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Newspaper Page Text
It was the young man who spoke
at last, and for some obscure reason
he spoke in a whisper. He said:
"You. got my letter, then?" And
Mrs. Stanley nodded slowly, saying:
"Yes, Harry. YeaI got it This
"Break o' Day!" he cried all at
once. "Break o' Day!" But the wo
man came forward a step or two,
holding up her hand? as if to check
"No! no!" she said quickly. She
was breathing very fast and her face
was. quite white. "Please, not that!"
she said. "I came here to meet you,
Harry, as you begged me to do, be
cause :well, because I owed you that,
perhaps. But I have come to ask you
to go away and not trouble me. If
you have any regard for me at all,
you must see that that is the only
thing you can do. I am married and
I love my husband very much, and
I am happy."
"What am I to yon, then?" he
cried. "And the vows we swore the
life we were to have together?
What's all this to you, Break o'
"Oh!" said she piteously, "it's a
memory. It's a sweet memory, Har
ry, of a few mad days when I was a
child. But it's only a memory now.
I'm happy here and at peace. Won't
you please leave me so? "Please?"
"Only a memory?" he demanded.
"Yes, only that," she said. "Only
"It's not true, my lady!" said the
brown young man. And all at once
she put her hands over her face and
began to cry, for she was afraid, and
the strange, mad intoxication of this
man's presence was almost as fresh
and as potent as it had been in those
distant days four years distant now.
She was back again on the slow Med
iterranean liner, and the odd young
man whom her brother had met in
the smoke-room and had presented
to her as a sort of living curiosity was
there, too. He walked beside her
round the deck and leaned with er
over the rail in the evening after din
ner; and on that last night before
they landed he sat with her for a
stolen, never-to-be-forgotten hour up
on the hurricane deck hidden from
all the world.
A ghost of old agony stirred in her
so that she shivered with it Be
tween the hands that covered her
face she cried upon him:
"Why did you never come to' me?
Why didn't you come? I sat waiting
day after day. And at night I
The man seemed, for a moment, to
have no answer to that, and 3he
dropped her hands and stared at him.
At last he said in a low voice:
"At first for a little time I was
afraid. I had doubts. Not of myself.
Of you. You were so young and
you'd never known what gping' with
out luxuries comforts meant. And
then all at once I fell ill. When I
came out again you had gone
abroad. ... So I lost you."
His voice rose suddenly to a cry,
and he caught her hands in his and
held them against him.
"Break o' Day!" he cried out, "do
you think I'm going to lose, you
again? Dp you think I'm going to
be twice a fool? I've found you at
last Oh, my dear! I've found. you
at last, and shan't let you go again."
She strained weakly away from
him, but he held her fast and she
was helpless. Once more she began
a sort of frightened spbbing:
"Won't you please go away and let
me alone?" she begged. "I'm so hap
py here! I tell you I lPve my hus
band. Please won't you go ? "
"Happy!" he cried with a great
scorn. "My lady, ypu don't know
what happiness isl You thought you
were happy before we first met on
that ship. What did you think of
that sort of happiness after a week's
tilhe? I tell you you're a prisoner
here. A prisoner to your own blind
ness and to a set of conventions that
dull people have hedged you in with.
. . . Break o' Day! there's all tho