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SUNDAY MAGAZINE FOR APRIL 4. 1909
on« .i thought tor his madness, addressed Spen
ser with easy complacence while Barth was on
roping them "Why « li< 1 you believe that I
was <!oim' a risky thinj,' in stopping to assist
Stampa?" he ;isk<«l
' 1 >,';: i ss you know best.' was the uncom
"Yes, 1 think I do. Of course. I could not
argue the matter then; but fancy mv climb
ing experience is far greater than yours, Mr
Spenser " His sheer impudence was admirable
He even smiled i:i the superior way of an expert
lecturing .. novice.
But S]H!is.r <ml not sunk- "I)-) you re-ally
wish to hear my views of your conduct?" he s.ui!
"No. thank's The discussion mi^ht prove
interesting but u< can adjourn it to the coffee
and vij;ar period after dinner."
His eyes fell under Spenser's contemptuous
glance " Yet he earned himself bravely.
Though the man he meant to kill, anil another
man who h.i«l read his inmost thought in time
to prevent a tragedy, were looking at him
fixedly, h<- turned away with a laugh on his hj>s
" I am afraid, Miss wynton, that you will re
gard me in future as ;i broken reed where .\!j>;n<
excursions are concerned," he s.m!
' You were mistaken — that is obvious," sai.l
Helen frankly "But so was Barth. He agreed
that the storm would be only a passing iitTair
Don't you think we are very deeply indebted
to Mi Spenser and Stampa ior coming to our
" I do, indeed Stampa, one can reward in
kind. This sort of thin^ used to be his busi
ness, I hear. As for Mr. Spenser, a smile irom
you will repay him tenfold "
"Hen Spenser," broke in Stampa, "you go
. ii with the signorina and see that she does not
lip She is tired. Marcus Bower and I have
matters to discuss. 1 !
The old mans unwonted harshness appealed
to the girl as did the host of ther queer hap
penings on that memorable day Bower moved
uneasily A vindictive gleam shot from his
eves Helen missed none of this. Hut she was
fatigued, and her feet were cold and wet, while
the sleet encountered on th< upper glacier had
almost soaked her to the skin Nevertheless,
she trove bravely to iiK'hten the cloud that
seemed to have ttled on the men
"That means a wordy warfare." she said
gaily. "I pity you, Mr Rower. You cannot
wriggle out of" your difficulty. The snow will
soon Ik- a foot dtcp in the valley. Goodness
only knows what would hav< become of us up
there in the hat!"
He bowed gracefully, with a hint of the for-
ign air h( had noted once before. 'I would
have brought you safely out of greater jn-riis.'
he said; "but every dog has his day. and this
is Stampa 's."
pN ROUTE cried the guide impatiently. He
M - t ].ii'i, the ighi of Bower standinj then-,
smiling and rtei ius, in the presence of one
whom tie regarded as a Heav< seni friend and
protectress Spenser attributed his surliness
to its true cause It supplu .1 another bit oi the
mosaic he was slowly piecing together. Greatly
as he pn i. rr. ,1 Helen s company, he was willing
to sacrifice at i.-.i t ten minul of it >uld he
but listen to the "discussion" between Stampa
Therein he would have erred greatly. Helen
was tired, and she admitted it. She did not de
. line his ai<l when the path was steep and slip
pi rv In delightful snatches of talk they man
aged to say a good deal to each other, and
11. leu did not fail t.> m ike plain the exact cir
cum tances under which she first caught ight
|of Spen er outside the hut. When they arrived
at the carriage road, which begins at LakeCav
loccio, they could walk side by side and chat
freely. Here in the valley matters were nor
mal The snow did not place och a veil on all
things The windings of the road often brought
them abreast of the four men in the rear.
Bower was trudging along alone, holding his
head down, and seemingly lost in thought.
Close behind him came Stampa and the En
gadiners Karl, of course, was talking — the
others might or might not be lending their ears
to his interminable gossip.
■^r/i;..!. outstripping our companions Don't
vv you think we ought to wait lor them?"
| said Helen once, when Bower chanced to look
[ her way.
" No, ' said Spenser.
"You are eedingly positive
"I tried to l>e exceedingly negative."
