Ignoring the mob that followed
them, he lifted Misst Perkins down to
the ceiling of the passage and started
with her down the stairs. The Piatt
building was forty-nine stories high,
he was glad they were descending
and not ascending. He was glad, also,
that the building was so high, for it
gave him a good time in which to
hold Miss Perkins by the arm and J
exchange light conversation with her
that gradually grew more serious.
Cyrus Hodgson had been aware for
some weeks that he loved his stenog
rapher, but, being nearly forty, he
had thought himself too old to think
of marriage with her. Now some
thing in the way she leaned on him
gave him new courage. Almost he
proposed to her. However, just as the
words were trembling on his lips they
reached the top of the Piatt building.
They were alone, for none had fol
lowed them in that long journey.
They stood side by side beneath the
noble stairway, which towered and
wound above them to a dizzy height.
Under their feet, some thirty feet,
perhaps, lay the magnificent dome.
And far overhead they saw the level
The Piatt building was resting on
its dome and there was no egress. It
had occurred to nobody to cut a door
in the dome because such a contin
gency had occurred tp nobody.
"I think, Miss Perkinsthe explana
tion must be this," said Cyrus slow
ly. "The earth, you know, revolves
at an incredible rate of speed through
space. Now, let us assume that by
Reason of some etheric obstruction,
instead of carrying its buildings and
vegetation around with it it spun
without them. Don't you see that
they would remain momentarily sus
pended in space and then, being still
influenced by the force of gravitation,
would fall, naturally landing "
"Oh, Cyrus, how am I going to get
home to Brooklyn?" Miss Perkins in
Admirable girl! thought Hodgson
as he gazed on her. Even this catas-1
trophe had failed to move her from
her sense of the '""Tie duties.
And, as he looki at her, he real
ized with mingled sorrow and joy that
it was exceedingly unlikely that Miss
Perkins would get home to Brooklyn
for an infinity of time.
Certainly there was no way-of
reaching the street from where they
stood under the stairs and above the
dome. While, if they essayed that
long journey up to the Dottom of the
Piatt building they would emerge
into the upper air. Only a bird
could solve the problem.
"Cheer up, Miss Perkins," said
Hodgson, slipping his arm about her
waist. "There's no doubt a fleet of
aeroplanes will be organized to take
us from the upper levels. At present
we are simply-off our bases."
Miss Perkins' head went down on
Cyrus Hodgson's shoulder. The sen
sation of that wealth of hair against
his cheek threw the man's prudence
to the winds.
"Miss Perkins Ada, I love you," he
crfed. "I love you, but I thought J.
was too old for you. Now I can re
strain myself no longer. I want to
be your husband, to pass through life
with you yes, even if our lives are
to be in the PJatt building forever and
"This is so unexpected so sud
den, Mr. Hodgson," faltered Miss Per
kins, "but my answer may I answer
you when it is more private?"
Of a sudden Cyrus Hodgson per
ceived that they were alone no long
er. They were in the elevator, but
right side up, and a sympathetic
crowd surrounded them. He was ly
ing on his back and Miss Perkins was
bending over him.
"Nasty jar you got, Mr. Hodgson,"
said the elevator man. "I couldn't
help it. I was closing the gate and I
warned you not to jump, as you al
ways do. Why, you're all right now,
Hodgson staggered to his feet and.
looked about him. He was standing
at the bottom of the Piatt building
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