Newspaper Page Text
" n -
from Peter to pay Paul. . . .
Well, restitution, first of all; on. Tues
day. They would sell a bond, and
take some money out of the bank.
But after restitution they must go
on living. "But I djon't know him,"
came the dreadful refrain, checked
by the instant determination. "Oh, I
When Fleming came hurriedly up
the garden path to his own door,
he had to pull out his latchkey to let
himself into the house. He caught
sight of her in the library, standing
motionless, her back to the door, one
hand resting on the mantelpiece, the
other drooping at her side, the fingers
between the pages of a book. He
came in quickly, with a gayly derisive
"You didn't hear me!" Then, as
she did not turn, he sobered. "Amy,
what is it? Why, Amy! Is there any
thing the matter? Is anything
"Yes. There is something
"Amy!" he said, thoroughly alarm
ed, "what is the matter? Tell me!"
"I "will tell you. Sit down. There;
at the library table. I will show
He sat down, blankly, his lower lip
falling open with perplexity. She
sighed, then came around the table,
stood before him and laid the book
down beside him. She pressed it open,
and in silence ran her finger down
The fire sputtered a little; then
everything was still. She had left
him, and had gone back to the hearth
rug, and stood as before, one hand
on the mantelpiece, the other listless
at her side. The silence was horrible.
Then, suddenly, Thomas Fleming
ripped and tore the pages out of the
book, and threw them on the logs;
the quick leap of the flames shone
on his white face and his furious
eyes. A minute afterward he spoke.
. . . Under that storm of out
rageous words she bent and shrunk
a little, silently. Once she looked at
him with a sort of curiosity. So this
was her husband? Then she looked
at the fire.
When, choking with anger, he
paused, she said, briefly, that she had
been hunting for her Commonplace
Book, down on that lower shelf, and
had found this.
The next hour left its permanent
mark of those two faces; agony and
shame we're cut Into the wincing
flesh, as by some mighty die. At first
Fleming was all rage; then rage
turned into sullenness, and sullen
ness to explanation and excuse. But
he calmed down, shame, an old, old
shame, that he had loathed and lived
with for a dozen years, a shame that,
except when Amy was too tenderly
proud of him, he was sometimes able
for days, or even weeks, to forget
this old shame reared its deadly head,
and looked out of his abased and
After some miserable and futile
explanation had been repeated and
repeated, he stopped to get his
breath; and then, still pulling the
hem of her handkerchief straight on
her knee, his wife said, in a lifeless
"Need we talk about it any more?
On Tuesday we will send it back.
Monday is a holiday. You can't send
it until Tuesday. Then we will never
talk about it any more."
"Send what back?"
"The money. To Mr. Hammond."
"Are you out of your senses?" he
She looked up, confusedly. "You
can't send it until Tuesday," she re
He brought his fist down violently
on the table. "I wll never send it
back! Neverl You are insane! Why,
it would be acknowledging "
"It would be confession," she
"Well, that would be ruin!"
"Why, if people knew " he began.
"It is ruin, anyhow," she said dully.