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E got up from his seat by the fire and went over to the window. The woman still stood where the two streets intersected. Again she went through the manoeuvers that he had already watched twice. First she made the round of the four corners, peering off in the direction of each of the eight blanched sidewalks. Then she returned to her station under the light, settled her back against the wall, hunched slimly under her umbrella, and waited. All the time the snow continued to fall.

It was the kind of snow that means business, tiny, firm, compact flakes so close together that it was as though a curtain of lace, heavy, thick, exquisitely detailed, was lowered from the sky. In the violetblue radius of the electric light the snowflakes looked as hard as rice; beyond they softened and blurred until they veiled the face of the city. The sidewalk was ankledeep. Each minute the downfall seemed thicker, quicker, solider. A wind had arisen. The windows rattled. Already people were beginning to hold their umbrellas shield-wise in front of them. The man pivoted in the direction of the fire, turned back to the window, drummed intermittently on the pane, pulled down the curtains at both windows, pulled them up. again, returned to his seat, resumed his work at the fire. But in a few moments he arose, and hurried over to the window. The wind had increased measurably. The house shook at intervals. ing was more rare. The woman still stood

The pass

at the corner, her umbrella tilted to a slant. Its upper surface was thick with snow. As he watched she shook off this burden, took another one of her uneasy, watchful strolls about the circle of the four corners, returned to her lookout.

He watched even longer this time, while twice she discharged her umbrella from an accumulation of snow. There was nothing predatory about her; there was even a calm confidence. He resumed his seat at the fire.

His work held him for ten minutes; then he went to the window. The wind was a gale; the very walls shook. Thank goodness! the woman was gone. No, it was only that she was taking another of her four-cornered prowls. Her umbrella, held head-on to the wind, came into the field of his vision first, then her whole figure. She stumbled a little, and as she took her place against the wall her whole aspect seemed to sag. But she stood quiet, fixed. After a moment or two her immobility might have meant that she had frozen to the house.

He pulled his overcoat out of the closet, jerked it on, jammed a cap hard down over his ears, seized an umbrella, and dashed through the silent house. Even the shaking of the walls, the rattling of the windows, had not prepared him for the fury outside. The wind was fairly terrific, but it was evidently of many minds; it tore in different directions. It was not now as though the snow fell

evenly; it was as though it poured down. from cornucopias tilted at eccentric angles. He buffeted his way across the street. The woman did not look up as he approached, but perhaps the thick snow blanketed his footsteps. She might have been dozing.

"Excuse me," he said. Her eyelids lifted. Her eyes looked directly into his. For an instant he got an effect of wonderful luminosity, as though a pair of bright lamps had lighted suddenly in the falling snow. But she was not frightened, only startled.

"I saw you from my window-that is, I have been watching you for a long time," he stammered, “and I began to get worried about you. I had a feeling that I had a feeling that you were in trouble-or something-had lost somebody, maybe, and I came over to see if I could help you."

She smiled.

"You are very kind. I have lost something-a man-my husband. I am waiting for him, that 's all."

"I see." But apparently he did not see at all, for he stared at her questioningly. Very likely she guessed that, for immediately she became more lucid.


"It 's such a ridiculous situation! don't know where to begin, and I should not blame you if you told me I was an awful goose."

"I won't," he encouraged her.

"Well, we got into Boston early this morning. Somebody on the train suggested to my husband a quiet place where we might stay for the night, in a private family. I did not overhear the conversation, and my husband did not happen to mention the street to me. I should n't have remembered, anyway, because I don't know anything about Boston. You see, we 're sailing to-morrow. Besides, although I get along beautifully alone, when I'm with my husband I always depend absolutely on him. He always insists on taking just the care of me that you would of a child. We went to this house, left our things, and about ten we started to walk down-town, toward the center of the city. We were going to have dinner

in a hotel. I wanted to buy some hairpins-" For the first time her voice began to quiver a little.

He was afraid she was going to cry.
"Hair-pins," he repeated vaguely.