" But why? '
"I rather fancy that they would jar on us "
" But Stampa's promised lecture appears to
have ended "
" I think it never began It is a safe bet that
Mr Bower and he have not exchanged a word
since our last halt."
Helen laughed ' A genuine case of Greek
meeting Greek," she said "Stampa is an ex
cellent guide. I am sure; but Mr Bowei does
really know these mountains I suppi • any
one is likely to err when forecasting Alpine
"That is nothing If it was you or I, Stampa
would dismi the point with a grin. You
heard how he chaffed Barth, yet trusted him
with the lead? No These two have an old
feud to settk You will hear more of it."
••A feud! Mr Bower declared to me^that
Stampa wa solutely unknown to him."
"It isn't necessary to know a man before you
hate him. I can give you a heap of historic ex
amples For instance, who has a good word to
say for Ananias.'"
"The girl understood that he meant to parr)
her question with a quip The cross orposes
so much in evidence all day were baffling and
terious to its close "My own opinion is
that both you and Stampa have taken an un
reasonable dislike to Mr Bower, she said de
terminedly The words were oui before she
quite realized their import. She flushed a little.
Spenser was g.izing down into the gorge <-f
the < >r!»-gna. The brawling torrent chimed
with his own mood; but his set face gave no
ti 'ken of the storm within Ile only said quietly,
"How good it must l>e to have you as a friend. f "
'I have no reason to feel other than friendly
to Mr Bower," she protested hotly "It was
the rarest good fortune for me that he came to
Maloggia 1 met him once in London, and a
second time, by accident, during my journey
to Switzerland Yet widely kn. .wn as he is in
society, he was sufficiently large minded to ihs
regard the sneers and innuendoes of some ol
those horrid women in the hotel He has gone
out of his way to show me every kindness. \\ hy
should I not repay it by speaking well of him?
"I shall lay my head on the- nearest tree
stump, and you can >mite me with yuur ax
good and hard." said Spenser
She laughed angrily "I don't know what
evil influence is possessing us!'' she cried
" X rything is awry. Even the sun refuses to
shine. " Here am 1 storming at one to whom 1
owe my lift — "
• • No!" he broke in decisively " Don't put it
that way. because the whole credit oi the relief
expedition is due to Stampa Say. Miss Wyn
ton, may I square my small services by asking
"OI yes, indeed."
"Well, then, if it lies in your power, keep
Stampa and Bower apart Fn any event, don't
intervene in their quarrel.*"
"So you are quite serious in yuur belief that
there is a quarrel'"
The American saw again in his mind's eye
the scene in the crevasse when Bower had raised
his ax to ... "Quite serious." he replied,
and the gravity in his Voice was s.-. marked that
Helen placed a .... hand on his arm for an
" Please, I am -orry it I was rude to you just
now!" she said. " I have had a long day. and
my nerves are worn to a fine edge I used to
(latter myself that I hadn't any nerves; but
they have come to the surface lure It must be
the thin .iir ."
" Then it is v bad pla.e for an American."
A 11. tl it reminds me of something I had tor
■f*. gotten. I meant to ask you how you came
to remain in Maloggia. Is that too inquisi
tive on my part? I can account for the pres
ence of the ther ricans in the hotel. They
belong to the Paris colony, and are interested
in tennis and golf I have not seen you playing
either game In fact, you moon about in soli
tary grandeur like myseH And — oh. dear!
what a string of questions' — is it true thai you
wanted to play baccarat with Mr Bower for a
'■ It is true that I agreed to share a bank with
Mr Dunston, and the figure you mention was
suggested : but I backed out of the proposition."
"Because your friend Mr. Hare thought he
was responsible in a sense, having introduced
me to Dunston; so I let up on the idea, — just
to stop him from feeling bad about it."
"You realrj meant to play in the first in
"Well, H was very wicked of you. Only the
other day you were telling me how hard you
had to work before you >a\«d ytrai iir^t tboo
.. i ■. . 1 pounds."
"From th.it i « .j nt oJ view my coi
idiot:. . Bui I would like to i.,rrv the -lory a
little further, Miss Wynton I wa> in
th.it night to • ■!■]>..«■ Mr. Bower :<>r .i much
more vain; Me >take it the chance < fferedL"
"It is rather shocking," said Helen.
