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Newspaper Page Text
he heard that she was engaged to
And his chance neyer came That
was the crown of his tragedy. He
was put on detail work, set to copy
ing documents-in . the sub-chief's of
fice. He was hever'allowed out again.
There was the Fourth avenue fire,
when three men were killed by a fall
ing beam. If he had had the chance
-r-but .it never cane. For a whole
year he did. not don fireman's clothes.
One day he walked into Bethany's
"Chief," he said, "I haven't had my
chance'. I have Been doing a clerk's
job. Give me my chance to show
that I'm a manV
Bethany looked at him, looked un
der his beetling" eyjebrows clear into
his heart . f-
"I thought you'cLresign, Harrigan,"f
ne said, "we aon t une cowaras on
the force, but .we; hate "more to put a
man off for cowardice. You'll 'have
your chance now.f Report back for,
For a whole year he had seen noth-.
ing of Mary. Somebody told him
that she was married. He knew that
her family had moved away. He
never expected to see her again. He
longed now for his chance, not that
he might regain the esteem and
friendship of his comrades, but so
that he could die worthily.
His chance did come, about three
months after his talk with Bethany.
It was a little fire at first, -but it
spread swiftly, and by the time that
the call came to his company, from
the 'other end of the town, a whole
block, of tenement buildings was
ablaze. And, mounted on the fire
truck, -he felt the whizzing air sweep
by,-, he saw the horses plunge madly
in answer to the deafening bell, and
his-heart leaped' up; in his breast. He
was a man!' He, would show them
that he was a. man. .
The hose was playing-upon the fire;
It. might as -well have beed a child's
sauirteun for all the' effect it had.
Above him far above he saw white
'faces of women atthe windows. 'He
heard their cries faintly iti his. ears:
'He was workingupon the ibse,-and
othermen,more trustworthy 'than he. ,
were climbing up the long ladders to
bring the women down to safety. '
RurtHpnlv he saw a burst rif fire
that leaped out from a window and1
pnmilfert the ladder nearest him. It
ate through the side bars as though'
-they were match sticks. Crasti! Twc
men fell 'from a hideous height" aid
struck the street close by. He did nol
look at them.
He did not look for he had other
'work in hand. Already' another lad-1
der was being raised. Harrigan
t sprang forward and begaiTto ascenc
Me neara snouts Deneatn mm. rpe
captain was ordering him down. This
was not for him; heVas'a coward
and' this was no coward's work. He
climbed steadily, though" the frail lad-
3fer trembled and. shook beneath his
weight. Now he had reached, that aw
ful eulf otfire. He felt if scorch his
,skin; he heard his hair crackle as it
He swung from the ladder, to 'the
narrow coping, just out of the reach
of the flames. He did not dare look
tdown. Above him only one story
above, he saw tnose, women s iaces.
Even as he looked two disappeared.1' V
They had run back into the room,
Peeking madly for an outlet . One, im
mediately above, looked down. He
ichoked. It was Mary.
Now he had no more fear. 'He
braced himself backward, standing
rupon the narrow ledge; half an inch
from eternity. tie Dent nis Knees ana'
leaped, stretching wildly upward. One"
hand found the window sill above and '
clung to- -it; the other hand groped
and found it; now he was drawing
himself up by an effort-superhuman:
In another moment he was on the'
Lledge by Mary's side. He clasped .her
He; looked down into the cluster of
awed-'faces. No man had ever done