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"Did he-" "No, Ben."

She watched him undress in their staid. bedroom later, and cringed from his white face. She had the tenderness which seeks an alleviation of any wound and at any risk.

"Ben dear," she whispered, "I don't know anything; but he sent me a pearl pendant, such a lovely one, when we were married. It must have been he. It came from Princeton. It's in that japanned box."

Eben bent over the toilet-table, and she saw the muscles of his chest slide and bulge as he stared. Then he gave a soft cry and flung himself down, shaking the little bed and their unborn child.

"He could have written, he could have come!" She heard so much, then she pulled his head to her breast, and hated Judson so that her teeth clenched from jealousy.

"Tell me," she said.

"I can't. I think of it every day; I 'll die thinking of it."

So she knew why he had turned so fast from the altar and stared out over the perfumed church, and why his face at the wedding breakfast had frightened her. And she loved him, illogically, more than ever, racked for some hidden hour.

Their boy was born at Mamaroneck, and fat Arthur came out next day with an expensive coral teething-ring.

"Oh, gorgeous!" said Eben. "Jud 'll be crazy over it. Take it up an' see if he yells."

Arthur shifted from foot to foot and twisted his mustache.

"I wrote Jud," he said.

Eben looked up from the ring and out past Arthur down the melting lawn to the roof of the church where the boy would be christened.

"Thank you. I 'd-let's go up-stairs."

Time passed. Men nodded to Eben in the streets and apologized, saying how much he looked like a young chap at their broker's down-town. He declined invitations to dinners at the Princeton Club. He avoided Wall Street, this easily enough. He had a sweetly painful morning when Marie bore him twin sons, and he was plagued by curly heads seen across theaters, wide shoulders that swung by in the twilight. He bought back Edgar's house near Gloucester, and wheeled little Jud along the crescent beach. His name went into "Who 's Who" before Europe took to war, and he had bad nights remembering Jud's military passion. A great broker smirked to him at a dinner party over his brother.

“Travels for me. Customers think he's the best ever."

"He is," said Eben, proudly.

They had many friends, dull and interesting, and the babies had the proper diseases of babies, and Eben allowed a pastel of little Jud to appear in a Sunday edition, hoping that the smile for this would have no hate behind it. The daily pain gave birth to a deep ambition. Judson need not despise him. Art harpies shrugged and said he had no "temperament." His studio was as ascetic as a sick ward. Popular actors sent their valets to price por

traits, ladies adjured him to give them some little thing for the Belgian relief.


"And I wish you 'd be in the tableaux," said one, "in the Greek scene. brother is, and the pair of you—

"I'm so sorry," Eben said.

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He did not see the Greek scene. Marie did. He knew she would, and that night managed to look asleep when she came home. The photograph in the Sunday paper he laid carefully away in a desk of his studio. No dust gathered on it.

"A man would think you were twentysix hundred 'stead of twenty-six," Arthur But Eben and his heir were the only to the

Harlands at the christening. Marie put

a jeweler's box and its cup away in her father's safe, saying nothing, and left it there when they moved to an apartment off Park Avenue.


"Such a jam," said Eben.

It would be hideous to meet Judson in a crowd. But he began to feel that he could endure this for the sake of knowing


and lived for eight months in Paris, while he studied under Roll"

that his brother's skin was still whitely smooth and his arms as full of grace. The spring sent his soul wandering, and he dreamed of his brother. They were no longer boys, and love had outlasted the old nearness; it might still leap a gate. In his dream he said to Judson: "You don't hate me. You can't." And Judson changed the smile to a brother's grin. "What makes you so restless?" asked Marie.

"Oh, I don't know.

The rotten

weather, this Mexican row. Remember I was born in Texas."

Marie wiped milk off young Arthur's chin.

"I've often thought what a fine soldier you 'd make, dear. You 're so self-controlled and you 'd look so splendid. And your men would do anything for you."

Eben blushed. He was perpetually surprised that she could love him at all, a man his own brother hated, a man who could lie in her breast and long for an

hour of mere talk with that brother. He "Judson Harland, son of the late Captain

kissed her humbly.

"If there is a row I sha'n't go," he said. "I'd worry about the kids an' you so I'd forget to shoot and get court-martialed." "You never forget anything, Ben."

"No," Eben said; "I don't." Presently, because he would not dishonor her with a lie, he said:

"And it's worse than ever right now, my not forgetting. It's that that 's making me so miserable. I can't help it, Ria."