"Oh, yes." She stopped, and caught control of herself. "I needed them for the boat. I ran across a little shop that happened to be open, late as it was. I told my husband to go on,-he hates waiting for change, that I would overtake him. When I came out from buying the hairpins he was not in sight. But I followed the street-oh, for what seemed a long, long way! Probably it seemed longer simply because it was unfamiliar. Anyway, I leaped to the conclusion that I was going in the wrong direction. I turned back on my tracks, and then I lost my head entirely, and began making desperate excursions into the side street. My theory is that he was doing the same thing. We were like buckets in a well. When he was here I was there, and when I was there he was here. Anyway, we lost each other; and so I came back to the place where we separated,—I had managed to keep that in mind,-knowing that he would ultimately come back there after me. I 've been waiting hours and hours and hours. What time is it?" she demanded suddenly.

He hesitated.

"About twelve," he answered.

"It began to snow a long time ago. That frightened me, but I did n't dare to leave. You see, I did n't know where to go. I don't know where we 're staying, and I have no money. You don't know how glad I am that you spoke to me, because I was beginning to feel a little frightened." She managed to laugh a little. "And I should like your advice.

He considered the situation. If any sinister interpretation of the man's disappearance occurred to him, he managed to keep guard on his expression.

"You feel sure that your husband will come back here ?”

"Oh, yes."

"But in this storm don't you think he might get lost, too?"

"Oh, no; he has an extraordinary sense of direction. It's a sixth sense with him. It 's an intuition. He's like a homing pigeon. And then he 's traveled and explored all his life. That 's helped."

He meditated a moment.

"Do you think I had better call up the police station and tell them where you are in case he should inquire there?"

"The police station?" she repeated. Through her voice surged a dread purely feminine of such a course. "Oh, that might mean getting into the papers!"

"Not necessarily," he reassured her; "I think we'd better do that. Then the instant he calls up they can relieve his mind. He'll know you 're safe.”

"Safe?" she queried.

"Yes, you must go over and wait in my room. It's big and comfortable, and it 's warm there. It happens, though, that nobody but myself is at home. The family have all gone away for the night. I guess I'm asking you to trust me a good deal. Perhaps you'd rather not do that."

"Oh, I do trust you! I shall be very glad to go to your room." Her voice rounded over the reassurance with which she met both of his interrogatives.

"You see," he exclaimed, "if he calls up any police station, my address will be with. them; and if he comes back to this corner without doing that, we shall see him from the window."

"Oh, yes, I see." Tremendous relief volleyed into her voice, but at the same time her figure drooped. "I think I'm very cold and tired," she said forlornly.

"And hungry," he added for her. "I'll make you some hot chocolate. It's just opposite."

He closed his umbrella, possessed himself of hers, and, with a hand under her arm, helped her across the street. She leaned against the wall while he unlocked the door; but the warmth indoors effected a temporary revival.

"How luscious this heat is!" she murmured as they passed up the dimly lighted stairs. "Oh, I do hate to be cold! I think I should rather be hungry."

"I would n't," he laughed.

Up-stairs in a big front room he helped her off with her rubbers, her veil, and found the pins in her hat for her. "I'm going to telephone now," he said. "Will you tell me your name?"

She gave it, and he left her.

She made no attempt to take off the long cape she wore. She stood with a bewildered expression, looking about her. The furniture in the room was cheap and innocuous, but clean and ample-a bedroom set in curly maple. It was unmistakably the room of a man; it was unmistakably the room of a very young man. It was unmistakably the room of a very young man in that period when, having established no canons of taste for himself, he feels that he must prove in all his Lares and Penates the virility of his point of view. Boxing-gloves, dumb-bells, a baseball mask indicated an athletic instinct. Beer mugs and tankards testified to a convivial strain. A small collection of novels on a shelf in one corner were all romantically martial in theme. The feminine influence was not lacking. Cushions, a little violent in color and displaying every variation of handiwork, crowded the couch. On the bureau and chiffonier many dainty embroidered linen impedimenta made amusing contrast with toiletarticles, heavily masculine, in ebonized wood. On the walls there were many poster-pictures of pretty girls. At one end. was a big trunk, and beside it a box.

