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"You have ray decisión, sir. " Miriam Gray spoke in a sharp, quick tone, her dark eyes flashing, her queenly head set to orte side, her gestures aervous, yet graceful. A pallor swept across Bruce Ventuor'a face, aud he lifted his hand to hw mouth to liide the twitching of the muscles. There was nothing ambiguouu about her reply. It was au able rejectiou. It was useless either to plead or argue. He was at a loss to ; count for her repressed agitation. He watched her through the mullow twilight and became more couscious than ever of her exeeeding loveliuess aud the j hard blow which she had dealt him. He had been paying her attention for some time and was sure that she loved him. That was why his bewilderment was so great aud his disappointment so keen. Kuowing that his character was I beyond reproach, aud that he had iu I nowise offended her, he feit justified in demanding the reasoi) for her strange j couduct. He knew her too well to fancy i for a moment that she was triflingwith him. She was ueither variable in her moods nor iickle in her friendships. "Miriam," Bruce Ventuor said, his voice husky, his manner agitated, "I have the rigbt to ask your reasou for this rejection. " "No, you have nor," she replied, the ; color coming and going iu her face. I "Still 111 teil yon. I am prompted by ■ reven ge. " "By revengo?" repeated hein a dazed ! tone. "Yes," was her measured reply. "I want you to suffer. " "Aud you enjoy it?" lie said bitterly. ' "Theii you know how much I love yon it seems. I ahvays knew you did not question that." They had been seated npon a bench ! outeide a small pavilion, but were now ! standing. She was sufïering more than she would have cared to let him kuow and was impatient to get away. "Pray, in what way have I wrouged you?" he asked. "Not in thought, word j nor act. I consider myself the soul of honor. ' ' " "Oh, you do?" and she laughed mockingly. "Iustead, you are a man without principie. ' ' He groaned aloud in his powerful effort to repress his angry indignation. " ' I am not avenging myself, but another, ' ' she said, speaking with i ity. "'Did you ever know Blanche Carrol? Oh, it is not necessary for me to remind you of your baseness!" She turned abruptly from him and walked rapidly toward the hotel. He watched her until she had disappeared in the gloom of the gathering twilight, one hand pressed against his forehead, a hurt, baffled, mystified expression in his face. He strode up the beach" then along a wild ledge of rocks, as if to find solace in the loneliness of the hour. Wheu Miriam Gray reached her room at the hotel, reaction set in, and her great grief showed how devotedly she loved the man whom she had insulted. She flung herself upon the bed and cried as if her heart were broken. "Oh, Blanche," she exclaimed aloud between her hysterical sobs, "you are I avengcd, but you will never know what it has cost me! Oh, why was I to love him sopassionately before I heard about his perfidy?" Early though it was she retired to bed, but it was almost dawn before she feil asleep, so intense was her suffering. Three years later againfound Miriam Gray at the seashore. She had not met Bruce Ventuor during that interval, nor had she heard from him. iShe was as handsome as ever and more royal iu her mauners, but her face and conversation lacked briliancy. She was more quiet and reserved, more chary in her friendships, ready to suspect and heartily tired of the hollowness of fashionable life. Her love affair with Bruce Ventnor had caused the change. In punishing him for his perfidy to her Cousin Blanche ehe had sacrificed herself. She could never love another man as she had loved him. As she was one day walkiug on the promenade with her cousin Blanche they suddenly carne upon Bruce Ventnor. He was aloue and stood still for a minute, the meeting was so unexpected to him. He lifted his hat, looked mournfully and reproachfully at Miriam, as if half inclined to speak, and then strode toward the nearest pavilion. Miriam recognized him and was touched at the lock he had bestowed upon her. "Who was that gentleman?" asked her Cousin, Blanche. "Did he bow to you or to me?' ' Keceiving no reply, she looked up into her