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nold asked her to marry him she felt
instinctively that it would come to
Suddenly she stopped dead. Arnold
was speaking. "My dear " he had
begun. She thought that he had
come upon her unaware, that he was
speaking to her.
But he was hidden behind a laurel
shrubbery and the sobbing answer to
his words showed her that she was
under a delusion.
"My dear, I know," he said.
The woman spoke and it was Dor
othy. Her voice was torn with grief.
"If we had not been too proud for
a reconciliation, Arnold. If only you
had let me know where you were, 1
would have written to you. But you
"I did care for a long time, Dor
othy," he replied. "But I thought
. you knew where I was."
"Did you think I would ask any
one?" demanded the girl. "I have
some pride, Arnold."
"We both had too much," he said
quietly. The tone of hopeless despair
in his voice came like a revelation to
Lucy. She clasped her hands against
"Do you love her?" resumed Doro
thy. "Tell me that, Arnold."
"I did love her. I had never forgot
ten you, Dorothy, but you had come
to occupy a place "
"A forgotten place!"
"Never forgotten, but still put
aside. I thought there was no
chance for the future. I was sure you
had married happily. So I came
back. I did not meet you, and, like
you, I would not inquire about you.
I thought you had left the town.
Then I met Lucy Lane and fell in
love with her. Not as I had loved
you, but still, I loved her. At our age
love is different"
"Yes, it is different," murmured
Lucy, with a sense of guilt at listen
ing, and yet she knew that the
knowledge she had gained was price
less. "But I loved her," the man resum
ed. "Then I met you, and I knew
that the old love held fast"
"That was all I wanted to know,",
said Dorothy. "I would not for the,
world come between you. Poor Lucy!
You must never let her know, Ar
nold." "She shall never know," answered'
"And you will be devoted to her all
your life," said Dorothy. "And I shall,
be happy, too, thinking that I have,
your love all the while. Arnold, dear
est" In spite of all that had been saidT
the sound of the kiss startled the lis
tener. With a shuddering sob Lucy,
Lane turned and hurried noiselessly
downvthe street homeward.
She could not blame the man. She
realized that as she sat in her parlor,
waiting for him to come. Nor Doro
thy. One cannot blame love, whOv
shoots where he pleases. But she
ought to have known. She should
have known. How foolish she had
She made up her mind m the few
minutes before his coming. And in
her strength, now-found, she grew
strangely calm. She saw the long,
empty years that awaited her, a lone
ly woman in the little gossipy town.
People would shake their heads at
the woman who had been three
times engaged and never married.
Well, she could bear that for his sake.
"But I love him," she whispered,
as she rose at the ring of-the front
door bell. "I love him, too."
He placed his arms about her and
kissed her, as he had kissed Dorothy
Field an hour before. It was a strug
gle to draw herself from his embrace.
"Arnold," she said weakly, "I want
to tell you something. I have been
thinking things over, and I have de
cided not to marry you."
Even then, under the surprise,
she could detect the relief in his