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you get ruff'down in. health, again,
there'll always be a bed and a wel
come for you here."
Olive felt herself choking. She
hardly knew how she got through
with the meal. But it ended at last,
and once again she found herself
outside. And she gave way to bitter
tears.) How differently the homely
welcome of these simple folk from
the facetious gibes of Bert Dempsey,'
her daricing partner. Bert Dempsey,
his pale face and sleek hair, his talk
of affairs, seen through the cynical
eyes of the city-bred man, whose ac
quaintance with the world had been
only in its least pleasant aspect.
And Ralph the country doctor!
He would never know that she had
learned to care for him during those
two weeks. She knew that he ad-mired-her,
but so might any country
man admire a woman from a big
town, Versed In the ways of the -world.
If only she could be simple-hearted
She heard him coming toward her
along the piazza, and she dabbed
frantically at her eyes with her little
He stood beside her, looking down,
and-Olive looked up at him and tried
to smile. There was an expression of
alarm upon his face.
'You are crying, Miss Freyne' he
- said, assuming the doctor's role.
"Tour nerves are still unstrung. You
ought to stay here longer."
','How much longer?" she asked,
still trying to smilet
"For ever," he answered. "I want
you to be my wife, Olive."
Then seeing the frightened look in
her eyes, lie kneeled down beside her
and put his arms around her.
"I love yo"u, dear," he said, "and I
want to make your life happy. 1 1
know it has not been happy. I can
see that. I don't want you ever to tell
me anything 'just stay here with me.
You will grow used to thislittle vil
laee. Yocare made for the countrv."
Yes " she .said. "But you don't
w jmderstad, Ralph.;
., t iJ
, That was the first time she had
called.him Ralph, and the word came
to her lips so easily.
"I don't want to understand any
thing you don't wish me to," he an
swered. "Won't you think it over
and stay here until you decide?"
Suddenly she found herself sobbing
in his arms. How strong and protect
ing he 'seemed. She put her head
against his shoulder and let it rest
there. Oh, if only she might; if Only
How long she lay there she never,
knew. It might .have been five min
utes or fifteen. She -was aroused by
hearing a quiet step'.behlnd her, and,
freeing, herself, looked round to -see
Bert Dempsey standing there. There
was a sneer on his heavy face, and he
looked as though he- had been drink
ing at-any rate, hijas ripe for
"Oho!" he cried. "So now I under
stand why you wanted to stay on
here, Belle! Hope you are enjoying
youjself, I'm sure!" A ,
Olive saw4!hat Dr. Joyce's face was
very white. ''There was a steady fire
of anger in his eyes as he turhed upon
"Is. this what I don't understand,
Miss Frevne?" he inquired. "If; this
f gentleman has any right,- ficuspeak to
you m this manner, i snan apologize
to him, much as it is distasteful to '
me."- A- '
"You'd befter",sneered'Mr. Demp
sey. "I don't stand for a country jay
like you playing the fool with Olive."
. "Your fiance? " inquired the doctor,
"No, no!" cried Olive, hysterically.
"You don't understand, Dr. Joyce."
"I've had my arms round her every "
evening for the past two years," ob
seVved Mr. Dempsey, enjoying the
doctor's discomfiture, "-and when I see -
another fellow doing the same, rm
naturally curious to know why."
Dr. Joyce did not deign to answer,
but turned to the girl.
''Miss Freyne, will you lease,tell