companion'sface. "Why, Miriam, how palé you are," 6he exclaimed, "aud how agitated!" "Blauche, do yon mean to say that you do not know that man?" Miriam asked, her voice a mere whisper. "I never saw him until today, " was her cousin's reply. "Oh!" cried Miriam, catching her breath, one hand uuconsciously clinched, "is he' not the man who trified with you?" "Bruce Ventnor?" replied, Blanche. "Why, no, child!" The blood receded from Miriam's lips, and a low moan escaped from them. She grew so weak for a litóle while that she was forced to lean heavily upon Blanche, who conducted her to one of the rustió benches. Sho fanned her, rubbed her hands and spoke to her in soothing tonea. Wben her cotisin had sufficiently recovered, she a.sked: "Miriam, wbat is this mystery?" "Oh, I am so afraid that I have wronged that - man and - myself. I was so cruel to hini, for l supposed that I was avengiug you. His name is Brnce Ventnor." "Eh?" exclaimed Elanche, who was beginniiip. to comprohend. "He is not the Bruc .■ Ventnor that I knew. ' ' And her voice hook with ernotiou. "Can it be that there are two gentlemen of the same name? I remember hearing him say he had some cousins. Oh, I am so sorry and so - so - glad!" Miriam Gray looked at her friend in a sort of sfrapor. "Sorry, dear, because of what you have suffered and glad because everything will yet come out all right. " Miriam monrnfully shook her head. "He will never forgive me, " she said. "He is proud and sensitive. My words j ent deep - all the more so because so undeserved. I gave him no explanation, j no chance to defend himself. " "Yon can explain now, " suggested Blanche. "No!" replied Miriam in a strained tone, a proud look coming to her face. She wrung her hands and moaned, and notbtng that Blanche could say carried consolation with it. Her love had been but dormant. It reasserted itself. Bruce Ventnor had been blameless. She had deeply wronged him. She was paying the penalty for her haste. "I wonld teil him all," advised Blanche. "He may spurn me," cried Miriam through her sobs. "He may be as cruel and unreasonable as I was and with more of an excuse. It happeued three years ago. He may love some one else now - nay, he may be married to another. There is nothiug for me to do bnt to remain silent and - endure." Her grief was so great that Blanche ceased her efforts to pacify her. The orchestra was playing a quadrille. Miriam Gray sat on the veranda by an open window, looking in at the dancers, her face and form plainly visible. A gentleman stepped from among the shadows on the porch. He stopped beside Miriam. "Miriam!" he simply said, though his voice trembled. Ah, she knew who had spoken I No one else could have i 'onounced her name with such sweet Huüerness. The blood filled her face, then left itdeathly pale. She lifted her eyes swiftly to his, a fond, glad, appealing look in them. "Your cousin has told me all, "he said, his handsome eyes aglow. "She feit it to be her duty. You did it for her sake. Your pride stood in your way. The mistake aroso from a confusión in ñames. A cousin of mine was the perfldious fellow, while I am the honest, true hearted man I claimed to be. ' ' Oh, it was so precious to her to know that he had forgiven her and was willing to receive her in favor again! She grew so excited that her fan shook iii her hands. "The moon is rising," he said as he offered her his arm. She did not want to attraet attention to herself. She appreciated his purpose. She gave him a grateful glance. She arose, took his arm, and they strolled down the beach. "Miriam," he said, looking down npon her, his eyes shilling iuto hers, ' 'three years ago you rejected me. What wonld you answer now?" He feit that she was trexnbling. "Oh, how I wronged you!" she cried. "Have you forgiven me?" "Yes, darling. " "Oh, Mr. Ventnor!" she oxclaimed, "I do not deserve it. I loved you very much then - I love you more now. I cannot make a wreek oí my happiness. You dear, kind, forgiving, great hearted man, I accept you gladly, proudly, just as" "Emphatically as you rejected me," completerï he, his face shiniug. "lam thoroughly satisfied. ' ' He stooped and kissed her, and no reconciliation could have been more complete.-


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