"I suppose so. ii coarse, there ..r. •.
in Hfe tti.it cannot Ik- measured by monetary
He was not looking .it the Orlegna now, and
the kit! by his side well knew it The gre.it rev
elation that flooded her sou] with light whik
crossing the Porno came back with renewed
!>.>«, r. >he did pel pretend to herself thai the
words were devoid <>t hidden meaning, and her
beari v.\uu red with subtle ecstasy Bat she
ruud and self reliant,— .■ proud ?
crushed the tumult in ' ■■ .--<■!! reliant
■ lie was able to give him a timid smile.
"Thai deals with tin- second bead oi I
dictment, thru." she said bghtly "\..»- for
the first. Why did you select the Engadi
" It I could tell you that. I should know somi -
thing of the >■< ■ ufi impulses that govern nun's
'i\. < 'iic minute 1 was in London, meaning
to v;o north The next 1 was hurr\ini; t" buy a
tv kct for St. Merits."
"Hut--" She meant CD continue, "you ar
rived here the same day as 1 iliii." Somehow
that <lnl not sound the ri^ht thing to say. Her
tongue tripped; bui she forced herself to frame
a sentence 'It is odd that yon Kfce myself,
should have hit upon aa out of the way place
'ik«- Maloggia. The difference is that I was scut
here whereas you came tA your own free will
■ I guess you art- right." said he, laughing as
though she had uttered an exquisite joke.
"Y< that is just ii I can imagine two young
English swallows, meeting in Algeria in the
winter, twittering explanations of the
"I don't feel a i it nke a swallow, and 1 am
sure I can't twitter, ami a- tor Mgeria, a home
of sunshint — weO, jusi look .it it '" She waw.l
.: hand at the darkening panorama of hilN and
pine woods, all etched in black fines and m
where rocks and trees and house* broke the
dead white of the snow mantle.
THHLY happened t> be crossing a bridge that
pans the Orlegna before it takes its frantic
plunge t> ward Italy. Bower, Who hail quick
ened his pace, took the gestun as a signal and
wering flourish. Helen stopped
!!■ ■ ■ • lently wished to ov< rtake tl ■
"Mote explanations," murmured S|«;
"!'.■■ • . \ ktare
t" witness that your similt was : • ratified.'*
"Tell you what. " he s:rid in ,i l.w voice, "if
this ton has bl'-wn over by the morning.
meet me after breakfast, and v. ■ will -wullt
<l<>wn the valley to Yicosoprano •• r irmcJieoa
There is a diligence back in the afti rx* <>n. We
can stroll there in three hoars, an I I '-..'.ll have
time to clear up this swallow ir : :tion."
"That will be delightful, if t'r.t ■• ther im
"It shall I will compel it."
Bower was neuring them rapidly A con
straine.l silence fell between them. .-■■ ■ :..i it.
"Well, are yon feeling duly humbled, Mr.
Bower 5 "
He <!i<l not seem to understand h« r meaning.
Apparently, he might have forgi tren that
Stump.i still lived. Then he r> •;:-■: his wits
with an effort. "Not humbled, but !.ifed."he
saiii '" Have I not led you to feats ■ I d .ring-do?
Why. the Wragg girls will be green -v:th envy
when they hear ol your exploits " He swung
r< >und the ci >rner to the bridge. Aftt r a smiling
glance at Spenser's impassive face, h«" turned
to Helen "You have come oi:t oi the on'.eal
with flying color--." he said. "Thai fl iwerjrcn
picked on the way up has not wit! ,"■ i Hive
it tO me as a memento." The * " were al
most a challenge.
The girl hesitated. "No.** she suK3 " ! must
find you wmc other souvenir "
"" I'.ut I want that — it — "
"Tlu-re is no 'if.' You forgi I I i took it
from — from the boulder marked I
" I am r t superstitious.'"
"Nor ami Nevertheless. Isr id not care
tv give you such a symbol."
