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"Hello!" she greeted him.
There was a curious kind of familiarity in her tone which struck John oddly. "What are you doing here?" she continued. "I own this place," said John. "At least, I think it is included in my boundaries." "Of course," said the girl. "So do we all." "We?" asked John. "Yes. We folks of the commun ity," answered the gril. "What community?" John ex claimed. "Why, yonder, said the girl, indi cating the asylum with a nod of her head. John felt his heart beat painfully. This charming young woman was, then, a patient at the asylum. She was mad it was the most pathetic thing he had ever imagined. She could not have been more than nine teen. Her face had a sweet wistful ness which touched his susceptible heart And she was mad, immured among a crowd of crazy folks! "How long have you lived here?-" asked John. "Seven years," answered the girl. "Come, let us go home," she added, taking him by the arm. "I I have an engagement in the town," John faltered. "I'm sure it will wait, won't it?" asked the girl. "Come, don't be fool ish what is your name?" "John." "King John?" "Just John," said John. "Then come home, like a sensible man," she pleaded. "I can't," said John. "You really must excuse me. But IH often come here," he added. "We might continue our conversation tomorrow " He had to use actual force to break the girl's grip on his arm, and, when he had escaped, he almost ran into his cottage. He barred the door be hind him. He was trying to shut out, not the girl, but his awakening love. John Me had never been in love since be 0 hood, and that was more years ago than he cared to remem ber. The girl's face had touched something deep down in his nature, that responded as a lyre to skillful' Angers. He wanted to take her and care for her, to see, day by day, the, light of reason dawning in her eyes, until at last the reality of the world broke in upon her consciousness. A tap at his door aroused him from." the reverie into which he had fallen. He looked cautiously out of the win dow. It was not the girl but a man, bearded and grave-looking, whom John knew to be a physician even be fore he opened the door. "Mr. Moore?" asked the visitor. "You won't be surprised at my know ing your name when I tell you that I am one of the asylum doctors, and of course we keep ourselves posted con cerning our neighbors. One of our patients has escaped. He may be in your barn. Have, I permission to search it?" "A girl?" inquired John sadly. "No, a young fellow. I am not sure which of our people it is. When we learn of an escape we search the neighborhood "first and call the roll after." John accompanied the doctor to the barn, but an exhaustive search of this and the other buildings failed to reveal the fugitive. "Well, I guess one of the guards has got him," said the doctor. "I am greatly obliged to you. Look in on me sometimes we are pretty lonely here. My name is Bassett, and that' third cottage is mine. Any evening " But John knew that he dared not go near the asylum grounds again. He tried to frame a colorless accept ance which would not cpmmit him, when the doctor continued: "I should like you to see my daugh ter. She keeps house for me, and is almost as good a physician as my self. Her tact with the patients is , wonderful. And here she comes now!