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rather humorous than serious
showed in her eyes.
"You really mustn't take me-up!"
, she said. "That would be most awk-t
ward. I I suppose hsjiould have to
jfj 'explain everything?"
"Couldn't you begin by explaining
I a hit now, miss' Just a bit to go on
!( with, so to speak."
i "Oh, why not?" she murmured, as
though to herself. ''It must have
looked funny," she acknowledged
again. "But I hadn't worn it for
nearly three years. So I thought I'd
put it on just once more and'see how
it-how it used to look. And -just
then you came up'"
"It looks worth money."
"Not very much. The friend who
gave it to me wasn't rich when he
gave it to me."
"My missus would call it pretty
fine! Folks down our streetwoufdn't
think she'd come honestly by it"
"And you don't think I have?"
She smiled again.
"I'vegot my duty to do, miss." A
touch of apology softened his sturdi
"I came honestly by it, but I can't
keep it honestly. So" she drew the
ring off her finger "it's best at the
. bottom 'of the river."
"Wait a bit, miss" he said sharply,
as he laid his hand on hers.
She faced him again. "Well, then,
I suppose I must tell you about it
though that seems to me just as fun
ny as throwing the ring inta-the
The policeman looked at the ring
a single pearl of no great size, plainly
set jn gold.
"Maybe a a token, miss?" he
"Yes, a token. An engagement
ring. Well, a man I was engaged to
gave me that ring. Just threemonths
later you don't want his name, do
"Not at present, at all events,
"I got a letter from him he told
me that he loved me best still, but
that he. couldn't stand the pressure
put on him by his family. They had
found a match for him-a girl very
much richer and greater than I am.
Then he went on to ask me to forgive
him and not think too badly of him.
He said he knew he was a coward "
"He was right there, miss."
"But if I understand how he was"
placed, I shouldn't think him quite
such a cur as he looked. And he ask
ed me, if I had ever cared for him at
all, not to make it too hard for him,
and to keep his ring for the sake of
old times. He said that if I sent it
back he'd think I meant that he was
the worst kind of cur."
"I'd have sent it back," observed
"I kept it as the one thing in the
world I had left. But I cankeeD it
any more now."
"Got over your feelings? That's
right, miss' There's as good fish "
"I've got another ring, anyhow."
"I see, miss," said the policeman
with a comprehending nod.
"Shall we throw H in now?"
"Well, considering all things, It is
better there, ain't it, miss?"
"Let me put it on once again!"
"You wouldn't, miss." -
"Am I to keep it and steal looks
at it and get unhappy again?"
"You're right. It's better in the riv
She took it and put it on the third
finger of her left hand again. After a
deliberately defiant look at the police
man, she kissed it Then she drew it
off and flung it after its case as
"far out into the river as she could.,
"I don't suppose we shall ever
speak to one another again," she said,
"but you've been kind to me. I'm
"I didn't mean to intrude, miss. It
was only my duty."
"I know. I never thought how odd
it might look."
She gave him her left hand. He
watched her as she sped swiftly
across the road and past the big
buiklings. There were cabs at the