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ing at the dial. He turned tp the
Other. "My son," he said, "I'm
43 going to take an hour's stroll
I tnrough the old place, rerhaps
it win 'get me into a sentimental
mood, or a reminiscent one. If
It does well, I'll be back at four
and I'll give you that story."
He strolled out of the station.
Except that a few new buildings
had sprung up it was astonish
ing how little the town had
changed during the fifteen years,
of his absence. Here was the old,
irregular street, with its stores
he even remembered the names of
them. There was Tom Hawley,
the carpenter, still bending over
his, bench, industrious as ever;
there tffe "same old orchard in
which he had gathered stolen ap
ples when he was a boy. Then
he was passing into the open
country, and always his feet led
him toward his father's home. He
had refused to rent the old place
'after the old people had died,
from some sentimental motives
Vyhich he was ashamed to confess
to himself. How empty and for-,
lorn it looked, with its boarded
windows, and the garden, once
trim, but now overgrown with
weeds. And at the end of the
"lane was the Grays' cottage. That
was not forlorn, but stb,od, trim
"and immaculate as ever, in, its
neat little garden. There was the
rustic stile where Lizzie and he
Jiad met those fifteen years ago.
He stopped and began consider
ing, conscious that his heart' was
"beating painfully. Suppose "that
he should settle here! Suppose
A woman was walking up the J
lane. She had turned in f rorA' be
low, just where the Gray cotjage
abutted on the pike. She would
see him when she came otit of the
bend a few feet from the stile.
Bremerton remembered how his
heart had hammered that morn
ing he had first kissed her. It was
here, and Lizzie had walked just
as she walked now, unconscious
that he waited there. He had
wanted to run away, as he want
ed to run now. And she had look
ed up suddenly and seen him, just,
as she looked up now.
And both had trembled, just as
both were trembling now.
And he had kissed her, just as
he kissed her now.
For the rush of years was
swept away, and they were boy
and girl again beside the rustic
stile. And it was only afterward,
when they started guiltily away,
that they remembered.
Bremerton remembered that he
was a mature man, verging upon
middle life, who had lost all the
happy aspirations and ideals of
youth. And she. . . She had
hardly changed except that her
figure had grown mature and her
face more thoughtful, graver.
"You are not married then?"
She looked at him coldly, the,
flush of shame slowly fading out
of her cheeks.'
"How can you -ask me that,
John?" she said.
- "But I heard I heard-" , '
"That was why you cease'd to
He had never been able to'de
ceive Lizzie. 'Now the old im-