"He's in this new thing," said Marie, "the armored motor battalion. Sid Waters told me."

How splendid he must look in khaki! Eben thought. Then all his imagination glittered to a scene of dusty cactus and the smile fixed on approaching death, the fair body.

"O Ben," cried his wife, "I should n't have told you!"

THAT night the newsboys had a fresh surprising bellow from the wire, and the next day a man in Washington called on the militia of the several States to protect the border.

"By gosh!" said Arthur, "do you see me sweating under a cactus-tree? Let's go to a revue to-night."

Eben assented. His girl model was sniffling for a brother in the Sixty-ninth, and Marie's eyes were gleaming at his face. He was in hell, sending out hourly for the extras that might tell him what regiments were under arms; and in the rainy glare of Broadway he saw Judson through their taxicab window, glorious in his khaki service cap on the guard of an open car splashed with uniforms. And he sat until dawn, his arms gripped under his knees, glaring at the dark.

"I can't work," he told Marie. "Have 'em tell the models to go to blazes."

The streets showed spurts of mustard cloth while he tramped, and he met men he knew, savagely irritated, uplifted, awkward in stiff belts. In his imagination he heard the trailed notes of the dead march; the volley of a burial squad came back from the shadow of Fort Leavenworth.

Eben Harland, killed in action." It jerked before him on the rainfalls.

"He 's nearly mad," said Marie to her brother later.

"So am I," Arthur said, his eyes scarred under with black. "If Jud goes and gets killed he 'll never- You never saw them together. Don't say a word."

"Is he ordered?"

"Can't say. How can a man go on loving a fool that won't even come to his wedding? The-"

"He does. Let it go," said Marie, sternly.

THE next noon Eben woke with a lucid mind and a perfect resolve. He belonged to Marie, to his sons, not to Judson, who had cast him away for a word or so, for a dollar's worth of green striped silk. It seemed quite clear. He must go on loving Judson, bear unconquered to the verge of being that high and holy warmth, guard it, cherish it, and protect it. He bathed in icy water and sat down at his desk.

"Dear Jud," he wrote, "I am sending this to your office as I can't find you in the telephone-book. Since this order to the militia was published I have been in a horrible state of mind. Come and see me before you go if you can bring yourself to it. I have never stopped thinking of you as my best and dearest friend, and nothing has altered my feeling for you. If you hate me so much that you cannot do this,


A cloud passed over his brain, the pen broke in his fingers.


"O Lord!" he said, "he might n't even read it." He wrote: "I will put up it the best I can, but I think more of you than of any one else in the world. Ben."

He addressed the envelop carefully, and put a special-delivery stamp upon it. His brain had become confused once more, and in cure of this he walked into the nursery before luncheon. Young Juddy was playing with a large red elephant, the twins were engrossed in their noontime orangejuice, and the Yankee nurse told Eben she thought it was real dreadful about this

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"Oh," said Eben, "that 's just down here at Thirty-fourth Street, the armory."

She was going down to see her brother, it appeared. Eben gave her his letter to post, and carried Juddy, plus the elephant, into the dining-room. He would have taken the twins also had that been sensible. He wanted anything dear. about him for chains to his feet.

Mr. Letellier was lunching with them, and

he began at once upon the war.

"By Jove!" he said, "Wilson can't get out of it now! No. We 're in for it, dirty, ugly business."

"What kind of cocktail do you want, sir?" gasped Eben by the sideboard.

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old man quite a thrill, the boys down by the armory; and, by Jove! I had a turn. Come here, Grandson."

"What sort of turn, Dad?" asked Marie.

tellier stated, steering the red elephant
among the table covers.

"Yes, but why?" Juddy persisted, with-
out interest.

Eben bent his lips on the soft head.
"Because he's the finest man alive," he
said softly. "Will you excuse me, sir?
I'd forgotten to 'phone some one."
He descended into Park Avenue and
turned down the wide,
rain-pooled street. It
was quite empty; only
shuttered windows
looked upon his going.
The June sun had
burned through the oily
clouds of the morning
and lit the drenched

"Judson raised his hand
in a gesture"

"Saw a young chap going into a hotel near, artillery clothes, big, strapping fellow. I thought it was Ben for a minute; dead image of him. That was why I asked you if he was here when I came in."

"That must have been Judson," said Eben, spilling gin on the Portuguese embroidery.

"Oh, yes, your brother. Well, you must be pretty worried," said Mr. Letellier, heartily.

