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man of him absolutely. He couldn't
turn to individuals any more, except
a few like Brooke, who loved him
better than anybody in the world, be
cause he knew they knew the story,
and that it was always being told be
hind his back just as I am telling it
to you. So for lack of individual
friends' he made a friend of the whole
world. He devoted himself to ideas
and places and books and races of
people. There is hardly a "settlement
where any white man has been that
he doesn't know and know wll, and I
think he has read, more, and more
intelligently ,than any one I ever
Crichtoh's stay in American was
very short. He decided' quite sudden
ly one day that he must return to the
Par EastL A letter from Paris ten
days later to Brooke Curtis, and then
he' disappeared entirely. Summer
passed and winter and summer again,
and then one. day, late in November,
Crichton turned tip once mbre in New
York. He went to his hotel and," ask
ed for a letter which was awaiting
his arrival. Once in his room he tore
oft the envelope-and re-read the short
note many-, times. This was all it
"Dear Mr. Crichton I shall be
glad to sefe you any afternoon after
five, as I am nearly always at home
then to give my friends a cup, of tea,
It iB good to know that you are about
statthig in this direction. Sincerely
yours, Margaret Ferguson."
Late that afternoon he was stand
ing in frtint of the flre in the draw-ing-rooni
of the Ferguson home, and
Miss Ferguson was sitting behind the
teacups, lUUIUUg, cl icaoi. jiiix-j
ton thought, much more beautiful
than she. looked tnat aay ne naa. nrst
met her almost two years before.
But this time," she said, "you
have come to stay for a long visit?"
Crichton looked down into his tea
cup and smiled. "I fear not," he said.
''t .am going away, very soon."
"You're so disappointing. Can't
"you possibly stand us for a few
we6ks? "yVhere are 'you going this
1 haven't an idea,!' he said, "not
the faintest, believe me."
"That's even less complimentary
to us. "What does "Brooke say to this
"I haven't seen Brooke yet. You
know 1 only arrived this, afternoon.
I wanted to see you first; in fact, it
was to see you that I came back to
this country. Not that I don't want to
see Brooke, bless his soul, but "
"You wanted rld see me?" the girl
interrupted, him. "Me?"
"It really isn't very amusing, as a
matter Qf fact," pe sail, "It hap
pened about this way. Ym remem
ber that very soon after I first met
you. two years ago I went abroad?"
The girl n6dded'.
"My inclination was to think about
you a great deal, hut i diil my best
not to do" so. You see you were en
gaged then to Ned, and for that and
other reasons I tried to keep my mind
on other people and Other things.
And then one nay, when I was down
on the west coast of Africa, I got a
letter from a man who writes me
sometimes and he told "me you we're
not engaged any .more. So you. see
there was no particular reason why
I should" not think of you all I wanted
to, was there?"
And soon after that," he contin
ued, "I booker back to -'civilization,
and when I reached Paris I got some
very yimportahf hews." .
"Good news?"Jthe giri'asked with
out looking xtp.
Crichton shook his head. "I imag
ine most people ould call it bad
news," he said, vand I do, too, in a
way. It seemed I had taken "some
sort of fever on the trip, and that
rather complicated matters 'in my
system. I went to see a lot of doc
tors, and it was quite wonderful how
they all agreed about me one of
them was quite hopeful. He Said I
might live a couple of months, but
the best the rest could do was thirty