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cheerful silence. He stopped for a moment to cram his soft hat into a pocket of the coat which he was already carrying.

Minnie Bee, high up among unfamiliar hills, looked critically about her and said. that she had never been up there.

They went on, Roddy slightly in the lead, his eyes shining with the surprise he had in store for Minnie Bee. A riotous wind was whipping his roomy shirt about his beautiful slant of back and shoulder. His head made a dusky glory in the blue day. Now and again he looked back at Minnie Bee with a smile, appreciative of her prowess thus far, and encouraging her to further feats. Minnie Bee, who felt lifted on wings of lightness, always smiled back. She was a hovering radiance in his wake. At the edge of the highest hill Roddy said in a quiet tone of triumph:

"Now."

They stepped over the crest. Far, far below, in a deep, wide cup, compacted of the colors of the fall, lay a green valley. In it a white town shone by a river of gold. The cup was brimmed with sunshine and patterned with cloud shadows. It offered up beauty forever.

"I came on all this of a sudden one day last fall," said Roddy, his eyes alight. Minnie Bee understood. He had wished her, too, to see it suddenly, like that, because it had been wonderful to him.

He spread his coat for her beneath a slender locust, and threw himself down near, among the thin, pointed little golden leaves, already scattered in the just seared

grasses.

Minnie Bee looked at the white town. It was very far away, so far away that it was spanned by a spray of goldenrod. She hummed:

"Lo! there hath been dawning Another blue day."

She did not know when she had ever felt so happy.

"Now," said Roddy, "let us talk about. everything in the world."

"What must we begin with?" asked Minnie Bee.

"Suppose," said Roddy, rising on his elbow, "we begin with friendship."

"Friendship?" asked Minnie Bee in an odd tone, almost as if she had never heard of such a thing.

"Friendship," said Roddy, "is the most wonderful relation in the world. You can't always depend on your lover or your brother, but you can always depend on your friend."

"I never had one," said Minnie Bee. She was thinking of the girls whom she had known in a way all her life, of the lovely, sweet girls in the town down there with whom she had gone to church and to school, but among whom she had never had a friend.

"You can have one now," said Roddy, deliberately, "if you want him."

"You!" cried Minnie Bee. It was the strangest exclamation.

Roddy colored furiously.

"I beg your pardon," he flashed in clean-cut words. His quick thought was that Minnie Bee had heard of a thing of which it was altogether unlikely she should have heard, a long-ago action of his, repented in full, paid for in full, done with forever, he had hoped, save as one never is done with anything.

Minnie Bee put an impulsive hand on his rigid arm.

"You see, I happened just to be thinking of girl friends," said Minnie Bee, somewhat shakily. "Why, I-I 'd love to be friends with you."

He searched her with his gaze. She offered him her hand in the sweetest manner to seal their pact. Its firm, generous pressure reassured Roddy wholly.

"I'm glad," he said, still holding the convincing hand, "because, when I met you last evening, it was what you might call friendship at first sight with me."

Minnie Bee, still smiling beautifully at Roddy, took back her hand. She did not say what it had been at first sight with her.

ONCE more Minnie Bee and Roddy wandered on the sheer rim of the wide cup of the hills. Fire haze of Indian summer

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ing up, as if to go, and smiling gravely down on her.

"Thank you for the music," said Roddy. "Do you mind my saying that you looked exactly like an angel, with all that white stuff floating around you, and the sun in your hair, while you were singing?"

Minnie Bee looked down at the white stuff. An impulse had its mad way with her.

"Wait a minute," she said. In a twinkling she was running up-stairs. In another she was running back, trailing a white triangle covered with infinitesimal ruffles. She tossed this over one shoulder, reached back, and coaxed it over the other. "Now," said Minnie Bee, "I want an unbiased opinion."

"It sounds technical," said Roddy, "but I'll do my best."

"I can't decide about the neck of this dress," said Minnie Bee. "Does it look better this way or"-she twitched off the fichu-"this?"

"Ruffles," said Roddy, instantly, "and

""

a rose.

One was peering in. He rewarded its curiosity by presenting it to Minnie Bee, who had donned the fichu again. She placed the rose where it belonged, and endeavored to survey herself in a tiny oval of purely ornamental mirror hanging between the windows. Roddy felt that it should have been a pier-glass. He would have liked two full-lengths of Minnie Bee just then. He looked at his hat again, smiling slightly. Perhaps he was thinking that this again was something which could never have happened at Pagie Presley's.

"Oh, don't go yet," said Minnie Bee. She sat down in the window-seat and patted the cushion beside her.

Roddy, however, took a chair, which he drew up facing her. He leaned forward in it, his clasped hands dropped between his knees.

said pettishly: "Another Ivor boy! No, thank you." Nor was she going to tell him that he had been brought now only because she could n't very well have refused his own cousin; but how could she have imagined this Ivor boy to be so different from his brothers, who were notorious.

