A BLOW IN THE DARK
By John R. Adams.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
- Mrs. Edith Durham bowed slight
ly to the gentleman who took his seat
beside her at her table aboard the
trans-Atlantic steamship. The card
upon his plate read "Mr. Durham,"
and evidently the steward had mis
taken him for her husband. She
smiled a little at- this, becn-se her
"Tell Me About It."
iusband was not accompanying her
to New York. They had purchased
tickets, but' an unforeseen accident
had prevented him from accompany
ing her. Her interest in the stranger
who so calmly usurped John Dur
ham's seat was therefore awakened.
Their conversation was of the
usual polite, fragmentary order com
mon to ocean travelers at their first
meal. The second meal, next morn
ing, found them almost alone at the
Jabje, for-a stiff gale had kept the
others below. This time they discov
ered mutual friends and interests in
They paced the deck together and
it was in the late afternoon when
Edith Durham turned suddenly upon
"Does it strike you as ordinary,"
she asked, "that you have not told
me your name?"
"My name?" inquired the man,
taken aback. "My name is James
"I asked," said the woman coldly,
"because I fancy most people in the
first cabin believe that you are my
husband.- And," she continued, fit
seems to me that you have done
nothing to dispel that belief. You
have not only taken Mr. Durham's
seat, but you have kept at. my side Iff
an ostentatious manner."
"Mr. Durham is not aboard this
ship," replied the other quietly.
"And pray how do you know
that?" she demanded.
Richmond looked at her keenly.
Despite the severity of her tones
there seemed to lurk an undercur
rent of amusement in her attitude
toward him. He came suddenly to a
. "I'm going to throw myself upon
your mercy, Mrs. Durham," he said.
"1 should have had to do 'so anyway,
but I hoped to win your confidence
first. It is a desperate chance. But
it is my only chance. I want you to
let me keep up the pretense."
"That you are my husband?" she
inquired in astonishment.
"So far as the other passengers are
concerned," he answered. "It is a
matter of life and death to me and I
don't want to die. It is not that I am
a coward, but well, life is always
sweet, I suppose."
"Come and sit over here," she an
swered. His head was bowed and he
did not see the sudden recognition,
the sudden look of horror upon her
"Let me tell you all before you say
a, word," Richmond continued, "Can,
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