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slowly. "She's kind of little and
white, and scared-looking. She's
why, she's pitiful, in a way."
"Write the whole business, Kent,"
he said. "It's a corking good story.
Give it an atmosphere. Put in that
stuff you just told me, about her be
ing white and scared. Give her the
best end of it, if that's the way it is.
We can't keep it out, but we'll give
her a good show. You don't need to
say she's homely." Haskins was
making, a concession. He could af
ford to be magnanimous, now that
the story was his.
"All right," answered Kent. "I un
derstand." He began lo write steadily again,
his eyes upon the keys, although he
did not seem to see them.
What Kent saw was a plain, wide,
four-story brick house in an old
fashioned street, left undisturbed in
an eddy of the current that rushed
headling uptown, a place where the
things of fifty years ago seemed to
be still going round and round slowly,
unable to escape into the swift
stream that flowed restlessly by.
It was just as he expected to find
it, inside. A maid let him into the
dimly-lighted, high-ceilinged hall.
There was a massive hat-rack, with
marble top and mirror; a little table,
with its tray for cards; carpets, soft
and thick and somber. He had step
ped upon a stage set wth the Scenery
of half a century back. Nothing
could have happened here since then.
A queer place for. "news," he
thought, his eyes roving. The maid
had taken his card upstairs.
"Give it atmosphere," Haskins had
said. Kent wrote steadily.
And then she had come, noiseless
ly, and stood hesitant in the curtain
ed doorway that opened into the hall.
She was holding his card, regarding
him with dnquiry, and, it seemed to
Kent, apprehension. She was Purely
more than forty. If 'she was not ab
solutely old-fashioned, she was dis
tinctly not modern. Not one of her
features was good; if her face had
ever possessed a color it had faded
years ago. But for all that it was a
She stood as if shrinking under his
scrutiny, twisting and folding hisx
card. Then, with a little inclination
of courtesy: -1
"You are Mr. Kent, I believe? i
Please keep your chair. I will sit oven
She perched opposite, erect and3
precise, on a great armchair. Shej
seemed like an old child. There was
some mistake, Kent felt, for the thing''
seemed impossible now; the story
had taken him astray.
Kent was writing with minuteness0
as he remembered it.
He had found it curiously hard to.
begin with this colorless creature
for what he wanted to say was ab-j
surdly incongruous He explained if
very plainly and briefly, and her eyes
followed mechanically the move--ments
of his lips. Then she nodded
"Yes; that is true," she said. Her
voice was low, monotonous, and flat.
There was a queer docility in it.
"And the engagement had been an
nounced?" Kent found that the words
stumbled; her lack of resistance dis
"Yes; to my friends and some of
his. I have only a few friends," she
added. Her tone implied that he must
know, of course.
She had acknowledged it with a
frankness that Kent could not under?
stand, and now she seemed to be
waiting for him to go on, her eyes
fixed wonderhlgly on hisj'like those
of a dog waiting for command. It
was hard -to ask things; it was so
easy to make her answer.
"Perhaps," he suggested, gently,
"you would prefer to tell it in your
"Yes; I I think you are right I
think it would do me good to talk
about it, if you would care to listen."
Kent was staring at her in aston
ishment A protest leaped to his lips
but he forced it back. The "star-'
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