"This is my third year here," said Roddy. "How queer that no one ever brought me to see you before."

Minnie Bee was n't going to tell Roddy that some one had asked to bring him two years before, and that she had

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put out.

"But if you would n't mind waiting?" "Certainly not. Run along," said Roddy, much relieved.

She ran along, and he looked after her approvingly. What a sensible girl now!

When Minnie Bee came back, unbelievably soon, Roddy thought her less an angel, perhaps, but the prettiest thing he had ever seen in his life. Yet she had on her oldest serge skirt, a far from new blue-silk middy, and a shabby cap of Confederate gray that one of the cadets had given her when she was a small girl. Her feet in their little brown shoes literally danced along. Something was singing itself in her golden head. Minnie Bee hummed it:

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"Lo! there hath been dawning Another blue day."

She did n't remember any more of it; just that much was all she needed. She continued to hum it as they went out in the blue day. She did n't ask where they were going; even when it seemed a long way she did n't ask. Even when they began to climb and climb she did n't ask.

"I don't know whether you've ever been up here," said Roddy, breaking a

1

cheerful silence.

He stopped for a moment to cram his soft hat into a pocket of the coat which he was already carrying.

Minnie Bee, high up among unfamiliar hills, looked critically about her and said that she had never been up there.

They went on, Roddy slightly in the lead, his eyes shining with the surprise he had in store for Minnie Bee. A riotous wind was whipping his roomy shirt about his beautiful slant of back and shoulder. His head made a dusky glory in the blue day. Now and again he looked back at Minnie Bee with a smile, appreciative of her prowess thus far, and encouraging her to further feats. Minnie Bee, who felt lifted on wings of lightness, always smiled back. She was a hovering radiance in his wake. At the edge of the highest hill Roddy said in a quiet tone of triumph:

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"Suppose," said Roddy, rising on his elbow, "we begin with friendship."

"Friendship?" asked Minnie Bee in an odd tone, almost as if she had never heard of such a thing.

"Friendship," said Roddy, "is the most wonderful relation in the world. You can't always depend on your lover or your brother, but you can always depend on your friend."

"I never had one,” said Minnie Bee. She was thinking of the girls whom she had known in a way all her life, of the lovely, sweet girls in the town down there with whom she had gone to church and to school, but among whom she had never had a friend.

"You can have one now," said Roddy, deliberately, "if you want him."

"You!" cried Minnie Bee. It was the strangest exclamation.

Roddy colored furiously.

"I beg your pardon," he flashed in clean-cut words. His quick thought was that Minnie Bee had heard of a thing of which it was altogether unlikely she should have heard, a long-ago action of his, repented in full, paid for in full, done with forever, he had hoped, save as one never is done with anything.

Minnie Bee put an impulsive hand on his rigid arm.

"You see, I happened just to be thinking of girl friends," said Minnie Bee, somewhat shakily. "Why, I-I 'd love to be friends with you."

He searched her with his gaze. She offered him her hand in the sweetest manner to seal their pact. Its firm, generous pressure reassured Roddy wholly.

"I'm glad," he said, still holding the convincing hand, "because, when I met you last evening, it was what you might call friendship at first sight with me."

Minnie Bee, still smiling beautifully at Roddy, took back her hand. She did not say what it had been at first sight with her.

ONCE more Minnie Bee and Roddy wandered on the sheer rim of the wide cup of the hills. Fire haze of Indian summer

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obscured the land and blotted the sky. It turned the sun to the round red-paper sun of an astrologer's weird garment. It brimmed the cup of the hills with a universe of bluish, faintly irradiated particles. Minnie Bee and Roddy were as solitary as two persons in a dream. They were closed in by a dimness that might, for aught they could see to the contrary, stretch away to the farthest reaches of space and time. Wandering thus, as in an enchantment, they came on a forest of stickweed.

"Did you ever," asked Roddy, "do this?"

He broke a lance of stickweed stalk, nicked it just so far from one end, broke another slighter lance, and fitted an end of that into the nick. Holding these two lances high in air, he bent together their free ends, and with some adroit turn of wrist swiftly hurled the slighter one from him.

Minnie Bee exclaimed in delight and astonishment. It seemed impossible that the serpent of velvet black simulating Hogarth's line of beauty far above them could be the stickweed stalk hurled by Roddy the second before. It darted higher still. It did not turn in descent until it had flung itself, blazing, across the unreal face of the sun. It fell very slowly, while Minnie Bee held her breath. It was lost in the haze-brimmed cup of the hills. "Look! look!" cried Minnie Bee in a joyous tone.

A second serpent was hurling itself from the rim of the opposite hill. It strove to outdo Roddy's serpent. It outdid it. "I'll not take that," said Roddy.

