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others. She was not the kind of woman swarmed over him, showed him every who would ever be a direct factor in new acquisition since his last visit, public life, but her influence could be played a series of delightful games with none the less real. Men said things to him, and went reluctantly upstairs at her, when she expressed a wish to take their bedtime, bribed by the promise politics seriously, which they might not that he would come and help Mummy have said to so casual a male acquaint- tuck them up. Linda had been more ance; and she was clever in using the audience than participant in the games. information she received. She secured She was conscious of a queer heartache several bits of political gossip, which when she saw Leigh with her childrenwere of some value to Vane; and when a jealousy for them, and a knowledge he told her so, she was conscious of that he filled a place in their lives she greater enthusiasm for life than she had could never fill. felt for years. And it was not only in He stood up when they had gone, this way that she helped him. He had smoothing his hair with his hands, no one very near to him with whom to straightening his tie, which their last discuss the problems that his campaign mad game had disarranged, and met presented; and not only did Linda's Linda's eyes. The expression in them eager interest prevent him from feeling hurt him unbearably — it made her that he was imposing them upon her, look so detached, so apart from his own but in putting them before her, he put healthy, ambitious life. them more clearly to himself. If Linda 'I should like some air before dinner,' was a help to him, he proved himself he said. “Is it too cold for a last look at invaluable to her, not only in stimu- the garden, do you think, before we say lating her intellect, but in many little good-night to the children?' crises of her domestic life.

'It's not very cold. This moon There were, of course, comparatively brought a frost, and there's nothing long stretches of time when they did not left in the garden, but it's delicious see each other at all, but these made there, I know.' them realize how closely their interests She got up from her chair; he opened were attuned. Perhaps the fact that one of the long glass doors and followed the whole situation was abnormal made her out on the terrace; they crossed, both Linda and Vane slow to realize and descended some steps. It was dark its normal consequence. Summer burn- save for the cold light of the young ed itself out, and the early autumn autumn moon, which cast hard, curious brought new political activities, which shadows. The garden, surrounded by a made frequent meetings impossible. great hemlock hedge, had been a riot

of color only a few days before; but to

night the flowers in the moonlight apV

peared dry husks, ghosts of a vanished It was in October, after an interval loveliness. of some weeks, that Vane found an op- They were both very quiet; she was portunity to dine and spend a quiet thinking that once she had stolen out evening with Mrs. Mainwaring — the of the house and danced in this moonlast before his immediate prospects lit garden with a vine twisted in her would be determined.

hair, and a man had pursued her and He came down to the country rather kissed her in the shadow of the hemlock early; he wanted to see the children, he hedge, and she had thought she loved said; and they, enchanted to see him, him. Vane was thinking what a little

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thing a career was, compared to a wo- their next meeting, to plan any detail man with eyes like that; a woman who of their future

of their future — the present was glorineeded him more than state or party ously sufficient. could ever need him; a woman he want- 'I'll write you in the morning, Linda; ed far above the laurels of a statesman. to-night, perhaps, when I get to town. They gazed into the blackness of the Good-night, my darling — And he hemlocks as if they were visualizing was in the hall, struggling with the there the things they were thinking of - overcoat which her old butler was holduntil at last he broke the long silence. ing for him. 'Linda, my dear my dear!' And

She watched him through a crack she was in his arms, their lips together in the door, eager to see him, to see in their first communion. And with his face when he was not aware of her. that kiss she was sealed his; with it she He pulled a paper from his pocket and entered her kingdom, the kingdom that wrote upon it hastily. She saw him had never been hers before. The dancing turn to the servant, and heard him girl who had been kissed in the garden speak. was no part of the woman in Vane's ‘Mitten, here's a telegram - get it arms. Harry Mainwaring had captured off for me to-night, will you? I meant some excrescence, which her youth had to send it from the village, but I can't thrown off, but he had never touched make


train if I do. You can send it the seed of her soul that had matured over the telephone, but it must go at under Leigh's companionship and blos- once. Thanks awfully.' somed at his kiss.

