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MISERY LOVES COMPANY
BY GOUVERNEUR MORRIS
(Copyright, 1914, by Newspaper Enterprise Association.)
Mrs. Barr-Stokes. astride of a spir
ited roan thoroughbred, which she
backed "with nonchalant adroitness,
lifted one of those crooked eyebrows
which John Sargent has immortal
ized, and said:
Her companion, Mr. Adrian Want
ley, did not answer.
"Even if you won't admit it," said
Mr. Wantley, "it's so, and you know
it ... It was always so," he added
in a big, sweeping way. "When a girl
throws a man down, she gives him
certain rights. The right to criticize
if she doesn't find happiness with the
other man; the right to watch over
her interests and to protect them
when he can."
Mrs. Barr-Stokes said nothing.
"If I were an Arab," said he, "I'd
be old enough to be your father."
"You are old enough to be the Vin
cent girl's father," said Mrs. Barr
"What has little Vincent to do with
it?" said Wantley. "We are great
friends, she and I I adore her."
"That doesn't matter," said Mrs.
Barr-Stokes sweetly. "It isn't your
adoring her that worries us, it's her
adoring you. She does, poor kiddie.
You know she does." ,
"Nonsense," said Mr. Wantley,
"she rides my ponies for me."
"And all your other hobbies."
"And still, Evelyn," said he, "in the
face of this accusation I ask you to
pack the Ryder boy up in cotton and
send him home. He is making all
kinds of a fool of himself.
"It's bad taste, Evelyn. Shocking
bad. It's undignified."
"Shall we turn in here?" she said,
"and have a gallop round the old
"No," said he. "I want to talk. Let's
stick to the straight road."
"Suppose, Adrian" (she plunged at
it) "that the Ryder boy has touched
my heart? What then?"
"Even then," said Wantley gravely,
"I say, 'Back-pedal.' Nature, though
responsible for these Indian summer
inclinations, is against them, Evelyn.
Marry him and in ten years. . . ."
"I know, I know," said she. . . .
They rode for a little space in
"Then it's a bargain," she said sud
denly. "A bargain?"
"Of course. I give up Ryder; and
you make your farewell bow to little
"Shall we turn in here?" said he.
"Where does it come out?"
"I don't know," said he. "Do you
She smiled at him, a smile that had
in it something a little pathetic and
"No," she said. "Do you?"
Jack Ryder had reason to believe
that he would find Mrs. Barr-Stokes
somewhere in her garden. So he tied
his horse to a chinaberry that grew at
the side of the gate.
In the very center of the garden,
an octagon of pale green tiles sur
rounding a white marble-rimmed
pool, into which a tiny nymph with
out clothes poured water from a
conch shell, he found her.
"I don't see my chair," said the
"My butler," said she, "has frown
ed on your antemeridian calls, Jacko.
He has put his fqot down. He is a
"I don't care who frowns," said
Jacko stoutly, "if you don't"
"But I do frown," said she, and
" He laughed his-clear, boyish laugh.
"But I do," and he detected a qual
ity -in her voice quite new to him.