He flung a second lance. The serpent it immediately became darted viciously toward the zenith, far, far above the unreal face of the sun. Minnie Bee's eyes sparkled. She might have fancied herself a legendary princess beholding the counter of rival magicians. Evidently the unseen magician was not going to stand that either. A fourth serpent rose; but through some default of magic sank ignominiously into the deeper blue haze that marked the hills along the horizon. In

stantly a fifth serpent hurled itself on the tail of the fourth.

"He 's mad," laughed Roddy, who had just sent his answer.

The unknown's serpent suffered from no default of magic this time. The two met in mid-air, and strove for supremacy. It was toss up between them straight above Minnie Bee's upturned face when they incredibly touched and fell slowly together, like enemies who had warily made.

truce.

"Bravo!" shouted Roddy in his ferrycall tremolo.

A return call echoed faintly, and was drowned, as the serpents had been drowned, in blue haze.

"Wonder who that was," said Roddy."Show me how!" pleaded Minnie Bee. She did not learn the trick readily. Her stickweed lance remained a stickweed lance, falling stiffly close by, and never turning into a magic serpent at all.

"You have to begin doing it when you are a little tad," said Roddy, exploring a pocket. "Here, I'll show where I learned to throw stickweed." He took out a pack of kodak pictures. "Let us sit down." He made a place for her in the edge of the stickweed forest, and stood for a moment gazing at her. Pale brown of November grasses, vague blue of forest smoke, dim gold of withering, but still flaunting, autumn weeds, were all about them. With these Minnie Bee's vaguely blue dress and shining head made a harmony which even an untrained eye could appreciate.

He flung himself beside her, resting on his elbow, and arranging the pictures in order on the grass. He indicated one.

"On those old hills there," said Roddy, "right along the river. Mary and I used. to see how far down it we could throw."

"Mary?"

"My sister; her name is Mary, too." He pronounced it "Murry." He smiled on Minnie Bee, "I'd like you two to meet."

Minnie Bee asked hurriedly: "And who 's this?"

"My father," Roddy told her, pride in his voice.

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On the Altar of Friendship

By FANNY KEMBLE JOHNSON
Author of "The Persistent Little Fool," etc.

Illustrations by Edna L. Crompton

APUNZEL, Rapunzel, let down your hair,' ""chanted Wirt in his cool, laughing voice.

RA

Minnie Bee, otherwise Mary Beatrice, with an obliging twist of the wrist, let down her hair. It rippled down in the full, silver light of the moon until it splashed

the wood of the old porch seat. Between these dividing waves her face showed softly childlike, with deeply fringed lids. The eyes were unexpectedly dark, of an intense blue, like that sometimes to be seen in butterfly wings.

Roddy Ivor, crowded on the step below, where he had to exercise much ingenuity to avoid crushing Minnie Bee's widely settling blue ruffles, looked up at her disapprovingly and admiringly. He thought she made an awfully pretty picture in the moonlight; but he wanted to knock his cousin Wirt down for ordering a girl about like that before a porchful of laughing boys, and most of all he wished to take Minnie Bee for a walk, and talk to her like a brother.

Still, it was harmless enough. Even Roddy, who had been presented to Minnie. Bee only five minutes earlier, could see that it was merely a case of a particularly charming flower and a cloud of newly emerged butterflies. So might one conceive of an over-appreciative butterfly bidding a rose turn its enchanting head this way or that. All the young faces lifted to Minnie Bee were smilingly satisfied, as at a pleasantly fulfilled expectation. Only that brute Seaton had another look.

ence.

Minnie Bee, too, felt an adverse influShe flung a wide, peering glance to where Seaton glowered on his vine-smothered railing.

Wirt, who had turned about at Minnie Bee's glance, stared, and went to the railing. Seaton had swung himself over it, and was walking rapidly up the street in the direction of the Green Hotel, a college hostelry on the edge of the grove-like

campus.

"Good riddance," muttered Wirt. He took the railing himself, gathered in Minnie Bee's golden-ribboned guitar, and began to strum one of those intermittent, non-committal accompaniments which go with any old or new-thing.

"An hundred months have passed, Lorena,"

hummed some one. A melodious buzz tollowed. They began to sing it definitely. Minnie Bee did n't know a word of the old thing. She sat silent, softly embracing her blue ruffles, her eyes fixed on Roddy's slightly averted face. Roddy knew every word of the song, and he was leading the singing in a brilliant baritone, vibrant with youth, and deeply colored with youth's strange, emotional foreknowledges.

All young creatures appear rapt with the music they make. Roddy now had that look added to his all-the-time looks of lordliness and gaiety and calm resolve. Wirt stopped strumming. The other voices died out one by one, chiefly because their owners had arrived at the ends of memory; but Roddy sang on, dreamily unaware, his gaze plunged into the dark of the campus trees.

He suddenly became aware that he alone sang, and stopped inquiringly, glancing up at Minnie Bee. She clapped softly. Roddy colored in the moonlight. Roddy, facing the door in bidding Min

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