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swinging door, and she did not
want to surprise Tom in that
manner. However, there was no
help for it now. She pushed open
the door. There was Tom, in his
shirt sleeves, seated at 'his desk,
his hat on the back of his head
and a cigar cocked sidewise in his
mouth. He looked fat and red,
and his appearance quite stunned
the girl at first, so that she waited
a moment behind the green
screen that had been placed in
front of the entrance.
There were two men in the
room, and they were arguing
with Tom. From what they said
he seemed to be an important
political leader. Sheila could see,
too, that he wore a big diamond
in his shirt front, and a diamond
flashed as he raised one finger to
emphasize his arguments. And
then Tom swore!
She would not have minded a
little oath, perhaps, but what he
said was something which she
could not have imagined on the
lips that had kissed her. She was
so startled that she came out
from behind the screen, and the
men looked at her, and she looked
at Tom; and suddenly Tom leap
ed to his feet and cried:
And added another oath.
Sheila went up to Tom and the
two men withdrew hastily, for
they did not wish to intrude upon
what was. they suspected, some
secret in their leader's life. Sheila
looked at Tom very steadily, and
then she began to cry.
"Tom, Tom!" she sobbed,
drawing'close to him. "I couldn't
jwait any longer. T came. I
wanted you so and I thought I
would surprise you. Are you not
glad to see me, dear?"
Tom had been standing as
j though petrified. Now he found
his tongue. .
"Sheila," he said hoarsely, "I've
been married eight years."
! Sheila waited. Surely there
.was more to come. Surely this
could not be all, the end, the ab
solute end of everything. Why,
if that were so she would die.
No ! What should she do, though ?
What should she do? She wajit-
eu to run away.
Tom was speaking and Sheila
heard his voice, but she did not
see him because of the gathering
clouds. She caught to support
herself at the edge of the screen.
"I suppose I've given you a
pretty raw deal, kid," said Tom,
"but I loved you and love you
still only they yoked me up with
my woman one night when I had
been drinking and didn't know
what I was doing. I tell you, kid,
my life has been hell since that
day. And I couldn't give you up,
mavourneen I couldn't. Time
and again I thought, 'if Sheila
won't give me up I'll get a divorce
and send for her.' But I was get
ting to be a big man in the dis-
trict, and divorce ain't allowed in
our church, as you know, my
dear, and if I'd done it I'd have
set the priest against me, and
then goodby to my power. So I
just waited, hoping the old wom
an would die or something would
turn up. But listen, Sheila" he
had drawn closer to her and she