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only see her white dress shining. He
went softly toward her.
"Dearest,", he whispered, taking
her by the hands, "I love you. Will
yon be my wife?"
"Yes," she whispered, and pressed
her lips to his. And then he found
himself looking into Edith's dark
It was well for his training that he
had been schooled in a difficult world.
He did .not start or betray himself.
He linked" her arm through his and
they started back toward the house
And, at the door, stood Madge and
"Aren't you coming out ?"
Carter began, and then the sight of
Lessing's face checked him.
"I want to tell you all," said Less
ing, "that Edith hasj?romised to be
He kissed her again at the foot of
the stairs and went up to his room.
He sat for hours in his chair, think
ing. All the rules of his breeding
t;old him that the mistake must never
be acknowledged. To ask a woman
to be one's wife and then to jilt her
was an unpardonable offense in his
code. He knew Edith had always
cared a little for him in the old dayB
there had been a little jealousy, be
tween the girls on tliat account 6ut
the thought of Madge and what he
had lost, the look of surprise upon
her face at the announcement
these things made life seem uitoler
able. And Edith loved"him! There
was no possibility of misunderstand
Jing what that expression had meant
when she kissed him.
A man who lives by a code is
bound with silken threads stronger
than steel. Lessing knew that there
was no way out of the -entaglement
He was the first down in-the morn
ing, but after he had paced the
grounds for a few minutes, Carter
v joined him.
"I didn't have-much chance to con
gratulate last night," he said, offer-
ing his hand. "It's odd, isn't it?" he
continued, with a short laugh. "Do
you know, I-always thought it was
Madge you cared for?"
Lessing tore himself away, be
cause he could not trust himself to
As he entered the breakfast room
Madge passed him. They stopped
and looked at each other for aa in
stant. There were dark rings under
her eyes, and she looked worn and
haggard. Then she inclined her
head slowly and was about to pass
"Madge!" cried Lessing, suddenly.
He touched her arm. "Won't you
come here a moment?" he asked,
drawing her toward the door.
"Madge! I thought "
She tried to pass him, but he
blocked the way. She was crying
she could not restrain herself.
"Don't!" he pleaded and suddenly
he was holding her' in his arms and
kissing her as he had. done so often
in his dreams, but had never done in
She lay in his arms without resist
ing, and it was fully a minute before
she could get her voice. (
"Why why ?" she stammered.
"It was you, Madge," he cried des
perately. "I thought that Edith was
you. It was quite dark, and you both
wore white dresses. I thought that
you knew, and that you bad gone
there to wait for me."
"You thought it was I?" she ex
claimed, looking up at him with star
"I made a mad mistake which I
must atone for the rest of my life,"
he answered. "Edith loves me, and
she thinks I love her. You remember
the old days? This must be good-by,
Madge, forever, my dear."
A silvery laugh from the breakfast
room startled them. They spun
round, to see Edith standing there.
"I couldn't help hearing you," she
saidL laughing happily. "0, Arthur,
how foolish we both were! I could;
r - i