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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 23, 1913, Image 20

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-01-23/ed-1/seq-20/

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perpetual "star" and let him bear
the expense and take what profits
there were? She consented.
From that moment her company
became a feature of all the second-rate
cities. The stranger's
money liberally supplied the an
nual deficit. His checks came
with due regularity. Marian
Kempner had become the pen
sioner of an unknown man.
About this time ''Hiram's Fol
ly" was completed. The empty
house stood on the hill. Hiram
lived in a cottage below. He had
suddenly abandoned all his en
terprises; with a comfortable in
come, he lived a solitary life in
Rundle's Bay. He was often to
be seen upon the cliffs, spy-glass
in hand. People said that he was
waiting for some ship that never
came in.
The summer after his retire
ment the order went out that
Marian's company was to tour
New England, especially the
coast towns. It played from
Newport .to Bangor and back
again. The next year the same
itinerary was scheduled. And
that was when the "Patagonia"
found her end upon the rocks of
Rundle's reef.
Now, whether Smith had
known that some day the treach
erous rocks would find the ves
sel's keel, or whether the captain
had been bribed to run his ves
sel ashore, was never known. But
it was a wild winter's morning
when Marian's company found
their vessel stranded off shore, in
danger of breaking up. Hiram
Smith was first to volunteer in
the lifeboat crew. And the first
person whom he encountered
upon the vessel's deck was Mar
ian. He drew her to one side.
"There's plenty of time," he
said. "The ship don't look like
breaking up for awhile. You
wouldn't be sorry if the com
pany broke up with her, I
reckon?"
"No," she said, looking at him.
"No."
"Some folks' lives break up like
ships," said Hiram, and that was
the wildest flight he ever made
into metaphor.
"Yes," she said, laughing and
shivering in the wind. "You're
right."
"You don't remember Rundle's
Bay?" asked Hiram. "You were
never here before?"
"Yes," she answered, with sud
den remembrance. "That was
long ago, though fourteen years
and more."
"It's-been longer to me," an
swered Hiram Smith. "You
don't recall that boat ride down
by the reef and how I said I'd get
you again ? I've got all I've want
ed but you, Marian. Now I'm go
ing to have you as well. That's
our house on the hill. Now we'll
get into the boat"
That was all the guide's story.
But, knowing the depths that un
derlie the calm exterior of the
New England nature, I suspect
ed that there was more. And I
pictured Hiram, whose fourteen
years were rewarded, and his re
lentless quest that was crowned
with success. Then, looking up,
I saw children on the steps q

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