She caught Bower and Spens4 ' • h ;nginga
str.:nge look. These men sbaral me secret
that they seduously kept from her Perhaps
the American meant to esfighti i r iana]
their projected w;.lk to Vicoso] r
CTAMPA and the others appr •<!■ To
*■* getber they climbed the littli leading
to the summit ol the pass, hi v they
said goodnight to the two guides ! KarL
Helen promised laughingly :< • i • the ac
quaintance of Johann Klu.kcr's I •: the first
opportunity She was passing thn "'.i wicket
that protects the footpath across ! g< If Knl*
when she heard Stampa grow!»
r Moreen frukf"
" /a/' 4 snapped Bower.
She smiled to herself at th. ight that
things were going to happen r. : n-w
was right. But she had not yel . with t-«
pr ent day. When she entered 1 ■ >>zy ■ 4 ™
brilliantly "lighted veranda oi : hotel «
first person her amazed eyes a&% I ! penwa*
Wherein Helen live* a CrowJ.J Hour
"X/fILLICENT! You her.-: Heir i breatirf
IVJ - the words in an undcrt.-r.. : lat carnea
more than a hint of dismay.
It was one of those rare crises in Hit when tee
brain receives a presage of evil without any
prior foundation of fact. Helen h.ui ' • t " r y."^
son to welcome her friend, none to be cmUea
by her unexpected presence. Among a smaa
circle of intimate acquaintances -h.- count*!
Millicent jaques the best and truest. TN-y&tf
drifted apart, but that was -.v,r- to »«*n»
lack of means. She was not able, nor did sne
aspire, to mix in the society I ■ ■ -'ailed tat
actress as a bright particular star Vet it meant
much to a ir! earning her daily bread in a '.^
less city thai she should po- ■< ss on. »"v-nd f*
her own age and sex who o -.-: ; -• ■ -k of thf
golden years when they were el il tn n :..getfier.
—the years when tieki fath ' - the pro
spective Governor of an Indian :-r -vmce as
lam as France- when the tuft -::iters »»•
gathered in MaloggW would ""...• a:w< L?
her mother in hope of sul*eq-:e- - r. cogaiWW-
Why, then, did Helen falter in ! - r &**?*
Who can tell? SbeherseM did :; I know, unte*
it was that Millicent rose 50 ie: -■•■• lj tro: f^f
table at which she was drinking : ' Ut f d^
of tea and canM toward her with .. smite" 13 *
had no warmth ii it. . ti
"So you have returned," she said, ■■■ BI
both cavaliers'" -^
Helen was conscious of a queer huma-*
noise in her head. She was incapable ' X
thought. She realized now that the mew^
had left in London was here in the &f*Zfr
bitter enemy. The veranda was full of irvQ
waiting for "the post The snow h.u! *io*si
them from links and tennis court 1 W #the
afternoon was dark as mid-lVx-mN* ..' of i' v
sameW.r. But the rendezvous «^ " A f^ '
lighted, ana the reappearance i t the ct»«
whose chances of safety had bei n f J^"^ rt
bated since the snowstorm began. •! reW v " t Iu j
Some one had whispered too that tiirK» u^
woman who arrived from St '■'■'■ "^v^
hour earlier, who sat in her furs and ?'P£*r
tea after a long conversation with a clerk in
bureau, was nor..- other than Millicent "Vbsh
the dancer, one of the leading fights ot fcngi=~
musical comedy —.J
The peepers and whisperers Ettle 'r e^l c
that she could be awaitii the party troro vor
Porno. Now that her vigil was **&**TjZ
Bower had advanced with ready smile -» n^«Lj
stretched hand, the Wraggs and \ "^a
de la Veres— all the little coterie ot S"^*£L. A
scandalmongers— were drawn to the center
the hall like steel tilings to a magnet
Mii.i.u i:.\ i ignored Bower. She was yottnjj
enough and pretty enough to reel sure rf
her abihtv to deal with him subsequently.^
cornnbwerblneeyesgliti They held soa*
thing of the <|uiet menace of a '-p^ l^: , 1^
had traveled far for revenge, and -he diJ °^
mean to forego it. Helen. wh.^MV^-l^
pube was to kiss her affectionately, wiia
CcnrxutJ en fCtg* 14