quibble. 1'h.us was it that he was
greeted at his home town by honest
ly admiring neighbors. Even Ruth,
was in a way proud of him because
he was the brother of her dearest girl
"You see, there is something good
In my boy, after all," said Mrs. Joyce.
"And you must encourage him,
dear Ruth," advised Myra.
Ruth was less embarrassed than
bored when she accepted an. invita
tion from young Joyce to take an au
tomobile spin the next day. She had
no fear in her mind that he would fall
in love with her or become burden
some in his attentions he was too
full of himself to waste emotion and
' Like all egotists, he had almost
come to believe that he was actually
the great hero the news journals had
lauded. When he was not describing
impossible swimming feats he was
boasting of his athletic pre-eminence
on the college campus.
Ruth was very faithful to her
promise to Myra. She, was at the
Joyce home most of the time. She
congratulated herself that she was
helping to da some good in the world.
In her letters to her fiance, Willis Tal
cott, however, she never so much as
alluded to Herbert Joyce.
The gloss of hero worship after a
few days began to wear oft with Her- i
bert. He was growing restive and
talked of pressing notes received
from his chums urging him to join
them. Ruth exceeded herself in gra
ciousness and interest in his affairs.
She was sorry for It, as during a
whole day, however, she noticed a
new speculative expression -pn the
face of 'her companion."
Several times he had passed a
warm cdmpliment, he had even re
marked that it would be time soon
for him to make up his mind as to
whom of the many misses he knew
he would honor with his regular at
tentions. They had started out in a light-
Skiff on the little lake one afternoon, j
Ruth'& little sster, Nellie, and, the
children of a neighbor had dome
down to the beach with them.. They
left them playing on the sand while
they drifted idly along. t
y"1 declare, Miss Ruth," spoke Her
bert, arising in the skiff and evidently
intending to move nearer to her," you
look a fascinating but a lonely pic
ture sitting there In the stern. I
"I am very comfortable, I assure
you," retorted Ruth, and then she"
spring suddenly to her feet with d
wild cry of terror.
Little Nellie had ventured upon i.
light raft hear the shore. .It had
floated away with her, its movement
had swung the child overboard and
she was struggling in the water.
"My sister my little sister!"
shrieked Ruth. "She will drown. Oh,
hurry, hurry? save her!"
In her urgency Ruth clutched at
the arm of herjidmpanion. , The sldff
was rocking dangerously. v Herbert
lost his footing and went overboard.
Ruth supposed he had jumped in
to swim to her imperiled sister. To
her astonishment; noy, more to her
horror, she saw Herbert puff, floun
der, crybut like -a Irtehtened child
and cllflg to tiie bbat," 'nearly tipping
"Help! Help! Pull me In. HI
drown!"' he blubbered in craven
tones, turning ashy pale.
"My sister bn.-ewimto-her, save
"I caa't swim!" shivered the im
postor. "Not swim! You, the hero who
saved four people " '
"It wasn't me. It was another fel
low of my, name," faltered the cow
ard. "Let me in I'm cold! I'm wet!"
Ruth herself would have leaped
overboard to save her sister but at
that moment there was a splash.
With a gasp, Ruth f ecc-gnized , Willie
Talcott, little Nellie in his arms, saved
just in time. . Herbert had got back
into the skiff. He rowed ashore'and
fled abashed for the woods and home.
There was. a pertain sternness ia
i ir fi lif d"m ft "- .. . .v . a ...tAni-JhM21
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