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"Well, I 've come back,' said Marie, putting down her dusty bag. 'He was n't married, after all""

minutes later Marie walked into the dining-room.

"I went to meet Stanley," she said bruskly. "I'm going away with him tonight. There's no use talking to me. Amelia, you'd better tell auntie what you know." And without another word she went up-stairs.

When they followed, she was moving about the room, packing her things in an old valise. She was as indifferent to them as if the room were empty. She would not even answer when they spoke. The old lady talked to her gently, with a gallant effort to hide her frantic alarm. She urged religion, affection, worldly policy, the love of the dead mother, every argument she knew; entreated her to wait even for one day, and at last, all her patient love and wisdom ignored, sat and watched in silence. Amelia lay face downward on the bed, sobbing hysterically: "O Marie! you can't! you can't!"

Marie went on, folding ribbons, opening and closing drawers, walking back and forth from closet to valise. Then putting on her hat and coat, she picked

up the bag and went out, pushing aside her sister, silently removing the trembling old hands that tried to detain her.

She hurried along the road with eager feet that stumbled a little in the thick dust, her heart pounding, her breath fluttering in a tumult of excitement. She reached the cross-roads and turned off into the little woodland path, and, panting, leaned against a tree. The last rays of the sun were lying bright on the ferns and mosses and slim, white trunks of the birches; the sky above was pale and fair, and a little evening breeze came running through the leaves with a long whisper. The birds were chirping drowsily all about her: a low, reedy whistle sounded overhead, there was a plaintive cry from a cat-bird, and far off a distant trill, very sweet and clear.

She loitered now, for she was in advance of the appointed time; she was tired, too, and beginning to grow hungry. The bag was heavy. She left it behind a tree, to be picked up on the way back, and went on more comfortably down the steep hill to the lake.

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That encouraged him; he put his arm about her and held her closely.

"There's really no hurry," he said. "Let's sit down here, sweetheart; it 's quiet and cool, and we can talk over our plans."

She agreed reluctantly.

"All right; but I 'm tired to death of this place. I waited so long, you know."

"I only want to please you, darling. We'll go anywhere, do anything you like. If you'd rather-'

""

"I don't care, Stanley," she cried, "only I suppose I 'm irritable. It's been such a strain making up my mind!" "Don't I know, dear girl? Do you think I don't realize all you 're giving up? I only wish I were the greatest poet who ever lived, to put my heart into words. I'm so sorry, my Marie, that it

must be this way, all alone, no kindly wishes, no wedding-"

"Oh, how can you!" she cried, jumping up-"how can you be so stupid as to speak of that!"

"But, dearest girl, I did n't know you cared so much for that sort of thingceremonies and so forth. Really, I did n't."

"You you talk about 'realizing,'" she went on, with a sob, "but you don't. You-you don't seem to know that it 's a-a tragedy!"

"A tragedy!" he repeated, "My dearest girl! A tragedy not to have a wedding! I did n't know. If you feel so strongly, had n't we better wait?"

"Wait for what? I told you I'd made up my mind, and I have."

"Wait until we can have a real wedding, the sort you want."

"What are you talking about, Stanley? How can we have a wedding?"

"If you've set your dear heart on one, you shall have it. I'll make the money somehow

99

"What is the matter with you," she cried, "talking about weddings! Do you want to be a bigamist!”

He started violently.

"My God!" he cried, "I forgot!" "Forgot your wife!"

"No! no! I-what will you think? I mean I forgot I'd said that about being married. You see, I 'm not --"

"Are you divorced, then?" she demanded in a curious tone.

"No, I never was married. I only said it-for your aunt-a- -a sort of joke, do you see? Really, I 'm terribly ashamed of it, Marie."

"I see," said Marie. "A joke so that you could borrow more money from her."

"Please don't be too harsh. I know it was very wrong. But, Marie, I've always been a careless, irresponsible sort of chap. I did n't see it in its true light. I was so desperately hard up! And, really, dear girl, I did n't know you believed it."

"Why did you think I lent you the money, then? For yourself? For-a joke?”

"Don't, darling! Please don't be so cruel! And please believe Marie, that, no matter what else I've done, I'd never have been blackguard enough to ask

you to run away with me if I had n't been able to marry you. I took it for granted that we were to be married directly we got to the city. I thought the only drawback was my poverty. Please, my dear girl, you know poets are n't to be judged quite as other men."

