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My einotions - ineaning by that those feeliugs of the heart which teud to makO a man see all women as the only perfection of creation, and some one woinan as the aggregated perfeotion of all women - my emotions, as I was about to say when I nterrapted myself, are utterly paralyzed and have been since the 14th day of last September at 15 minutes after 11 o'clock a. m. , eastern time. At that hour and for several honre previously I was in the aot of speuding my sumnier vacation at a delightfully quiet and retired resort on the Atlantio coast, where also, among a number of other fortunates, were Miss Ruth Allen, Miss Myrtle Morton - such a sweet name that, I used to think ! - and Jack Poster, the bane of my existenoe and the para ■ lyzer of my emotions. Foster was a dashing fellow, while I was merely a dashed fellow, and of that possibly I was less fortúnate in my heart affairs than he was. In any event, I never loved a dear gazelle, as the poet has it, I believe, but some day, sooner or later, the nervy Foster came that way and chose her for his mate, the result of which invariably was that I lost her. Several times during the summer I had, for these depredations of his, been tempted to drown him, for I was a fine 6ailor and he wasn't, though he often went out with me, because, as he said, he feit safe in my hands, and he had a large life insurance policy in addition. Then he would laugh at his time tried and fire tested insurance joke, and all the girls would laugh also. Bah ! The idiots, to laugh at an old chestnut like that ! A cocoanut wa3 equally as funny and much larger. However, as time moved on Jack gave me a chance, and. left to my own devices, it was not a great while before I was paying undividod attention to Miss Allen and Miss Morton. These two were my choice, and one, I feit sure, would. be chosen. but as yet I had not determined which one. The time for decisión came at last, though, for my month was nearly up, and on that sweet September moni I had au engagement to go walking with Miss Allen I feit that morning that she was the one woman of all women for me, and I asked her to go with me, so that I might have an opportunity to ask her a far more important question. I am sure that she k-iev niy purpose, for I had more than once almost told her what was in my heart. "Miss Ruth, "I said as we strolled aloug the shore returning to the hotel, "may I ask yon a questionr" "Certainly, Mr. Bryting, " she replied as sweetly as a girl could reply or a bird could siug. "It is not an every day question," I said as a sliglït prepaxation to lier, "but one of great importance to me. " "Itisn'tacommdrum, is it?"she asked nervonsly. ' ' For I ha te conundrums. ' ' "Yes, it is," I answered. "At least it is abont something I don't want to givo np. ' ' There wasn't anything fuimy in that, but I iaaghed at it and she joined in it, giviugr me to that extent an addition to my t-i nú-age. " Well, you don't have to give it tip, " she said. "You surely can answer your own conundrum. ' ' "Not this one, I fear. " "Goodness; it must be a hard one. Don 't aak me. I'm sure I oan't answer it. " "Yes, you can, "I insisted. "You know, " and I became serions, "you know, Miss Ruth, that for some time past I have been thinking of you a great deal, more indeed than I should have done, for there was so much nncertainty in it all. I have been thinking of this very moment, and of you, and of what I should say to you and how I should say it, to win the answer I desired above alf things earthly. ' ' "Well, but what is your conundrum?" Miss Allen asked. ' ' Simply this, Will you be my wif e ?' ' I said, dropping on one knese in the sand. "Groodness ! I can answer that easily . enough. No. I cannot marry you. ' ' The unhesitating way in which she spoke made me almost hopeless, yet I persisted. ' ' But you could leam, ' ' I pleaded there in the sand - fooi that I was to thiuk that a woman could leam to marry a man ! Whoever heard of such a thing? "No, " she said, "I could not learn for - for - for" - 'Don't finish the sentence, " I said bitterly as I rose from my clevotional attitude. "Don't finish it, pray. I know you will say that you love another, and that ntterly precludes your taking lessons under my instructions. Of course, ' ' I went on, brutally enough, I'm sure, "it would have been utierly impossible for you to have prevented me from mak ing the fooi of inyself 1 have, and I absclve yon from any connivauoe in the matter. May I asi? as au epilogue to this cometly that you will teil me who the happy man is that I niay congratúlate him?" Her eyes blazed, and her cheeks reddeued, and how pretvy she was as she looked at me as an angry queen might look upon au offending subject ! "Mr. Bryting, " she said scornfully, "I had hoped to spare you pain and had thought to say goodby to you after this pleasant holiday by the sea as friends say goodby. with sorrow in every note, but now I shall say goodby with unfeigued pleasure, and in parting will f eel a peculiar delight in telling you that the happy man is your friend Mr. Foster, and that he asked me only yesterday to be his wif e, and 1 took this walk with you to teil you so and did not do so because. as yon are well aware, you took up all the time at my disposal with the absurdly important question you had to ask me. ' ' What further remarks she might have made I have no means of knowing, but they would no doubt have gone nxuch further, for in au angry woman's game with language she plays without limit, but fortunately for my self esteem we were startled at that moment by the ehouts of a party coming over a sand hill to our left, and by the time we had made a rapid change in onr outward show of temper the crowd was upon us. They had come out in search of us to join a party for a sail, and among the searchers were Mr. Foster and Miss Morton. Under the circumstanees it was not a difficult matter for Miss Allen and niyself to effect an interchange of escorts, and I aecompanied Miss Morton back to the hotel, leaving Miss Allen to the tender mercies of lier fiance. As Miss Morton and I followed in the wake of the retnrning procession I made myself particularly gay, and she seemed to appreciate me more than she had ever done. "What a color you have today, Mr. Bryting!" she exclaimed as she looked at me with admiring eyes. "I wasn't aware of it, really, " I replied, with culpable lack of truth in my words, for I knew I must be flushed after what I had just gtme through, notwithstanding the fact that I could feel my face burning as if I had been standing in the hot sun bareheaded. "Well, you have," she continued, "and it makes you handsomer than 1 ever saw you bef ore. ' ' "Possibly, " I said, speaking slowly and with evident feeling, "it is because the full sunshine of your kindliness has never shone on me before and given me its radiance. " " Oh, " she exclaimed, ' ' this is perfectly delicious ! Yon talk just like a character in a noveL ' ' "Is it novel for a man to love a beautifulwoman?" I asked, looking square ly into her eyes, and thinking how mnch prettier than Miss Allen she was. "Are you in love?" she asked, with charming naiyete. At this moment we were a hundred yards or more behind the party, and it was five minutes after 1 1 o'clock a. m. "Oh, Myrtle,." I said, with a fervor I did not think I was capable of, "don't you know that I am in love, and don't you know with whom? Haven 't you seen every day for weeks that you held my heart in thrall, and that yon were its queen? Don't you know, Myrtle, that I have been waiting for and wishing and hoping for the propitious time when I could teil you this? Now, I am soon to go back to my work, to the dark and disnial town, and before I go won't you give me your heart to take the place of mine yon have taken away, that its liglit may rnake sunshine aloug all the paths of the future my footsteps may fall upon? Teil me. Myrtle, teil me?" And in my wild ardor I canght her hand in mine and kissed it. "Oh," she exclaimed, snatching it away, "dou't do that! "They'll see us. ' ' "What do I care?" I replied. "An honest love fears no criticism. ' ' "I know, I know, " she stammered, "but you musn't talk love to me. I can 't listen to you now Jack Foster and I are engaged. He asked me and we are to be married in December. ' ' And it was 15 minutes after 1 1 o'clock a.


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