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length, protruding from beneath a black- something soft. The next instant someened bale, he discerned the uncharred end thing in that limbo of darkness seized the of a beam with a section of floor planking chief's hand with a weak pressure and the attached. He rose to his feet and pointed voice of Ronan sounded out of the pit like to it.
a trumpet blast: “Get a wall-hook and line,” he said in a “For the love of God, pull on that line!” low voice.
After that nothing was clear-a great upA slim young building wrecker slid down heaval, the disappearance of Ronan, his into the hole, jammed the hook around the sudden reappearance, dragging by superbeam, and climbed out. Like spectres, human effort a form as heavy as his own, twenty, thirty, forty men tailed on to the his cries for help, a surging knot of figures line and stood waiting. The atmosphere and then a slim ambulance surgeon wormof tenseness communicated to the throng ing to the centre of things with flashing deftoutside the building and there was a gen- ness. Flint's driver, Tom, had only one imeral surging forward which the police did pression. Ronan had said something to his not attempt to check.
deputy, who had nodded faintly and smiled. “Pull gently," came the command. And outside a woman waited serene.
The line strained and then gave a bit. And her boy was still sleeping in her There was a creaking and rending below. arms. Another pull and the beam and the floor As they bore John Flint out to the waitand the bales upon it, arose half a foot, like ing ambulance she advanced and touched a trap-door.
his face softly. And her voice was that of “Stop pulling! Hold what you've got!” a great love triumphant-a love that knows
Ronan could wait no longer. With no mistrust, nor faltering, nor fear. lantern hooked under his arm he dropped “John, I knew you were alive. I heard into the hole, and then placing his face close you when you told me." to the fissure which the lifting beam had Flint smiled wearily. When a little opened called aloud.
boy's fingers closed on his hand his eyes “John Flint, are you there?”
half opened. There was no reply and a great sigh “Dad," said the boy, "I been dreaming swept among the men. Ronan thrust again about that black place one more his arm into the opening in an effort to time. And-and-I dreamed you got out. ascertain its size. His fingers swept against Didn't I, mother?”
“IT HATH BEEN ALREADY OF OLD TIME”
- Ecclesiastes, I: 10.
By Elizabeth E. Cardozo
Oh strange and very beautiful was Love,
New-found and radiant; yet was I aware
Of an unspoken meaning, vague as air,
To fix the fleeting picture,—when and where ?
Then Love, “That distant life we twain did share,-
Half-hid and half-suggested, Love and Fear
And Pain still meet me with familiar ways,
And delicate meanings spoke beneath the breath.
In that divulgent hour when my gaze
Shall meet the unforgotten eyes of Death?
BY A. E. W. MASON
“What do you want?" asked Cynthia,
and in spite of her efforts her voice shook. THE REAPER
A South American harvest finds no use
for the weak. The man who stood opSAHE great reaping-machine posite to her was broad and powerful, with
came swaying over the un- a heavy, coarse face, burnt to the color of even ground toward her, brick by the sun. The sweat streaked it, along the edge of those and the dirt of many a day clung to it, and glistening acres. A hugearm it was seamed by exposure. He was of the
rose and fell, catching up the men who move from estancia to estancia, swathes of wheat and flinging them into the while the harvest lasts, working from sunmachine, whence they rolled out tied. Six rise to dark, living upon matte tea and horses harnessed behind pushed it and a roasted sheep, and earning a pound a day, man, perched in the front upon a tiny sad- and thereafter lying soddened in some den dle, steered and controlled it. The machine until the last centavo has been squandered. was about twenty paces from her when it A battered black hat was pressed low upon came suddenly to a stop. The driver leaped his clotted hair; a month's growth of beard down from his seat. It seemed to Cynthia straggled over his chin and cheeks. And that the mechanism had gone wrong. She his eyes were evil. That, more than any expected to see him bend over a joint or a other quality of the man, Cynthia noticed. spring. But he did not stoop. The moment Their quick glance held her. She was terhis feet touched the ground, he ran straight rified. toward her and very swiftly.
