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again." He brought back a paternal face, but her voice was quick and hard. “It is pseudo-stern, with twitches of amusement.
business, but I can't help that. "Simpson 's got a job and gone, but he I want you to promise me that in no cirsold me old Toots," he explained. "I cumstances whatever will you lend Stuart only paid forty dollars for him, pedigree another dollar. I can't stand it. He is and all."
giving the craziest party yet, and he has The light faded from Penelope's face. just paid forty dollars for a dog. You've
"Forty-dollars!" she murmured, and got to stop. If he has n't the decent honturned to go.
esty — I know your affairs and I know his. "Now, look here, Penny!" He planted Dr. Mary, you must refuse." himself in her path. “I 've just got fifty Left to herself, Dr. Mary might have dollars that I never expected to see again, excused the party and even chuckled over - I lent it to a fellow in trouble a year the dog; but Penny's stern young rightago, and, by George! he brought it back, eousness could not be denied. She sighed --so I sha'n't miss the money. And the uncertainly. dog makes me happy. You don't know "I know you are right,” she admitted, what it 's going to mean, having that lit- and tried to temporize; but Penny would tle chap for company. I 'll stay home take nothing less than a promise. Dr. more, work more. My dear girl, you've Mary reluctantly gave it. “I always did got to get a broader view of these things." hate doing what I ought to," she grumHe was not angry, only patient and ear
bled. nest and unchangeable. She dropped de- "We shall probably see less of him," spairing hands.
Penny's bitterness flung out. Dr. Mary "Oh, it 's no use !" she cried. “I can wanted to keep her for dinner, but she only see that you might have given fifty hurried away. dollars back to Dr. Mary. It was hers. Ten days dragged by-bleak, empty All this gorgeousness and expense and days that had to be lived through one by time-I can't see anything but Dr. one. All Stuart's good qualities shone out Mary's tired face and old shoulders. I to oppress Penny, his charm tortured her; never heard her say she had to be happy.” but money laxity was the ugliest sin of Tears burned her eyes. “Let me go! I all. Her spirit was glad that she had cut have no use for you, Stuart Wise; I won't him out of her life, even though the flesh have anything more to do with you!" daily wasted. Dr. Mary watched her
She brushed past him and went out, with compassionate amusement. carrying a last vision of him, grave, "You don't want to forget that Stuart thoughtful, only mildly troubled. She is a good boy,” she said one day, without did not go home, but turned back to Dr. preface. "As men go, he 's an extraorMary's little old house. The doctor had dinarily good boy." come in, and was preparing herself for Penny did not look up from her work. dinner down in the office. Her weight "You promised," was all she said. made her shirk the stairs whenever pos- Stuart came that morning. His quick, sible.
light step passed her door without pausing “Forget something, Penny ?" she called, for the first time in all these years. At with her unfailing interest, her voice his heels pattered the dog-the forty-dolrichly ready to be sorry or amused or to lar dog. Penny's righteous anger needed show any sympathetic quality that was a goad just then. After a few minutes wanted. Then, coming out with a towel Dr. Mary's door opened again; but inbetween her hands, she saw the white pas- stead of going by, Stuart came into the sion in the girl's face. "My dear!" she office, standing before her like one who exclaimed.
has no time to waste. Penelope, looking "Dr. Mary, I want you to promise me up, saw him thin, pale, deeply concensomething." Penny's body might shake, trated.
"Listen, Penny,”—he spoke as though ished. Penelope, having searched the nothing had happened, - "the night of the house, threw on hat and coat, and started Persian party I got a perfectly corking after him. She knew very well where he idea, an Arabian-Nights scheme. It hit me all in a moment. There was a long "Old nuisance!" she silently scolded, line of girls-well, I can't stop to tell trying not to be glad of an errand that you; but it was stunning. I could hardly took her to Stuart's door. wait for the party to get out. I worked She did not at once get there, for in all the rest of the night, and pretty nearly the lower hall of the old building there day and night ever since, and I 've got was a faint haze of smoke. It was probout the stunningest set of cartoons you ably of no importance, but, after knocking ever gazed on. Glory! but they mean in vain on doors closed for the night, something! I took them to Whittaker Penelope felt obliged to go out and get a and Smith, who are doing the Sheppard policeman. house, and they went right up in the air "Just to see that it is all right," she -crazy about them. They want them apologized to him. for the old man's library. We 're going He opened a door in the black depths down to see him; he 's in Boston. It will of the hall and went down a step; then, be a ten-thousand-dollar job, but I 've got springing back, he passed Penelope on a to have at least twenty-five dollars to go run that meant trouble. Something was on, and Aunt Mary says she has promised shouted back at her, either to "get out" you she won't give me any. Now, will or to "get 'em out"; but she was already you let her off?" He was not angry or
flying up the stairs to pound on every humiliated or anything but intent on the door. Not a voice answered or a head business in hand. And all these days, was thrust out. The silence and the while she had been agonizing over his thickening smoke were frightening; but wound as well as her own, he had not there was a door at the top that she must known that she existed. The flame that reach. Door by door she earned her right had burned him thin and fine had taken to give that warning. him beyond the reach of her judgment. She had forgotten the dog until, at the She felt little and weak and hopelessly end of her journey, breathless and chokinsignificant as she silently nodded her ing, she found a white object pressed head.
