She counted on John getting tired of
a solitary life and his final meek re
turn to her point of view.
John" went home one evening to
find Mary gone, bag and baggage.
He tried to enjoy an evening of quiet
reading, but found it lonesome work
He went to bed and tossed about half
of the night John stood this forHwo
days. He received no word from his
" "She's gone to her sister's, of
course," ruminated John, "or maybe
to Uncle Jim's. At all Events I won't
chase her up."
Next day John was uneasy and un
happy. . Time hung heavy on his
hands. He could nqt attend to busi
ness and arranged for a vacation for
"I'll go down and see Ellery Waite,"
he decided. "Just the thing! He's a
true friend and will, sympathize with
me. Anyhow, it wfll do me good to
A talk affair over with him."
So John took the train to Bramp
ton. It had been a rainy, stormy
Week and this had contributed to bis
wretchedness. The .Waites lived ten
miles from town. Arrived in Bramp
ton, John went to the village livery
stable to hire a buggy to convey him
to his friend's home. The liveryman
shook his head definitely.
"No thoroughfare that way," was
the positive explanation. ''We start
ed with a fare yesterday and had to
turn back at the five-mile post at the
What',s the trouble?" mquired
"Roadway washed ' out and the
fields flooded. Wait a day or two and
mebbe we miglit make it"
But John was obstinate. He did
not believe conditions were as bad
as represented. Forthwith he start
J ed on foot for the Waite home. He
regretted his rashness after he had
managed to cross the overflowed
creek at the risk of his life. -
The rain had recommenced, the
road was a continuous puddle. It
. iad turned cold and a fierce wind al
most swept him off his feet. So
chilled and ill and exhausted was he
his journey nearly ended, that he was
about to turn into an old wreck of
a shed to rest when he caught sight
of a light in the distant home of
Waite. This -infused him with brief
courage. He staggered on his way
and fairly sank to the doorstep of
the house, panting, weak. Finally,
he knocked on the door. It opened.
John staggered to his feet to con
front his wife. They stared at one
another in sheer embarrassment and
surprise. Mary found her voice first
"Well!" she ejaculated. "You had
to come after me, did you?"
"Not a bit of it!" retorted John
but faintly. "I never knew you were
here. I came to see Waite."
"He's not here, nor his wife. A
relative is ill and they're gone for
two days. Well, you're a sight!" '
"I'm sick, Mary," shivered John,
wretchedly," and wavered past the
doorway and sank to a chair, fairly
Mary tried to look unconcerned.
Then, a wave of irresistible wifely
pity and affection overcame her as
she rioted the pallor of her husband's
"You're soaked through," she said
with abrupt briskness. "Get off your
coat and yourhoes and stookings.
Here, I'll help you. To think of pad
dling through all that mud and wet!"
Itfseemed actually grand to hear
her scold, to the forlorn spouse. She
soon had his feet in warm mustard
water. She took his coat into the
kitchen and hung it up to dry. She
lighted a fire in the grate and placed
him before it, cozy and warm in a
' She hustled about and was gone
in the kitchen for a spell and re
turned finally with a smoking dainty
tray of tempting victuals.
John snuggled back in the chair
after the revivifying refection, with
a sense of rare satisfaction and
gratitude. - He listeend to the swish
of 'familiar garments in the kitchen
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