And he was gone, after handing the He held her until the children's in- paper to the man. The noise of the mosistent voices penetrated their fastness, tor became louder for a moment, and when they retraced their steps to the then died away in the distance. house. Up in the nurseries, the little Linda went back to her big chair begirls in their night-clothes were eager side the fire, almost unconscious of any for another romp, but Leigh was in no movement she made. She had ceased mood for it. He was sweet with them, to be mere flesh and blood; rather she tender even; but it was he who stood was a sunlit beach flooded by warm apart, a spectator, while they crowded waves of happiness. around Linda to say their prayers and The entrance of Mitten aroused her. be kissed good-night.

‘Beg pardon, Miss Linda,' he said At dinner neither of them spoke after Harry's departure, he could much, their understanding was too deep, never bear to call her Mrs. Mainwaring, their content too complete, to need and had gone back to her girlhood apwords. The dramatic touch, which no pellation. 'Mr. Vane left a message for woman lacks, enabled Linda to start me to send over the telephone, but fitful topics of conversation when the I can't 'ardly make hout 'is 'andwritservants were in the room, as their ing. I wondered would you mind, miss, sense of convention led them to make being as ’ow 'e said hit was most a pretense of eating; but it was a re- himportant?' lief to have the meal over and to find I'll send it, of course. You can put themselves again in the drawing-room, the lights out here, and I'll telephone free from interruptions.

the message from my room. Good At half-past nine, when the motor night, Mitten.' came to take him to the train, they had 'Good-night, miss.' not begun to say good-night, to discuss 'Lord,' he thought as she went out,

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'ow 'appy she looks — the way she did emotions. Soon they would claim her, before that skunk came foolin' round they would engulf her in utter misery 'ere.'

and despair; but for the moment, the Up in her room, Linda found it diffi- too swift reaction from her bliss had cult to concentrate on the mechanical numbed them. act of forwarding Leigh's message. She She opened the door that led from sat down by her telephone and smoothed her fire and lamp-lit room to the dark out the paper; but it took several read- spaciousness of the hall, felt her way ings for his written words to connect along to the servant's portion of the with her mind, which happiness had house, and knocked on Mitten's door. temporarily drugged.

The old man opened it cautiously, his Then suddenly they and their pur- gaunt figure and curious, lined face ilport became burned upon her brain. lumined in the dim light which burned It was addressed to his campaign man- on the service stairway. ager and left unsigned.

‘Miss Linda, — you're not hill?' ' 'Stop all activities to further my 'No, - no, Mitten, — nothing is the candidacy. Events have arisen which

matter. I mean, nothing with me. would render it impossible for me to ac- Something has happened which makes cept the nomination. Throw any in- it necessary I should get a letter to Mr.

I fluence we can control to Joyce. Will Vane early to-morrow morning, - his see you to-morrow morning.'

message was very important, an anIf Linda had lost time through being swer has come to it. I want you to go unable to concentrate her thoughts, to town on the milk train and take it she made up for it now. Thoughts, un- to him yourself; it is very important. welcome and at times confused, rushed Wake Henry and tell him he must take through her mind, bearing her down with you to the station at five; I'll have the the weight of their evidence. Leigh letter for you then, - the letter will be was giving up his career because he was quite ready, - it's very important.'

pledged to marry her, - Linda Main- She was aware that she was repeating waring, a divorced woman. She was herself, that her voice sounded flat and that in the eyes of the world, though in without emphasis; but she gathered her own she was divorced, not only from from Mitten's concerned replies that Mainwaring, but from the girl who had he comprehended and would follow out married Mainwaring. Had she known her instructions. Leigh less well, she might have hesi- Back in her own room she managed tated, might have seen less clearly that, to control her voice sufficiently to send should she marry him, his thwarted the telegram. Then she was confronted career would always prove a barrier be- with the necessity for writing the letter tween them that even their love could the terrible letter which would keep not surmount. But she knew him too Leigh from her forever, the lying letter intimately to deceive herself; she was which was in itself a sin against love. fully aware of his ambitions, his con- She sat at her desk for hours, writing, victions as to what a man in his circum- destroying what she had written, restances owed to his country and to his writing, drawing aimless lines and little tradition.

pictures of nothing. It was nearly five It was midnight when her course o'clock when she folded her completed presented itself to her; so clearly did missive into its envelope and reeled she see it, and so quickly must she act, across the room in response to Mitten's that she was only dimly aware of her knock.