"My name 's Judson," said Judson, reverting to his father's knee. "Why 'm I named Judson?"

"For your uncle, of course," Mr. Le

flag of the armory

tower. Even so far off
he could see a mustard
uniform on the steps be-
fore the arched grill,

and the wet granite
beckoned him. People
strolled or scurried from
the pausing trolleys. No
one passed Eben as he
walked, cursing him-
self, down the pleasant,
wealthy street, and he
reasoned that New
York, the world, would
be like this vacancy
with Jud gone from it,
a stolid desolation, a
sunny tomb.

He came to the last
block of the east side,

which ends at the armory corner in a
lawn, iron fenced, with almost rural
shrubs and a faded Tudor house, inept
residue of some less urban day. Eben
kept his eyes on the armory tower, stupidly
archaic, crushing the vista of further com-
merce, and brushed his hand on the pickets
of the iron fence. A man in uniform cut
obliquely from the subway stairs and came
toward him. The color brought his gaze
down, and he saw Judson, his artillery
cap a little pushed from his brow, the
trim coat lining his unchanged splendor,


the smile of contentment on his mouth, six feet away.

All Eben's love and desperation broke into a sound. He clutched the square bar of the fence until it seemed hot.

"Damn you! That 's right, go on smiling! Go on hating me all you like, Juddy! But I'm coming, too."

The smile was gone before he said so much, and Judson raised his hand in a gesture as if he thrust something away. He stared at Eben with black eyes.

"Hated you, Ben? Hate? I don't know -what do you mean?" His cap slid off, and he stooped to pick it up; held it, shaking, in one hand, put it on again, still staring. "I don't understand. I wrote you, and you did n't answer me. I waitedI'd been waiting for you hours in the station that day, and you cut me. I don't know what you mein.”

"You wrote me! No, Juddy, you did n't!"

"I did! I did!" cried Judson, beating his fist on the iron. "I did! That afternoon! I posted it myself. I can tell you what I wrote. And you never said you 'd forgive me; that you saw how it was. And you cut me! Could n't you see? I was crazy that morning in Gloucester. You were going away, and I was sick, sick as a dog. It was those damned doughnuts."

Eben shook his head because seeing Jud's face tore him, and hearing Jud speak washed him of years.

"I never got any letter, Juddy. You've got to believe that. And seeing you smile that way in the station, I thought you were done with me. What did you say?" Judson shut his eyes and bit his lip. Two tears had run down his cheeks, and the drying path of them gleamed.

"Just a sec. I can tell you exactly every word. Just a minute, Ben. It wentthis way."

Eben listened as the voice dropped word after word, nodding to the throb of it.

"I never got it, Juddy. Why did you smile at me that day in the station? I'd been waiting all fall. I was going to try to-soften you down somehow and show I was all right-get you back—”


"Get me back! I was going to get you back. You mean to say you were n't angry? I don't see how you were n't. How could I help smiling? I'd been waiting hours."

His eyes were gray now, and the smile came back, bringing no shudder with it.

"And I," Eben put in quickly, "was going down to enlist so I could be somewhere near you, see you maybe; not come back if you did n't. I wrote you just now, asking you to come to see me. It's gone to your office, Jud. You don't think I was ever angry! I was n't."

For a moment Judson was in heaven; then he groaned.

"You 're not coming to Mexico? No! for God's sake-Ben, if you do still love me, stay home. It won't be long. Nothing 'll happen to me. I'm as strong as a horse, and you 've got your wife and kids and your shoulder. Yes, I know. I know all about you. I've kept people busy finding out about you. Ben, I 'phoned your place just now, and your wife told me you'd be back directly. I was just walking up; I swear I was."

He had surged in so close to Eben that their sleeves touched.

"You come along home with me, Juddy, and eat lunch. Ria's father's there. No, I won't go to Mexico. It may not be anything, anyhow. I've treated a dog. I won't hurt you again, ever. You have n't had lunch, have you?"



"I don't know. No, I have n't. I've got to be at the armory at ten."

"Well," said Eben, "it 's not two yet. And-when do you go?"

"Search me. I fixed up my will in case-" He got into step with Eben, turning north. "Gave it to young Jud. He looks like us, does n't he? I saw a picture. But he won't get it for a long time. By George! it's raining again!"

They began to chatter, with proud sidewise glances to be sure of reality. But Eben, marching along, could not be quite sure. By and by his hand slipped into the crook of Judson's elbow and clung there as they walked up the quiet street.

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