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"A good story, Mr. Fitton," an
swered the reader. "From a young
woman In Washington. I am com
pelled to tell you that it is likely to
be the sucecss of the season."
"Why 'compelled,' Ayre?"
"Because I want to ask you not to
accept it, sir,' 'answered Ayre, and
Fitton saw he was trembling.
Ayre left the manuscript on Fit
ton's desk and walked unsteadily
away. Fitton looked after him in
some astonishment Then, being him
self no mean Judge of the value of a
book, he turned to the book's perusaL
He was fascinated by it It was,
x indeed, a story in a million. But when
he reached the end he saw, as he
supposed, why Ayre had objected to
its acceptance. It was definite. He
took the manuscript to his reader.
"I Bee what you mean, Ayre," he
said. "It's a splendid story, but it
d6esn't come to an end. The couple
quarrel and the girl turns him down.
Years afterward she realizes that she
has always loved the man. She is
too proud to go to him, but she
writes a letter which remains un
answered. So she puts her love into
a book. But the story ends with the
publication of the book. It Isn't a
"But it's life," answered Ayre.
"I'll send it back," said Fitton,
wondering at Ayre's strange manner.
"I'll write the girl that it's a good
book but we can't accept it in view
of the conclusion."
However, before the letter and
manuscript had been mailed Fitton
received a visit from the author In
person. A very pretty young woman
of about twenty-five came Into his
office. She attracted his interest im
mediately, less on account of her
beauty than from the character of
"I called about my manuscript," she
she sajd, a little timidly.
"Ah, yes. Sit down, Miss Miss
Raymond," answered the publisher.
"The fact is, I have a letter in the ste
nographer's hands at present, ad-
dressed to you. Your book is won
derful. But it is inconclusive.
"Life Is inconclusive," answered
the girl, and for a moment it seemed
odd to Fitton that Ayre had used al
most the same expression.
"You bring your couple upon the
scene excellently," said Fitton. "We
were greatly impressed. The setting
is superb. ' In fact, Miss Raymond,
your novel has the staging of a great
success. But it doesn't end. 'What
end there Is is tragical. We don't re
fuse to consider tragedy, but at least
the ending must be made clear. Now
in your book the heroine simply con
fines her sorrows to a book, trusting
that her lover will see it and realize
her feelings, which shyness prevented
her from expressing. If you could
change the end "
The girl smiled wearily. "I will
think it over, Mr. Fitton," she an
swered. "I hope you will," replied the pub
Usher, "because our reader, Mr. John
Ayre, thinks -highly of it But here
I he is coming into my office. Now,
Miss Kaymona, i want you ana Air.
Ayre to have a good talk "
He ceased, for the girl had sudden
ly straightened herself and was look
ing at Ayre with the strangest ex
pression upon her face. The publish
er had only once seen such a look and
that was at the same time, for its
answer was on the face of his head
He looked at them in astonishment
and then he understood. And, be
cause he was human as well as a pub
lisher, he went discreetly out and left
,them in his office together.
When, ten minutes later, he ven
tured back, he knocked cautiously be
fore entering. He heard a hasty
movement within. John Ayre and
Miss Raymond were standing oppo
site each other beside the desk. And
the look on the face of each one made
the publisher's heart very happy. For
he loved John, in spite of his odd
"Mr. Fitton, I have persuaded Miaa