"Hello!" she greeted him.
There was a curious kind of
familiarity in her tone which struck
"What are you doing here?" she
"I own this place," said John. "At
least, I think it is included in my
"Of course," said the girl. "So do
"We?" asked John.
"Yes. We folks of the commun
ity," answered the gril.
"What community?" John ex
claimed. "Why, yonder, said the girl, indi
cating the asylum with a nod of her
John felt his heart beat painfully.
This charming young woman was,
then, a patient at the asylum. She
was mad it was the most pathetic
thing he had ever imagined. She
could not have been more than nine
teen. Her face had a sweet wistful
ness which touched his susceptible
heart And she was mad, immured
among a crowd of crazy folks!
"How long have you lived here?-"
"Seven years," answered the girl.
"Come, let us go home," she added,
taking him by the arm.
"I I have an engagement in the
town," John faltered.
"I'm sure it will wait, won't it?"
asked the girl. "Come, don't be fool
ish what is your name?"
"Just John," said John.
"Then come home, like a sensible
man," she pleaded.
"I can't," said John. "You really
must excuse me. But IH often come
here," he added. "We might continue
our conversation tomorrow "
He had to use actual force to break
the girl's grip on his arm, and, when
he had escaped, he almost ran into
his cottage. He barred the door be
hind him. He was trying to shut out,
not the girl, but his awakening love.
John Me had never been in love
since be 0 hood, and that was more
years ago than he cared to remem
ber. The girl's face had touched
something deep down in his nature,
that responded as a lyre to skillful'
Angers. He wanted to take her and
care for her, to see, day by day, the,
light of reason dawning in her eyes,
until at last the reality of the world
broke in upon her consciousness.
A tap at his door aroused him from."
the reverie into which he had fallen.
He looked cautiously out of the win
dow. It was not the girl but a man,
bearded and grave-looking, whom
John knew to be a physician even be
fore he opened the door.
"Mr. Moore?" asked the visitor.
"You won't be surprised at my know
ing your name when I tell you that I
am one of the asylum doctors, and of
course we keep ourselves posted con
cerning our neighbors. One of our
patients has escaped. He may be in
your barn. Have, I permission to
"A girl?" inquired John sadly.
"No, a young fellow. I am not sure
which of our people it is. When we
learn of an escape we search the
neighborhood "first and call the roll
John accompanied the doctor to
the barn, but an exhaustive search
of this and the other buildings failed
to reveal the fugitive.
"Well, I guess one of the guards
has got him," said the doctor. "I am
greatly obliged to you. Look in on
me sometimes we are pretty lonely
here. My name is Bassett, and that'
third cottage is mine. Any evening "
But John knew that he dared not
go near the asylum grounds again.
He tried to frame a colorless accept
ance which would not cpmmit him,
when the doctor continued:
"I should like you to see my daugh
ter. She keeps house for me, and is
almost as good a physician as my
self. Her tact with the patients is
, wonderful. And here she comes now!
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