rising and falling with weary persistence.

"Eight days," he said. His eyes shut quickly, as though with a
sudden touch of pain. He turned his head and sought for the
figure at the foot of the cot. Already the figure had grown
faint and was receding and swaying.

"Has any one written or cabled?" the Lieutenant spoke, hurriedly.

He was fearful lest the figure should disappear altogether before
he could obtain his answer. "Has any one come?"

"Why, they couldn't get here, Lieutenant, not yet."

The voice came very faintly. "You go to sleep now, and I'll run
and fetch some letters and telegrams. When you wake up, may be
I'll have a lot for you."

But the Lieutenant caught the nurse by the wrist, and crushed his
hand in his own thin fingers. They were hot, and left the
steward's skin wet with perspiration. The Lieutenant laughed

"You see, Doctor," he said, briskly, "that you can't kill me. I
can't die. I've got to live, you understand. Because, sir, she
said she would come. She said if I was wounded, or if I was ill,
she would come to me. She didn't care what people thought. She
would come any way and nurse me--well, she will come.

"So, Doctor--old man--" He plucked at the steward's sleeve, and
stroked his hand eagerly, "old man--" he began again,
beseechingly, "you'll not let me die until she comes, will you?
What? No, I know I won't die. Nothing made by man can kill me.
No, not until she comes. Then, after that--eight days, she'll be
here soon, any moment? What? You think so, too? Don't you?
Surely, yes, any moment. Yes, I'll go to sleep now, and when you
see her rowing out from shore you wake me. You'll know her; you
can't make a mistake. She is like--no, there is no one like
her--but you can't make a mistake."

That day strange figures began to mount the sides of the ship,
and to occupy its every turn and angle of space. Some of them
fell on their knees and slapped the bare deck with their hands,
and laughed and cried out, "Thank God, I'll see God's country
again!" Some of them were regulars, bound in bandages; some were
volunteers, dirty and hollow-eyed, with long beards on boys'
faces. Some came on crutches; others with their arms around
the shoulders of their comrades, staring ahead of them with a
fixed smile, their lips drawn back and their teeth protruding.
At every second step they stumbled, and the face of each was
swept by swift ripples of pain.

They lay on cots so close together that the nurses could not walk
between them. They lay on the wet decks, in the scuppers, and
along the transoms and hatches. They were like shipwrecked
mariners clinging to a raft, and they asked nothing more than
that the ship's bow be turned toward home. Once satisfied as to
that, they relaxed into a state of self-pity and miserable
oblivion to their environment, from which hunger nor nausea nor
aching bones could shake them.

The hospital steward touched the Lieutenant lightly on the

"We are going North, sir," he said. "The transport's ordered
North to New York, with these volunteers and the sick and
wounded. Do you hear me, sir?"

The Lieutenant opened his eyes. "Has she come?" he asked.

"Gee!" exclaimed the hospital steward. He glanced impatiently at
the blue mountains and the yellow coast, from which the transport
was drawing rapidly away.

"Well, I can't see her coming just now," he said. "But she
will," he added.

"You let me know at once when she comes."

"Why, cert'nly, of course," said the steward.

Three trained nurses came over the side just before the transport
started North. One was a large, motherly-looking woman, with a
German accent. She had been a trained nurse, first in Berlin,
and later in the London Hospital in Whitechapel, and at Bellevue.

The nurse was dressed in white, and wore a little silver medal at
her throat; and she was strong enough to lift a volunteer out of
his cot and hold him easily in her arms, while one of the
convalescents pulled his cot out of the rain. Some of the men
called her "nurse;" others, who wore scapulars around their
necks, called her "Sister;" and the officers of the medical staff
addressed her as Miss Bergen.

Miss Bergen halted beside the cot of the Lieutenant and
asked, "Is this the fever case you spoke about, Doctor--the one
you want moved to the officers' ward?" She slipped her hand up
under his sleeve and felt his wrist.

"His pulse is very high," she said to the steward. "When did you
take his temperature?" She drew a little morocco case from her
pocket and from that took a clinical thermometer, which she shook
up and down, eying the patient meanwhile with a calm, impersonal
scrutiny. The Lieutenant raised his head and stared up at the
white figure beside his cot. His eyes opened and then shut
quickly, with a startled look, in which doubt struggled with
wonderful happiness. His hand stole out fearfully and warily
until it touched her apron, and then, finding it was real, he
clutched it desperately, and twisting his face and body toward
her, pulled her down, clasping her hands in both of his, and
pressing them close to his face and eyes and lips. He put them
from him for an instant, and looked at her through his tears.

"Sweetheart," he whispered, "sweetheart, I knew you'd come."

As the nurse knelt on the deck beside him, her thermometer
slipped from her fingers and broke, and she gave an exclamation
of annoyance. The young Doctor picked up the pieces and tossed
them overboard. Neither of them spoke, but they smiled
appreciatively. The Lieutenant was looking at the nurse with the
wonder and hope and hunger of soul in his eyes with which a dying
man looks at the cross the priest holds up before him. What he
saw where the German nurse was kneeling was a tall, fair girl
with great bands and masses of hair, with a head rising like a
lily from a firm, white throat, set on broad shoulders above a
straight back and sloping breast--a tall, beautiful creature,
half-girl, half-woman, who looked back at him shyly, but

"Listen," he said.

The voice of the sick man was so sure and so sane that the young
Doctor started, and moved nearer to the head of the cot.
"Listen, dearest," the Lieutenant whispered. "I wanted to tell
you before I came South. But I did not dare; and then I was
afraid something might happen to me, and I could never tell you,
and you would never know. So I wrote it to you in the will I
made at Baiquiri, the night before the landing. If you hadn't
come now, you would have learned it in that way. You would have
read there that there never was any one but you; the rest were
all dream people, foolish, silly--mad. There is no one else in
the world but you; you have been the only thing in life that has
counted. I thought I might do something down here that would
make you care. But I got shot going up a hill, and after that I
wasn't able to do anything. It was very hot, and the hills were
on fire; and they took me prisoner, and kept me tied down here,
burning on these coals. I can't live much longer, but now that I
have told you I can have peace. They tried to kill me before you
came; but they didn't know I loved you, they didn't know that men
who love you can't die. They tried to starve my love for you, to
burn it out of me; they tried to reach it with their knives. But
my love for you is my soul, and they can't kill a man's soul.
Dear heart, I have lived because you lived. Now that you
know--now that you understand--what does it matter?"

Miss Bergen shook her head with great vigor. "Nonsense," she
said, cheerfully. "You are not going to die. As soon as we move
you out of this rain, and some food cook--"

"Good God!" cried the young Doctor, savagely. "Do you want to
kill him?"

When she spoke the patient had thrown his arms heavily across his
face, and had fallen back, lying rigid on the pillow.

The Doctor led the way across the prostrate bodies, apologizing
as he went. "I am sorry I spoke so quickly," he said, "but he
thought you were real. I mean he thought you were some one he
really knew--"

"He was just delirious," said the German nurse, calmly.


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