How much of this the lady saw is a matter of conjecture. Suddenly she began. to sway and sag and slide. When the owner of the room returned, she was a mere crumpled heap of clothes on the floor. He bounded to her side, knelt down, raised her. Again her eyes opened, and again that startling effect of luminosity.

"I guess I was colder and more frightened than I realized." She smiled, but the smile came as the result of a tremendous effort. He helped her to the couch. She lay there still for a while and then, with a sudden recrudescence of energy, stood briskly up.

"Of course you were," he said, watch

ing her closely. "I'm kicking myself because I did n't beat it over there before. But you'll be all right as soon as you have something hot to drink. I 've done the telephoning, and put some milk on the gas-stove. There'll be some hot chocolate in a little while. You'd better take off that wet cape."

Her long, gray military cape came off, revealing a surprise. She wore an eveninggown of a transparent, floating gray. It It came down to gray satin slippers with silver buckles. She pulled away a scarf, also a transparent, floating gray. Her shoulders, neck, and arms were bare except where a necklace of delicately carved gold dropped pendent topazes that were like ovals of petrified honey; their pendent reflections were like drops of yellow wine on her white skin. Her arms were very slim and long, and so were her hands. Her eyes were large and changing, slate color in the shadow and gray in the light. Her ripply hair, coiled very simply in the neck and thrust through with a yellow satin rose, must once have been dark-a smoky dark. Now, though she was young, it was gray, a brilliant gray, as though here, there, everywhere sparks of silver had been set in the smoke. The tired pallor of her face intensified a certain sculpturesque quality in her features.

He drew the couch over to the fire; he heaped the cushions comfortably.

"Now lie down and take it easy," he begged. "That 's a peach of a sofa. I'll be back in a jiffy." He poked the fire vigorously and disappeared.

She did exactly as she was told; but her fine, luminous eyes moved languidly over that part of the room which came within the range of her vision. As the result of his vigorous efforts, the fire had come up, beating its way through a thick film of charred paper. From under the pile of pillows which he had thrown on the hearth protruded crumpled sheets of letter-paper covered with writing, stray envelops, and a photograph or two, face down.

He came in presently with a bowl of steaming chocolate, a plate bearing a por

tion of cold chicken that still preserved the shape of the tin, some crackers, and some little cakes. He drew a low, jiggly table beside the couch, spread the things out. "Now get busy," he commanded, "and eat!"

"Oh, I'll eat," she murmured. "I never was so hungry! You see, I 've had no dinner. And you know so wonderfully just what to do! Men differ so very much in that respect. Old men who 've had a lot of experience are often quite helpless when women go to pieces. But you are extraordinary, and you 're only a boy." He laughed.

"It 's many years since I was a boy. I'm twenty-five."

"You don't look that," she commented. "Besides, twenty-five is not a very advanced age."

His look of adolescence was as much a matter of figure as of face. He had carried into the twenties much of the boyish slimness of the teens; yet his figure had the strength of maturity, though he moved as lightly as a cat. His face, however, was not shadowed with even a touch of that maturity. His olive-dark skin glowed with a cleanly athleticism; his tar-black eyes sparkled with it. His look was alert, candid, friendly. He would have been almost too pretty if it had not been for that obvious muscularity and for the scar that gashed upward from one corner of his mouth. A shade of boyish melancholy clouded his face for an instant.

"Sometimes I feel so old! And I have n't got as much speed as I had once. Why, at the gym there are kids that put it all over me running and swimming. They can't any of them box with me yet." He bragged quite openly of that. "I'm a light-weight-amateur; I fight at a hundred and twenty-nine. That's how I got that scar." He touched the cicatrice on his upper lip as though it were the decoration of the Legion of Honor. "I'm never going to stop exercising, though; and if I ever start to run to stomach, I'll make a hole in the river.”

She was sipping the steaming chocolate. with a delicate eagerness, disposing of

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"The white neck and shoulders and arms, the clean-cut profile, came out like marble

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