"Are n't they?" said Marie, grimly. "Come on! We'll miss our train."

POOR Amelia at home had found it impossible to sleep in the room left desolate by her sister. Forlorn and weeping, she lay beside her aunt, her head resting on the frail old shoulder, her smooth hair brushing the wrinkled cheek.

The shutters were all closed, and a night-light burned in a basin, shedding a feeble glimmer over the great, highceilinged room. She stared about her restlessly. Everything was peaceful, orderly, antique: the huge, old bureau; the horsehair sofa; the mantelpiece draped with a fringed, blue-velvet lambrequin; the little bedside table, with its bottle of cough mixture, spoon, glass, and jug of water; the crayon portraits on the walls. To Amelia, used to the breezy darkness of her own room, there was an oppressive, sick-room atmosphere, a stifling sense of being shut off from the great, calm universe. She sat up with a sob.

"I think I'll go back in my own room, Auntie," she said.

"Shall auntie go with you, pet?" "No, thank you: I 'm afraid I'd keep you awake. I'm so restless!"

They kissed each other tenderly. "Good night, pet!"

"Good night, Auntie dear!"

The clock struck twelve.

"So late!" said the old lady. "Try to sleep a little, child. You're worn out."

She answered, "Yes, Auntie," dutifully, and started for her own room, when a sound from below made her stop in terror. Footsteps on the porch! The knob of the front door rattled, the prowling steps moved on to the French windows. Amelia came flying back.

"Auntie, what 's that!"

"We'll soon see. Don't be frightened, dearie," the trembling old lady an

swered. "Raise the front window, and I'll call out. But stand well back. He might shoot."

Everything was quiet now. Amelia unbarred the shutters, and with a sudden burst of courage slammed them open. "Who's there?" she called.

"Marie," answered a matter-of-fact voice. "Come down and let me in."

With a queer little scream, Amelia ran headlong down the stairs to unbolt the door. Marie was standing outside, bag in hand.

"Where's auntie?" she asked. "In bed. O Marie!"

Marie pushed by her sister, and started up the stairs, closely followed by the fluttering, white-gowned Amelia.

The old lady was sitting up in bed in her dim, peaceful room, looking patiently toward the door.

"Well, I 've come back," said Marie, putting down her dusty bag. "He was n't married, after all."

They did n't understand; they looked at her with anxiety.

"It is all right, then?” Amelia asked timidly. Marie looked at her scorn

fully.

"I tell you, he was not married. He began to make plans for a wedding. He'd forgotten he 'd pretended to have a wife. And at South Point I asked him to get off and send a telegram to you; there was a ten-minute stop there. And I jumped off while he was gone, and left a note for him, pinned on the seat." The matter-of-fact voice suddenly broke, and she began to cry passionately. "I just wrote: 'Keep the money for a wedding present. I despise you. You are a beast."" She sobbed. "And I walked all the way back from South Point, miles and miles. I never was so tired!"

"Poor lamb! Poor Marie!" murmured the old lady. "Thank God we have you safe at home again! The pain will pass away in time, dear child

""

"Pain!" cried Marie. "There is n't any pain. I don't think I really liked him, anyway. I only wanted to do something-oh, noble and—and sacrificing. But just getting married! What is there in that?"

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The present capital of the Canal Zone, Administration Building. Balboa school-house on right

N the morning of June 18, 1912, I turned in my policebadge to the proper Canal Zone authorities and sailed away to South America. It was entirely by accident that I found myself entering the same harbor of Colon again eight years later.

The changes that had taken place in the interim began to appear while we were still at sea. What had been an open roadstead when I last saw it was now a great placid lagoon inclosed behind a mammoth stone breakwater, through the narrow entrance to which we steamed slowly and dropped anchor. Pilot, doctor, and custom inspector, all as American as if their habitat were Sandy Hook, having performed their duties, several tugs took us in tow and jockeyed our great freighter in toward the wharves. The tugs seemed incongruous in the tropical sea we had been sailing all winter, on which steamers habitually trust not only to their own locomotion, but to the guidance of their own captains in port or out. But the wharves were still more amazing. In the place where there had been a few aged landing-places eight years before, great pier warehouses of reinforced concrete stretched out one after another into the edge of the immense harbor. These in turn sank into insignificance as we slipped up to the mighty coaling-station.

