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he should tell her. Her Incredulous
anger he foresaw; and her anxiety
the anxiety of the woman unversed
in legal matters. He damned Ham
mond in his heartland pulled out his
evening paper. There"" it was, in all
the shamelessness of the flaring
headline: "A Leading Citizen Indict
ed!" and so on. The big black let
ters were like a blow in the face.
Fleming felt that every commuter on
the train was looking over the top
of his newspaper at him. And he had
to tell Amy! The fact was Thomas
Fleming had no experience in dis
grace and did not know how to con
duct himself. When be swung off
onto the platform and plodded slowly
up the lane to his own house, it seem
ed to him as though his very feet
hung back! When his foot touched
the lowest step of the porch, the door
opened wide and Amy stood there.
"Go right into the house! You'll
take cold," he commanded.
But she drew him inside with
eager welcome. "Why, how did you
manage to get the 5 o'clock. I heard
the gate shut and could hardly be
lieve my ears!" She possessed her
self of one of his hands, so he had
to dive as best he could with the oth
er, to fish out her candy. She took
it, with gay pretense of scolding, and
then checked herself.
"You look tired, ,Tom. When
you've had your dinner you'll feel
"Ah, Amy "
"Yes? Tell me; I knew you hadn't
had a good day."
When he had told her, she sat
dumb before him. Her face was
white and her eyes terror stricken.
But that was only for the first mo
ment. Almost instantly there was the
relief of anger. She stood up, her
delicate face red, her voice strained.
"To accuse you! YOU!"
It was just what Bates had said.
The first thought everywhere would
be of the absurdity of such a charge
against Thomas Fleming.
"It's blackmail," Amy said, tremb
ling. "Of course, we shall have no diffi
culty in throwing them down," he
said. "They bring their case, really,
on Smith's old check to me for
"I don't understand?" Amy said. It
had always been a joke between them
that Amy did not know anything
about business, so she tried to smile
when she asked him to explain.
"Oh," he said, impatiently, "it's
simple enough. Smith owed me $3,000
a personal matter. I once sold him
some stock; he gave me his note; had
to renew two or three times; thing
sort of hung fire. You wouldn't un
derstand it, Amy. But when he
bought this Hammond property-for
$14,400 he made out the check for
$17,400 he'd had a windfall, so he
could pay me what he owed me. See?
I got my money. Understand? "
"Perfectly," she said; "what a ras
cal Hammond is!"
Her husband was silent. Amy's
knees were shaking under her. "Oh,
I could kill that man, I could- kill
Well as he knew her, he looked at
her with astonishment this mild
creature to speak with such deadly,
vindictive passion! She came and
knelt down beside him; he felt her
heart pounding in her side.
She kissed him, silently; and went
back to her seat.
' "Don't let's talk about it, dearest,
any more tonight. It's only on the
surface; it isn't a real trouble."
He nodded, gratefully; and they did
not speak of it again.
But that night Amy Fleming, lying
motionless in her bed, stared into the
darkness until the -glimmering ob
long of the window told her that
dawn had come.
"Trouble shows us our friends,"
Amy said, smiling. And indeed it did,
in the Flemings' case. When the
news of the indictment of Thomas
Fleming fell upon his community,