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Newspaper Page Text
again, with another letter on its leg.
Charlie unfastened it with an eager
ness he did not attempt to disguise.
"Will you not tell me who you
are?" ran the- message. "Perhaps
we need each other."
Charlie strode up and down the
room in agitation. The temptation
to enter into a flirtation with his un
known corerspondent was a strong
one. For Charlie had never been in
love, as he had always hoped to be.
Then he cameto himself. He wrote
a postscript again:
"No, I am to be married. Good-by."
During the days that followed he
secretly hoped that the pigeon would
return. He knew that if it did he
would be powerless to maintain his
strength of mind. He had pictured
his unknown correspondent a hun
dred times. Was she dark or fair?
Fair, he thought. And young. And
loving, even if unsophisticated: It
was a good thing that the pigeon did
not return, perhaps.
It was Marjorie who returned, a
month before the wedding. She was
as cold and statelyas ever, and Char
lie felt her third kiss icy upon his
dheek. And he went away with his
mind in a whirL How could he mar
ry this woman to whom love was
only a name? He must see her, must
ask for, his freedom.
Charlie was not a very observant
young man, but he did notice that
an unusual number of pigeons had
taken to circling about the roof of
the little apartment house in which
he lived. He asked the janitor about
"I hope they don't annoy you, Mr.
Sanford," said the man apologetical
ly. "Its my little boy. We live up
on the top story and he has taken to
raising carrier pigeons."
"Not in the least," said Charlie.
"Does he expect to make money out
of it?" .j
"Well, it isn't exactly the money,"
answered the janitor. "It was Miss
Idnfleld started nim. He was crying
that day she and her mother called ,
here and she asked him about it He
said he had loBt his pet pigeon, and
she sent him three, from Mr. Lin
field's loft, upstairs."
Charlie gasped. He remembered
now that Mr. Linfield was interest
ed in pigeons. But but it was too
incredible to be true.
He wished he had .kept those notes,
but it would have been impossible
anyway to have seen much resem
blance between the large handwrit
ing of Marjorie and the microscopic
lettering of the pigeon's messages?
But could Marjorie have written
those? And designedly?
It was late in the evening, but he
put on his hat and hurried to the Lin
field house. Marjorie was still up.
Yes, she would see him. Presently
she came down to the room in which
Charlie was waiting.
"It's rather late to call, Charlie,"
said Marjorie, in 'her 'tone of .gentle
"Marjorie, did you write those let
ters?" he asked bluntly. "Those on
the plgeans' legs?"
A flood of red rushed to her face.
"What do you mean?" she stam
mered. "Did you mean the pigeon to come
to me?" he continued.
She looked overcome by the dis
covery. She clasped and unclasped
her hands nervously as she an
"Yes, I did write them, but I did
not mean the pigeon to go to you.
You are the last man in the world to
whom I should hav wished to send
them," she added scornfully. "If you
wish to know, I ha"d given some of
our pigeons to your janitor and they
must have flown back and got mixed
with my own. Oh, how you make me
hate you, Charlie"."
The glow in' her face, her heaving
breast, lent a charm that Charlie had
never seen before. He advanced to
her in agitation and took her hands.
"Why do you hate me, Marjorie?"
"Because you do not love me. knA-