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Newspaper Page Text
By H. M. Egbert
The cattlemen aboard the big
trans-Atlantic liner looked with dis
favor upon the parties of"saloon pas
sengers who come between decks to
watch them feed and water the
steers. They resented the intrusion
and the evident curiosity of these be
ings from a world wholly alien from
Perhaps it was the look upon
Mayne's face that struck the girl
who had lingered behind.
"You you don't like us to come
here?" she asked timidly.
He shrugged his shoulders. "If the
sight of our poverty and menial labor
affords you satisfaction yes, ma
jdam." , "You speak like a gentleman,"
(said the girl, looking at him curiously.
v "I used to be one," he answered in
differently. She still stood looking at him. He
had a refined face, but an embittered
expression on it. He was perhaps 30
years of age. She looked at his
hands. They were white, but hard
ened by toil. Undoubtedly he had
been a gentleman.
f Mayne, for the first time, raised his
eyes to hers. She saw now there
was a furtive expression in them, as
though the man wished to hide some
thing as if he were ashamed of
something. He saw a pretty girl of
about 25, fashionably dressed, but a
little hard, he thought. They looked
at each other while the cattle lowed
and the wrangling voices of the cat
tlemen in the fo'c'stle seemed to
blend into harmony with the throb
bing screw and plash of the waves.
"It is never too late to change,"
said the girl softly, placing her hand
upon his sleeve.
"Not when the wish remains," he
answered. "But when hope is gone "
"What then?" she cried, and he
saw her face momentarily distorted, ,
as if she remembered some terrible
"It would surprise you," he said,
"if I were to tell you that I have
chosen this life deliberately. Yet
such is the case. I used to be quite a
different sort of man. In fact, I was
what is called a college man, I be
lieve, though the words awaken no
pride in me now. Yes, I chose delib
erately to herd with men of this type
She Was Clinging to the Keel of an
because here alone I find frankness,
loyalty, friendship. I "
He broke off suddenly and looked
moodily at her.
"Tell me," the girl whispered.
"He was my friend, and she well
ve had known each other all our lives
and were engaged to be married. I
came home unexpectedly and found
that he had betrayed me. That is all.
It happened five years ago. But about