“What do you want?” she asked a secHe ran with his head down, and his ond time, and her voice wavered still more shoulders bent. It was a heavy rush rather audibly. than a run. Cynthia recoiled. The words She stood in front of him, her lovely of Richard Walton sprang into her mind, brows, under the big brim of her straw hat, and her hand rose instinctively to her throat. troubled, and her great eyes wide and alert Could she have forgotten after all to remove with fear. She was in the poise for flight the string of pearls? But she had removed like a startled deer, yet did not dare to turn it. And still the man was running toward to fly. And in the man, as he looked at her, her. The fear that she wore the pearls, and there came a change. the proof that she did not, had followed so · He did not answer her question. But immediately upon his rush that he had as very slowly he smiled, and the smile was yet covered only half the ground between spiteful. He nodded his head at her; a them. It was herself he aimed at then. malicious contentment overspread his face; She cast a rapid glance toward her cart. and from head to heel his eyes inspected The Gaucho was leaning down over the her. They approved her beauty and the opposite side, and talking to some one who simple daintiness of her clothes; they took stood by the wheel. A cry would not bring note of her slenderness of hand and foot; him to her side in time. She turned, with they remarked the lines and supple youth half a mind to run. But, though her white of her figure; and through her white skirt reached only to her ankles, it would frock they seemed to make sure of the still impede her. She turned back and with roundness of her limbs. Cynthia grew a beating heart faced him. And a few feet suddenly hot with shame. This man was from her he stopped.
appraising her—nothing less. Appraising He looked at her, drew a great breath, her as if for a market! Her fear dropped and cried “Ah!” like a man who has from her. She cried a third time, but with reached his goal.
“What do you want of me?" and if her personal feeling, a personal animosity. She voice shook now, it was with a quiver of could not understand it, yet she was sure. indignation.
“How long will he stay?” she asked. She heard the thud of horses behind her. “A month," said the Gaucho. The reaper heard it, too. Without a word, “He was not here last year?” and without any hurry, he turned away “I do not recognize him." from her and slouched back to his ma- “Why, then—" she began and did not chine. Cynthia's cart the next moment was finish the question. It was in her mind to driven up to her side. She climbed into it ask, “Why does he hate me?" But she and took the reins. The encounter had was aware at once that the Gaucho could shaken her more than she had known. not answer it. “And he will stay a She was trembling, and she drove over the month?” she asked again, uneasily. ground quickly, until she saw the slate roof “Yes, unless the Senorita wishes him to of the house, flashing like silver, from a go. It will be, of course, as the Senorita clump of dark trees quite near.
wishes." Then she reined in her horse and turned Cynthia nodded her head. There was round. Far away at the edge of the wheat, a way out of the trouble, to be sure. But, the man and the machine and the six horses on the other hand, she would have to say stood out black like a little toy. The clank why she wished the man to go. At the and rattle of the iron came to her ears recital of her story Mr. and Mrs. Daventry through the still air, faintly, like the mech- would be excited and alarmed. She heranism of a toy. But Cynthia shivered as self would henceforth be surrounded with she looked back.
precautions. She determined to say noth“Who is he?" she asked of the old ing at all about her adventure. She would Gaucho. He shrugged his shoulders: be careful during this month where she
"I do not know him, Senorita. I do not roamed. The man would be at work and it think he was here last year. They come would be easy to avoid him. She gathered in herds and go in herds when the corn is the reins again in her hands and drove to stacked."
