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ease after that, and Grace found hini
poor company for .the rest of the
evening. She was somewhat nettled,
she knew not why. She had not yet
fully fathomed the reafcdepths ofher
budding soul. Today.fGerald of a
verity believed it would be bis final
companionship with the fair young
creature who had transformed his
whole life. She was returning to a
southern, city, he to the west They
would be widely separated. He dread
ed a refusal of his love. Paint
hearted and sensitive, he had made
up his mind that he would not speak
the words that might bring him
crushing despair. ' , He would seek
her permission to correspond with
her and hope for the future.
"We sedm to be off the regular
.course," he remarked, as he discov
ered that they were crossing an. un
familiar reach of barren land front
ing the bay.
"Yes, I do not remember having
ever been- here before,1' responded
"There is a road here," observed
Gerald, "so we may as wfell keep.
on. It may turn Into a better one
beyond that grove of trees. Ah, a
In truth it was. Directly behind
what seemed to be a small sand dune
the wheels stuck in the heavy sand
and came to a stop. A snap had an
nounced a breakage through the un
usual pulling stress. Gerald got out
and looked the machine-over.
"I am sorry," he said,, "but I shall
have to walk back to the last garage
we passed on the regular road and
get a repair man."
"But that is miles away!" said
Grace in dismay.
" "Oh, no, not more than three miles.
I fear you "must remain here "
"Oh! what is that?"
Gerald had come up to the side of
the machine. With a" violent start
Grace1 reached out and clung to' his
arm, trembling allver.
,He too, was suddenly startled.
Somewhat beyond them was another
elevation, .like the one In the shadow
of which the automobile was an
chored in the sand. Now a speedy
conception of their situation came to
the mind of Gerald as he recognized'
what it really was. He stepped quick-1
lyto the edge of the elevation that
screened them from the bay. He
gave a quick gasp.
A mile out in the bay two battle
ships were ranged. The "dunes"
were target points, and as Gerald
glanced over the one that shielded
them he observed a round, white
painted wooden target at its apex.
Just then a second shot plowed up
the sand into a great cascade not
twenty feet from them. The next
might strike the target base beside
"Quick!" he said, rushing back to
the machine and almost tearing from
Grace' the white, flowing veil she
Grace, thrilled, petrified, saw him
.run back, describe a wild leap, and
he landed on a staggering balance on
the top of a hummock, steadying
himself across its uneven surface by
climbing to the edge of the great
Out from his hand waved the long
white veil. Could the see him?
Would they see him? His heart;
quivered as a puff of smoke from one
of the distant vessels was followed
by a bounding blotch, boring space,
and a shot landed 50 feet short of
' A' second puff of smoke but still
Gerald stood at his post of peril, wav
ing the flimsy signal, and then the
crisis! the climax!
Gerald was conscious of a terrific
shock. That, last shot, better aimed
than its predecessor, had neared the
target It had not struck it or he
would have been killed. It landed
against the base of the hummock and
sent it splitting apart, and, dizzied
stunned, Gerald found himself sink-
ing through space. "
It might have been a minute, it