In the other ports of the Caribbean the coaling of a ship had meant hour after hour of singsonging negro men and women jogging in endless chain up and down a gang-plank, the very sun shrouded by the sooty pall that arose from their exertions. Here a score of electrically operated cars slipped noiselessly down upon us and poured several hundred tons of coal into our bunkers almost before we were aware that the operation had begun.

Cristobal, the American section of Colon, bore a certain resemblance to the town as I had last seen it; but they were resemblances like the few recognizable features of the boy who has grown to manhood during an absence of several years. Abutting the familiar streets of screened, clapboarded, green residences of Zone employees, there were new concrete buildings, and Cristobal had stretched far out around the curving beach on the farther side of the native town, covering with the ever-similar dwellings of "Zoners" ground that was a mere swamp and dumping-place in the days of the canal digging. Colon, however, separated by the width of a street from the American city that now completely walls it in, had changed but little. It was as clean as the powers of the American sanitary officers provided by the treaty could make it, and no cleaner; it had adopted those features of American business methods and architecture which

are indispensable to the attraction of American clients, without abating in the least the rather sour attitude toward the nation that made the ancient city the gateway between two oceans. Though they live side by side for many years, there seems to be no more likelihood of the American and his Latin neighbor finding a meeting-place than of two parallel lines intersecting.

Three daily passenger trains in each direction rumble away with American precision as in the days of construction; the first-class coaches, habitually, though not forcibly, confined to "gold employees" (which is a Zone aphorism for white Americans), still make up the Panama baggage and mail-cars from the lower end of the train, and are separated by the grade coaches, where ebony complexions are the rule. The latter have changed from cane cross-seats to a long wooden bench along each wall; the sprightly bright yellow of the outer car walls has degenerated to the sooty drab common to our own railway trains; the coaches are seldom more than comfortably filled; otherwise there is little to remind the returning "Zoner" that ships now compete with the railroad, which once monopolized all traffic between the two oceans.

roundings and he loses them again almost instantly; for instead of crossing the canal at the entrance to the cut and discharging a host of travelers in the proud Zone metropolis and capital of Empire and Culebra, the train plunges on along the left bank. Paraiso, which to the "Zoner" has remained "P'reeso" through nearly two decades of American occupancy, has come into its own, prosperous and portly with its attachment to the main line; what the brakeman still boldly announces as "Peter M'Gill" is a now haughty and dignified town of considerable reinforced concrete construction and an increased importance which would seem to entitle it to its legitimate appellation of Pedro Miguel. But Miraflores! It, too, is still there, yet to those of us who knew the canal only in the building it is gone. The post-office where an old friend once penned the tropical tales that hindered messenger boys in the cold and dismal North from keeping their appointments, the police station once presided over by the traveling companion of an Andean journey, all Miraflores familiar to us of the digging generation, lie now forty feet beneath the man-built lake of the same name.

Out along a main shopping street of Colon, with its numerous displays of Panama hats that are made anywhere but in the country which gives them their name, past Monkey Hill, where many "Zoners" of the olden days have mingled with the reddish soil, to Gatun, with its permanent stone station just as we left it eight years ago, the "P. R. R." shows little sign of change except the evidence that it is soon to be electrified. From Gatun onward, however, the route has changed. That we once followed lies fathoms deep beneath the waters of Gatun Lake, around the incredibly farreaching edge of which the trains now pass by what was known in our days as the "relocation." A few familiar names, Frijoles and Monte Lirio, for instance, give the rare stations a false similarity to those we knew; for they are the same in name only, their very sites being miles different. Not until the Chagres, with its fluviograph and trestled bridge, emerges from the jungle does the old-timer recognize his sur

The tunnel through a mole-hill still forms the exit from the reconstructed town of the flowery name, however, and the jungle beyond, with its white lighthouse among the palms, has changed but little. But the familiar by no means keeps pace with the strange and new. Where the eye expects to fall upon the Corozal hotel, in which an appetite sharpened by sleuthing through the bush was often assuaged, there is nothing but the suggestion of a foundation; and where once stretched cosmopolitan laborers' quarters or open fields, are the long rows of stables and corrals of an outfit of cavalry. Still farther on, where the Pacific begins to break upon the horizon, the railway that once dashed straight across the flatlands to Panama City swings now in a wide circle that brings it into the bustling port and the new Zone capital; but here the changes are so great that they require more leisure than a train journey permits, if they are to be so much as noted.

Not even the canal-diggers of eight years ago would know the Pacific end of

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