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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 12, 1913, Image 18

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-08-12/ed-1/seq-18/

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THE GIFT OF THE SEA
By Vivian H. Brewer.
"I don't believe that we are ever
going to be married, Prank," said
Maisie Lester, looking sadly at her
fiance. There were tears in her big
gray eyes, and Frank Rhodes felt
a sudden sting of shame as he per
ceived them.
He was twenty-eight and Maisie
twenty-five, and they had been en
gaged four years. They ought to have
been married long before, but Prank
"Yes, I Dropped That!"
was what his folks called a "ne'er-do-well."
He had never placed his foot
upon the first rung of the ladder of
success. He had been a clerk in half
a dozen offices, but he wholly lacked
the elements that make for financial
affluence.
Had he been a poet he might have
made his way, for poetry is said to
be a .fairly lucrative calling. But
he was not even that he was a com
poser by choice. He knew that the
present generation would never un
derstand his work; he wanted noth
ing but to have a quiet home of his
own where he could farm and write
his melodies undisturbed. And Maisie
had that passionate longing for a
country life that city-bred people feel.
She was a stenographer, and between
them they made exactly twenty dol
lars a week. Prank would have mar
ried her on that, but Maisie had
enough worldly wisdom to refuse.
"No, my dear," she had said, "un
less you can do something that will
enable ub to get our little farm we
must remain unmarried. But I shall
always be true to you," she added,
and cried piteously. They were like
two children and neither had the re
motest hope of ever achieving what
they had set their hearts upon.
Then Prank had had a wonderful
idea. He would go West What he
was going to do in the West he did
not know, but since the rainbow has
a pot of gold at the far end of its
arch he had a vague idea that some
how he would acquire a fortune in
Nevada, Oklahoma or Oregon he
was not sure which. And on the fol
lowing day he was to start for St.
Louis, which was as far as his money
would carry him. They had met on
the beach an ordinary, common
place beach near the city, thronged
by pleasure-seekers, but distressing
ly cold and barren in the winter sea
son. It was to be their last meeting
for years perhaps for ever.
"I shall always be true to you,
Prank," Maisie whispered again, and
clung to him; and they kissed each
other as passionately as lovers do
who are to be sundered for an incal
culable age. They sat down side by
side and Maisie traced his -initials in
the sand with the point of her um
brella. How child-like he was! she medi
tated. She stole a glance at the long,
curly hair that rimmed his head un
der his soft hat. Poor Prank! Dear
ly as she loved him, Maisie knew that
he would never amount to anything.

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