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ers recast for its conclusion. You have I think I must have been mad to- been a loyal, helpful, wonderful friend night — life has been so difficult that at always; you will not, I am sure, ask me times I have felt utterly defeated, and to relinquish that friendship because it was one of those moments, my dear, for a few short hours we mistook it for when you called to me in the garden. something else. You have made me All at once it seemed to me possible, be- more reliant, given me new confidence cause of my deep affection for you, to to meet situations as they arise in my lay the whole burden of my problems on path. It would be a poor return to give you. But now I am alone again, I am you the husk of love; forgive me for ofsane. I care too much for you to be fering it, and forget that I once thought willing that the woman you marry

it could be made to satisfy you. It should go to you 'defeated, wanting would be as impossible to find within only rest and comfort; she shall go to myself anything more worthy of you you triumphant, wanting nothing but as it would be to recapture summer in your love. That part of me is gone my frost-touched garden; but there will forever, burned out by the fire which still be warm, pleasant days of Indian destroyed my youth-what I gave once summer, when our friendship will ripen I shall never have to give again; and and deepen. here in this house where so much of my With every wish always for your drama has been enacted, I realize that success and happiness, the stage cannot be reset, or the play




Your voice is like bells over roofs at dawn
When a bird flies
And the sky changes to a fresher color.

Speak, speak, Beloved.
Say little things

my ears to catch
And run with them to my heart.



January 1, 1918. — Christmas is home. Indeed, he can hardly touch over, thank God! The contrast between them at all — when criticism is reits gentle ideals and the ghastly reali- quired — save as they may be interties round about us almost tears one in national in their range. Yesterday, on two. Here we sing, 'Peace on earth the national Day of Prayer, I made among men of good-will’; out there, protest in the City Temple against the killing of boys goes on. What irony! allowing the increase of brewery supStill, one remembers that it was a hard plies to stand, on the ground that it is old Roman world in which the Angels not cricket to destroy foodstuffs at a of the first Christmas sang their anthem time when we have no bread fit to eat of prophecy. How far off it must have and cannot get sugar for our children. seemed that day; how far off it seems to- To-day every brewery paper in the kingday. The world is yet in twilight, and dom jumped upon me with all four from behind dim horizons comes cease- feet, John Bull leading the pack. It lessly the thunder of great guns. A does not matter if every journal in the frost-like surface of garish gayety land stands on its hind-legs and howls, sparkles in our cities, as anxiety turns as most of them are doing. What hurts to laughter, or to apathy, for relief. me is the silence of the churches! The

After all these ages, must we say that majority of Free Churchmen are against the song of Christmas is as vain as all the traffic, but hardly so in the Estabthe vain things proclaimed of Solomon?lished Church. Indeed, that Church is No; it will come true. It is not a myth. more or less involved in the trade, at It is not a mockery. Surviving ages of least to the extent of allowing its propslaughter, it returns to haunt us, prov- erti to be used by public houses. ing in this last defeat its immortality. Many of the higher clergy refused to Because that music is far off, we know forego their wine during the war, even that it is not our own, but was sent into at the request of the King. the world by One who is as far above our The situation is unlike anything we discordant noises as the stars are above know in America. Liquor is used in the mists. Whatever befall, we dare England much as we use coffee; it is not lose Faith, dare not surrender to intrenched in custom, disinfected by Hate, since that would be the saddest of habit, and protected by respectability. all defeats. And the children sang car- Moreover, the traffic is less open, less ols at our doors, as in the days of Dick- easy to get at in England, and those who ens, as if to rebuke our misgiving and profit by it are often of the most aristodespair.

cratic and influential class in the comJanuary 7.- One serious handicap munity. There is, besides, a school of besets a minister who labors abroad: English political thought which holds he cannot deal with public questions the sublime doctrine that the way to with the same freedom that he can at keep the workingman quiet and con

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