the house. Up and down, along the glistening line, the man drove his horses, and manipulated
VI his machine. He stopped no more. With each journey a wide band of wheat went A VISITOR AT THE ESTANCIA down. Thus he had been working balanced in his saddle since daybreak. So, CYNTHIA accordingly held her tongue. with but a two hours' rest, he would go un- Nevertheless, that evening Richard Walton der the burning afternoon sun until dark- said to her across the dinner table: ness came and bade him stop. To the “So you were, after all, molested by one Gaucho he was one of a herd of men who of the hands, Miss Cynthia.” did the like; for a few weeks here; then “Molested!” cried Robert Daventry, for another few weeks on another estancia indignantly. further down the line. But for Cynthia Cynthia's face flamed. this man stood strangely out from the herd. “Who told you?” she asked of Richard He had stopped her, and she did not know Walton. why. She sat and watched his slow, ob- “Pedro." stinate progression. The persistence, the Cynthia had not thought of the Gaucho. physical strength of the man daunted her. He had seemed so entirely uninterested, There was something of nature's own re- so utterly unalarmed. lentlessness in his capacity to endure and “Molested' is too strong a word," she work. She magnified him and was, at the said hastily. She now meant to make as same time, interested and alarmed. For light of the encounter as she possibly could. of this she was sure. He had not stopped “It was very likely my fault. I got out her merely because she was a girl, and of the trap and walked toward the wheat. alone. He had stopped her because she It may be that the man fancied I wished to was herself. She remembered his smile, speak to him.” his nods of the head, his malice. He had a "What did he do?”
The question came from Joan Daventry. ruptly at a second warning from his wife. “He sprang from his seat, ran to me, “We will pack that man off about his busiand stopped in front of me. That was all.” ness to-morrow.” “Quite all ?”
“Yes," said Mrs. Daventry. She had Cynthia nodded.
mastered her agitation, and now affected “He just stood and stared at me until carelessness. “We can't really have CynPedro drove up."
thia's birthday spoilt in this way." “Did he say nothing?"
“No, of course not,”cried Robert Daven“Not a word.”
try, seizing upon this explanation of his disIn spite of her resolve to treat the advent- tress. But he could not leave it in its simure lightly, Cynthia's voice grew troubled plicity. “It's abominable that Cynthia as she answered the questions. For she should have her birthday spoilt. She has answered them with her eyes upon Joan only one a year, poor girl. That's what's Daventry's face, and she saw the perplexity troubling us, Cynthia. Nothing else. But there deepen into disquietude and misgiv- it's enough to upset us, isn't it? To think ing. She turned toward Robert Daven- that you should actually have your birthtry. Upon his face uneasiness was still day spoilt-by one of my men, too.” more evident. He was plainly agitated. So he went on, like a commentator on an He sat listening in suspense. His indigna- ancient text, expanding the explanation, tion had gone.
underlining it, and forcing upon Cynthia's Cynthia's fear revived under the stim- intelligence its complete improbability. ulation of their anxiety. She continued Even in the midst of her fears she could slowly:
not but look with amusement toward Joan; “But although he did me no harm, al- and the two women exchanged the smile of though he threatened none, there was some- their sex at the perennial clumsiness of man. thing strange. He saw me at once. He “He shall go first thing to-morrow mornran so very quickly to me the moment I was ing,” cried Mr. Daventry; and Richard within reach. He seemed almost to be Walton quietly rejoined: looking out for me."
"He has gone already. I paid him off Joan sank back into her chair with a gest- this morning." ure of helplessness, which was all the more Mr. Daventry ceased abruptly from his alarming because it was so singularly out vociferations. of keeping with her character. Her eyes “Thank you, Walton," he said. “Then sought her husband's and sought them in that's ended,” and he sat down. dismay. Cynthia noticed both the gesture But he had hardly taken his seat when the and the look. They kindled a vague terror door opened and the parlor-maid brought to in the girl. The wide brown plain was as him upon a salver a folded slip of dirty paper. a picture before her. She saw the great “A man came with this to the door, sir. wheat-field glistening in the heat, a wind- He is waiting for an answer." wheel in a corner above a well, and this Robert Daventry unfolded the slip and man with the evil eyes and the face of read the message written within it. He malice looking her over from head to foot. did not lift his eyes when he had read. He
“Yes,” she said. “He seemed to be ex- sat staring at the paper like a statue. And pecting me, and there was something else. he sat amidst a deep silence. The cloud He seemed to hate me”; and Robert Daven- which had but now been lifted, had gathtry with a cry sprang sharply to his feet. ered once more above the heads of that
Joan raised a quick warning hand. But small company. Though Robert Daventhe cry had been uttered; and with a sob try did not speak, his long silence spoke Cynthia buried her face in her hands. for him; and though he schooled his face
“I am frightened now," she said. “You to composure, it was plain that he schooled frighten me.”
