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mering through the trees, and he be
gan the descent, stepping quietly as a
He parted the thicket. There was
np canoe there, nothing except a
book lying on a luncheon basket; and
what was this and. this?
He stared stupidly for a moment,
then rose and stepped through the
thicket to the edge of the water. A
canoe glittered out there, pulled up
on a flat, sunny rock in midstream,
and upon the rock lay a girl in a drip
ping bathing dress, drying her hair
in the sun.
Instantly an odd-sense of it all hay
ing happened before seized him the
sun on the water, the canoe, the slim
figure lying there.
Then, as she sat up, twisting her
sun-bronzed hair, a turn of her head
brought him into direct line of vision.
They stared at one another across
the sunny water.
For Qne second the thought flashed
on him that he knew her; then in the
same moment all that had seemed
familiar in the situation faded into
strangeness and he was aware that
he had never before looked upon her
Yet, curiously enough, his Jong and
melancholy aversion to women had
not returned at sight of hen She
-Jiad risen in surprise, wide dark eyes
on him; and he spoke immediately,
saying he had not meant to disturb
her, and that she was quite welcome
to use the canoe.
Her first stammered words annoy
ed him. "Did the doctor come with
you? Are you are you alone?"
"I suppose the entire countryside
knows I have been ill,", he said; "but
I'm perfectly able to be about with
out a "doctor." 'He began to laugh.
"But those are not the questions. The
questions are what are people doing
in these woods with luncheon bas
kets and summer novels, and how am
I to fish this pool if people swim in
it; and how am I to fish at all if aa
attractive stranger takes possession
of m coej'
"I I had no idea you were coming
here," she faltered. "I bathe here
every morning, and then I lunch here
He laughed outright at her inno
cent acknowledgment of the tres
pass. "I have a clear case.against.you,"
he said. "Haven't you read all my
notices nailed up on trees? 'Warn
ing! All trespassers will be dealt
with to the full extent of tfie'jaw!'
and much more tdsimilar "effect?
And do you know what a. dreadful
thing it is to be dealt with to the full
extent of the law?"
"But I am not not trespassing,"
she,sajd. "Can yon npt remember?"
"I'm afraid I can't,"" fie repjied,
smiling; Tm.' afraid I haye a clear ,
case against you. The doctor-warn-
red me that trespassers were about."
"So he sent you to catch a tres
passer?" she said. ' "
"I was coming'to fish. -Well, yes;
lie said Ijnight find one.", ,t
"A trespasser? 'A stranger?", She
hesitated; there was hurt astonish
ment in her voice. Suddenly her face
took a deeper flush, as tfiough she
had come to an 'unexpected decision;
her entire manner changed to serene
self-posgessioh. "What are you go
ing to do with me?" she asked, cur
iously. Her smiling defiance softened a
trifle. "IJid.you really wish to catch
this fish very much?" she asked. 'L
I never supposed you would come'
She smiled uncertainly and lifted
a rod from the canoe.
"By Jove, that looks. like oneof M
jnyroQst ne exciaimea. wnere aia
you get it?"
Her eyes were bright with excite
ment; she shook her head, laughing.
"Are you in league with my doc-,
tor? Who are you?" he insisted."
"Only a poacher," she admitted.
They were both laughing now; she
standing beside the canoe, rod in
baud, he balanced oma rock opposite. -
"Are.you.aaieighborof inins?" 'lie 4
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