tightly against Stuart's door. That proved “Thanks. I'm leaving Toodles here,” him not yet home, but she knocked to he added over his shoulder as he hurried make sure, then caught the welcoming off. A few moments later the front door Toodles by the collar and started down. banged after him.
There was commotion below and in Dr. Mary's kind eyes came nearly to an the street. Steps were racing up through open twinkle that day when she found the thickening smoke. It came rolling up Penelope nursing the sprawling Toodles so heavily that on the last fight Penelope, in her lap while she wrote over his head. still holding the dog, buried her face in
“He howls to go home," the girl ex- her arm and crouched blindly down for plained in a tried tone.
breath. Toodles broke away, and at the “Old nuisance !” Dr. Mary assented. same moment some one, mounting, caught “I wish you 'd take him with you for the her up and carried her bodily out into the night. I 've got enough howling babies merciful air. He crossed the street with on my hands.”
her, setting her down in the shelter of a "Of course I will," said Penelope, doorway; then, with an amazed gasp, quickly.
picked her up again and kissed her, holdHer attentions kept Toodles resigned ing her close. Penny's blurred eyes, clearuntil late the next afternoon; then, seizing ing, looked up into Stuart's. the chance of an unguarded door, he van- "All right?” he asked, then pressed his cheek to hers and kissed her again and “I
carp at you and judge you; I condemn again. He did not seem in the least aware you. You know I do." Her fierceness that he was doing anything unusual. demanded that he meet her with her own When Penny made a faint movement of candor. “How can you love me?" protest, he put her down on the steps, "Well," he thought it out, "yes, you seating himself beside her. Toodles come down on me; but-I don't knowclimbed joyously over them both, and they I like my bath too cold and my towel too watched in silence while the helmeted rough and my food a bit sharp; I 've almen streamed through the building and ways turned to things that hit me. And the great hose went snaking in at the when you do approve-well, you're front door. When, after ten minutes of pretty sweet, you know. Most people are anxious work, the second engine and its soft with one, and then one gets tired of crew were sent away, Stuart leaned back them. You feel sort of good, Penny. more comfortably.
You 're foolish about money, but, hang it! "I 've got about fifty thousand dollars' I even love you for that!" Then sudworth of borrowed rugs up there; have denly they were laughing together, she n't had time to return them,” he observed; helplessly, protestingly, with tears just bebut he was not deeply concerned. In his neath. thoughtful gravity there was a growing The hose was drawn out, the crowd astonishment. He turned now and then drifted away, but still they sat in their for a long look at Penny's immovable shadowy doorway, the dog against their profile, resting on her clasped fingers. At knees. Suddenly Penny burst out again: last he spoke:
“Oh, it 's so hard to understand! Out “Why on earth don't we get married, of the party that you had no right to give, Penny!” Her lips moved as though she you 've got a big commission; and if the caught her breath, but she did not an- forty-dollar dog had n't run away home swer. “Why, look here," — he was grow- and brought me after him, so that I gave ing excited, -"I 've got a ten-thousand- the alarm in time, your whole place would dollar contract, and of course I love you. have burned up. But it was wrong just Why, I 've always known you were the the same, Stuart; you had no right to the finest girl in the world; only I suppose I party or the dog." have n't been thinking much about mar- He only laughed. riage." His arm went about her; his
“Have it your
way-Penny radiant face bent down to look into hers. Wise," he teased her. "Penny, I love you!" he exulted. Then, She was looking ahead with shadowed as she held rigidly away from him, his eyes.
Yes, he would make her suffer; voice dropped to pleading: "Ah, Penny, but, compared with the suffering of a life p-lea-se! I do love you!"
without him— She pressed closer, lifting "Oh, I don't see why!” she burst out. her face wholly to his.