it. A vague disquiet held the others at the Robert Daventry stood over her, clumsily table. Not one of them but had a conviction remorseful, and laid his great hand on her that this dirty, insignificant, scrap of writshoulder.
ing announced a catastrophe. “There's nothing to fear, Cynthia,” he Joan was the first to move. She walked began. “Joan and 1-” he broke off ab- round the table and stood behind her husband. He did not hear the rustle of her “What shall we do?" he repeated. gown; and he was not aware that she “Money will send him away," said Toan. leaned over him to read the message un- “And bring him back again," replied til the pressure of her hand upon his shoul- Robert hopelessly. “Sooner or later she der reminded him that she was his ally. will know”; and Joan threw up her head
"You had better see the man, Robert,” at his words. she said. “He calls late, but probably he “No,” she said vigorously. "No." needs help.”
At her left hand a door stood open upon Thus she sought to pass the message off. a dark room. This was the smoking-room. “Very well, I will,” said Robert. He She entered the room and crossed it to the turned to the parlor-maid. “Bring him opposite wall. Then she opened a door, to my study when I ring the bell.”
and, advancing into this inner room, felt “I will come with you,” said Joan, as the for the switch in the darkness and turned servant went out from the room.
on the light. Bookcases, filled for the most Richard Walton rose from his chair. part with books on agriculture, lined the “Perhaps you would like me, too?” room, a round table, littered with papers,
“No, I don't think that's necessary,” re- occupied the centre, in the recess of a winplied Joan Daventry. “But, perhaps, you dow stood a writing-desk. This was would stay within sound of the bell. We Robert Daventry's study. Her husband don't know who this man is, or what he followed her, and saw that her finger was wants. If we ring again, you would know already on the bell. that we needed your advice.”
“Let us decide what we are to do," he “Certainly, I will be upon the lookout,” said, “before you ring." said Walton, and he went from the room Joan shook her head. and crossed the hall to the servants' quar- “We can't. We must be guided by what ters. There he would hear the bell at the man knows, and by what he wants. once should it ring for him. Joan mean- Only we admit nothing,” she declared reswhile turned with a smile to Cynthia. olutely; and she pressed the bell. It rang
“We will leave you here for a few minutes,” in the passage by the kitchen, but Cynthia, she said, and the composure of her voice al- left alone in the dining-room, heard it too. most reassured the girl, would indeed have The moment she heard it, Cynthia rose quite reassured her but for Robert Daventry from her chair, and ran silently to the She saw that his hands trembled so that the door. She unlatched it without a sound, paper shook in them, even as her hands had and drew it toward her until it was just trembled this morning when she climbed up wide enough open for her to see through. by the edge of the wheat into her cart. There she stood grasping the door-knob,
“Yes, wait here, Cynthia,” said Robert and in a moment a heavy foot sounded in Daventry, as he got to his feet; and Cyn- the hall. Cynthia set her eyes to the chink. thia noticed that while he spoke to her he She saw first a maid-servant cross the hall, altogether avoided the glance of her eyes. and pass into the smoking-room, and after The old couple went out of the room to the maid a man. The man was the reaper gether, leaving her alone, and carefully who had leapt from his machine and rushed latched the door behind them. In the hall toward her that morning. The maid-serfor a moment they stood resting from their vant came back alone and crossed the hall pretence. A broken word or two burst again to the servants' quarters. A door from Robert Daventry:
was shut loudly—the door of Robert Daven“What shall we do, Joan? This is what try's study—and then another door opened we have dreaded always."
noiselessly, and opened wide—the door of Joan raised her finger to her lips. the dining-room. Cynthia came out into "Hush! Speak lower. What I said was the hall. All the color had gone from her true. We don't know who he is, or what face, her eyes were wide with terror. The he wants. He may not be the man who man meant her harm-not a doubt of it. stopped her in the field at all."
He had some power to inflict the harmRobert Daventry shook his head. It was that was sure. Otherwise why was he adrather his nature to run to meet misfortune mitted, why were her friends in such conif he saw its shadow in his way.