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was to come yet. He merely nodded.
"In the first person," said Has
kins. Kent gritted his teeth and the
typewriter clicked steadily.
"There isn't very much to tell," she
was saying. "T-livfihere so quietly.
I was born in this house, you know.
My father built it; we always lived
here. I have been alone a long while
now, but I always stayed here. I
could not leave it. You know who
my father was, don't you? He was
very prominent; our family is one of
the oldest here."
An eagerness to talk seemed to
have come upon her, yet her voice
ran on in the same monotonous key.
"I did not know him until a year
ago, although my father had known
his family. His people, you know, are
of the very best. Yes; the family is
as old as ours. They were prominent,
"I suppose it all seems a little silly;
we were both so old. Perhaps you
could not call it really a courtship.
We were both past that time. But he
seemed to care for me, and I I got
so that I cared for him. I guess such
things happen, don't-they?
"We were to have been married
let me see a month from yesterday,
I think. He was coming to live here
in the old house, because I could not
"After a while he stopped coming.
It took me some time to understand
that. I did not really understand until
he wrote. But I know now, of course.
At least, I think I do. We were too
old, you see. I had never realized that.
But I feel sure that he was right
about it. It would have been a great
mistake; he said so. He is even older
than I, you know.
"And there would have been the
money, too. He has not very much
money, you know. Our families were
both well to do once, but his lost a
great deal. I used to feel sorry for
him about that. He had position, and
such a prominent name and he could
go anywhere, but he had not much
money. I am more fortunate than he,
yet people misunderstand about that,
too. They think I am rich, and that
seems so queer, because really I am
not. I have the house, of course; I
keep two horses. The income is just
comfortable; that is, forme. Oh, lam
far from being rich, and yet people
keep saying that I am. Even he
"Did I tell him about it the
money?" She looked up at Kent's
question, surprise in her eyes. "Why,
of course yes. That was very nat
ural, was it not? I don't know exact
ly how it came up; he was talking
about money, I think. I explained it
to him one evening, very carefully. It
was so easy to talk to him about
things that would seem embarrass
ing; he was always so interested and
kind. I remember the conversation
quite well, because it was one of the
last we had.
"It was a little while after that that
he wrote to me. I have not seen him
since then. I would not expect to, of
course, after the letter.
"Would you like to see the letter?"
"Am I to read it?' he asked.
"Why, yes." She nodded childishly.
Kent studied the paper for an in
stant before he began to read. It had
been all creased and twisted and flat
Her hand went to her throat with
a sudden, convulsive movement, her
eyes widened and her brow wrinkled
"Copy it?" she whispered. "I don't
think I understand. Why should you
Kent shrugged his shoulders.
"I don't know what you mean," she
went on, puzzled. "Why should you
"To use it," Kent muttered. "In the
She startled him then, for she slip
ped from the edge of the chair with
a fierce, cat-like movement, snatched
the paper from his hand and sprang
back, gasping. He -could see fright
and horror in her eyes.
"Oh!" she exclaimecL,
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