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    He groped for her hand as though he were blind. "I was trying to tell you," he said thickly, "that I--that I"--he made a desperate endeavour to hold to his purpose, but failed--"I wanted to tell you about the woman in the bazaar." Then he reeled; and his wife, exerting all her strength, half supported, half dragged him to a chair.

    His calmness sobered Jorgenson. As a business man, he was moved to make his situation clear. He told Ganti of the Grand Panjandrum's move to take over the Rim Stars trading post, which was bad business. He told of his own reaction, which was not a business-like one at all. Then he said dourly:

    The Syphon was the only entrance to the Barracks. It opened as the "Wet Gut," a ramp leading downward into liquid disinfectant which finally filled a tunnel, which ran the length of the Barracks. Each trooper, as he walked down into the disinfectant, grabbed the hand-holds at either side to pull himself along. Half-swimming through a turbulent portion that tugged at his suit with cavitations designed to loose the gummiest particle of bug-dirt, he came to a quieter section where he wormed along in silence, watching the man ahead of him, his stay in the antiseptic gauged to make the outside of his safety-suit as germ-free as the inside.

    For a long time a notion had been in my head to bring out something original in the show. All minstrel shows are alike, and I couldn't for the life of me hit on anything that Sam Stacker didn't say, "Oh, I seen that down in Tennessee in '58," or


    And me, the last of 1,700 girls in the same place—for so I larned from me frind the janitor’s wife—walked out wid me in me pocket.



    On Good Fri-day, A-pril 14, 1865, it was four years from the “Sur-ren-der of Fort Sum-ter.” Ma-jor An-der-son had, then, when the foe’s guns struck the fort, hauled down the Stars and Stripes, and with great care, put the dear flag a-way to keep for a glad day which should come, and a large throng of folks from the North had come down to Port Roy-al and Charles-ton to raise, with words of praise and pray-er, o’er the ru-ins of Sum-ter, that same Flag of the Free in all its beau-ty.


    “Those are what they call contact mines, I reckon, Jack?”

    There is an old ruin called Bruce’s Castle on this island, and the legend runs that Bruce and his chief warriors lie in an enchanted sleep in a cave of the rock on which stands the castle, and that one day they will rise up and unite the island to Scotland.


    He stuck stoutly to his reasoning that England had to fight 473and that he had to fight; but hidden from Joan, hidden from every living soul, he kept a secret resolve. It was, he knew, an entirely illogical and treasonable resolve, and yet he found it profoundly comforting. He would never fire his rifle so that it would hurt any one even by chance, and he would never use his bayonet. He would go over the top with the best of them, and carry his weapons and shout.

    “Dat’s whut I thout, suh,” he continued, “but bless yo’ soul, honey, my wife hadn’t bin dead er week befo’ I got up one mornin’ an’ all onbeknownst to myself I foun’ myself blackin’ my shoes! Cudn’t hep it to sabe my life, suh—jes’ had to do it. De naixt day, suh, ’tirely unbeknownst to de state ob my naturality, I kotch myself in de act ob puttin’ h’ar-oil on my hair, cinnermun-draps on my handkerchief, an’ pullin’ off de eel-skin gyarters I dun bin wearin’ forty years fur de rumertizn. No mo’ rumertiz fur me; er man nurver hes rumertizn arter his wife dies—least-wise,” he whispered, knowingly, “not twell he marries erggin an’ den he hes it so bad he can’t cut stove-wood fur her,” he laughed.

    He flushed the interior of the suit out with a reckless disregard for the wastage of his air reserve, holding his breath as much as he could, daring only shallow gasps that made him retch and gag. After a long time he could breathe, though his eyes were spilling tears.

    Well, and all this while Faith wasn’t standing still; she was changing steadily, as much as ever the moon changed in the sky. I noticed it first one day when Mr. Gabriel’d caught every child in the region and given them a picnic in the woods of the Stack-Yard-Gate, and Faith was nowhere to be seen tiptoeing round every one as she used to do, but I found her at last standing at the head of the table,——Mr. Gabriel dancing here and there, seeing to it that all should be as gay as he seemed to be,——quiet and dignified as you please, and feeling every one of her inches. But it wasn’t dignity really that was the matter with Faith,——it was just gloom. She’d brighten[148] up for a moment or two, and then down would fall the cloud again; she took to long fits of dreaming, and sometimes she’d burst out crying at any careless word, so that my heart fairly bled for the poor child,——for one couldn’t help seeing that she’d some secret unhappiness or other,——and I was as gentle and soothing to her as it’s in my nature to be. She was in to our house a good deal; she kept it pretty well out of Dan’s way, and I hoped she’d get over it sooner or later, and make up her mind to circumstances. And I talked to her a sight about Dan, praising him constantly before her, though I couldn’t bear to do it; and finally, one very confidential evening, I told her that I’d been in love with Dan myself once a little, but I’d seen that he would marry her, and so had left off thinking about it; for, do you know, I thought it might make her set more price on him now, if she knew somebody else had ever cared for him. Well, that did answer awhile: whether she thought she ought to make it up to Dan, or whether he really did grow more in her eyes, Faith got to being very neat and domestic and praiseworthy. But still there was the change, and it didn’t make her any the less lovely. Indeed, if I’d been a man, I should have cared for her more than ever: it was like turning a child into a woman: and I really think, as Dan saw her going about with such a pleasant gravity, her pretty figure moving so quietly, her pretty face so still and fair, as if she had thoughts and feelings now, he began to wonder what had come over Faith, and, if she were really as charming as this, why he hadn’t felt it before; and then, you know, whether you love a woman or not, the mere fact that[149] she’s your wife, that her life is sunk in yours, that she’s something for you to protect, and that your honor lies in doing so, gives you a certain kindly feeling that might ripen into love any day under sunshine and a south wall.


    "I had a sharp attack of writer's cramp, Mr. Secretary," Retief said. "So I thought I'd better come along in person—just to be sure I was positive of making my point."

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