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Bacon - Comrades in Arms

THE SATURDAY EVENING POST 81 Itefiter fireli 11,e Tormal or infilrmai, Xahn -Nacle bo Nectsa re Clofites luctve polisked &Tilly in style, noticeatle Ittalityin materials and fine arfisfryin 1)enchworit, $25 io $60. Rahn gime/ Officers' 71niforms inspire Iii9h pride of flag, rank. and 14;e4pmenf. * 161,a $ 20 foam O.D. Volion up fa $60 for finest O.D. Serge. Xngtitihot.izeo g?epresentat e in TOW* eity afloat eoetyeanz KAHN -TAILORING - C • OP • INV/ANA/711MS (Continued-front Page 78) Then, at last, she knew. Then it burst on her. Her eyes darkened, and all the terrible, ridiculous, impossible future spread before her. Fond? Fond? She sprang up from the bench. "You have made a mistake, I think!" she said. " Will you please go away now? Come, children!" She never even saw which way he went. That evening her father looked curiously at her. "Haven't you gained a little, Beth?" he said. "Is it that tonic?" Mrs. Griswold also looked. "She's certainly improved amazingly," she said thoughtfully. "Lou asked me what she was doing nowadays, to be so handsome." She narrowed her eyes, and her daughter's wavered and fell under hers. The next day was Friday, and she stayed at home. The next was Saturday, and she bore it until four o'clock. Then she knew what had happened to her, and that she could not live so far from the park that was all the world to her. Something tore at her side and ached and cried there, and part of her lay on her bed and wept, and part of her sat on a bench and felt his hands. So that at five she crept out of her studio in her cap and cloak, and went, ashamed and secret, to watch him there—only to watch him, for she had no duty in the park that day. She slipped through the gate as one of the last two nurses was leaving. "The children have just gone in," said this nurse carelessly; and "I know, I know," Elizabeth said, and made for her bench, to weep there. But he stalked in after her, and caught her in a grasp she had never known or dreamed of, and shook her a little and said, "I thought you'd never come!" For a moment she saw the blue burning of his eyes, and then she saw nothing more, for he had kissed her. Later she sat in his arms, in a great serene calm, and they talked. "But you knew—you didn't think that I didn't mean for us to be married?" he said seriously. "You little darling, I'd never marry anybody in the world but you! There never was anybody like you! When I think of all the useless, silly, flirting fools —" "Perhaps you don't know every kind of girl there is in the world," she said, smiling adorably at him—oh, what would he say when he knew! —" but I will marry you, David dear; indeed I will. Don't mind what anybody may say, ever. I tell you that I will." You see, all her culture counted at the last; and she knew that in the face of an enormous thing like this, nothing—nothing in the world—should separate them. Policeman or ambassador, a Griswold or a nursemaid, it was all the same. Nobody had ever told her that this kind of feeling existed, but now that she knew it she knew that every other feeling in the world is unimportant beside it. That strong, wonderful creature with his burning eyes was hers, and she was his. "You see, you've done something," he repeated. "You amount to something. You're a • real person, you darling little Lizzie—you're not just a dressed-up doll!" "But—but you love me, anyway?" she begged. Oh, would he ever forgive her when he knew? "Do I love you?" he laughed through all his freckles; "you wait till I can show you!" And then his face came close to hers again and she saw nothing—not even her mother and her Cousin Lou, who could have touched her as she came out of the park. Mrs. Griswold and her husband sat in a bitter silence in their motor. There was a heavy block on the avenue and they had to wait; something had broken down ahead. " When can you see him, do you think?" said Mrs. Griswold. " Will you tell him that I am taking her away directly, and that under no circumstances can he even —" "Bessie, the girl's twenty-five," said her husband patiently; "I'm afraid you can't really —" "Oh!" his wife cried, "please, please, Ben!" "You're sure you actually saw —" "Saw! Saw!" she echoed. "Great heavens; she was in his arms! He kissed her a dozen times! Saw!" Her father winced. "Don't I tell you she doesn't deny it for a moment? When I told her that the woman's maid had told her mistress about it, and that she had had the decency to communicate directly with Lou, and that Lou and I went down to see for ourselves whether such a thing could be possible, and actually found them practically alone there, at that hour—what do you think she said? " "I'm sure, my dear, I can't tell." "' We were engaged, mamma,' she said; 'wasn't it all right?'" Mr. Griswold sighed. He looked old. "I'll see him, dear; I'll see him," was all he said. "And she has never buttoned her boots in her life!" cried Mrs. Griswold. "Oh, it's too horrible!" "I think she should have, then," said Mr. Griswold shortly. "Look here, Bessie! Our girl would never marry a cad—I'm sure of that. I'd rather see her happy than grow up a sour old maid! There's no doubt something can be got for the fellow to do —" " Oh! Oh, Ben ! There he is! I see him !" " What? Hush, Bessie, for heaven's sake! Where are you looking?" "There! In the club !" In her confusion Mrs. Griswold had so far forgotten herself as to fix her eyes on a certain large window beside the pavement. "Nonsense!" said her husband briefly. "Ben, I tell you that was the man. And he had that very uniform on! A tall, sandy-haired, freckled fellow—very ,plain. Go up there and get him! Go now!" "My dear girl, policemen don't go into clubs. Not into the lounge, anyhow. I can't—please, Bessie, don't make a scene !" "Then I'll go myself," said Mrs. Griswold simply. "Oh, Lord—wait a minute," he implored, for he believed she would do it. "Tell What's-his-name to pull up on the corner, if this block ever breaks, and I'll come there. At least I can get a drink." Harassed and gray, he wormed a way through the choked street and disappeared behind the great door. His wife sat, stony, in the motor, staring into the past. All that beautiful dainty girlhood, its perfection of detail, its costly foundations, laid through years—for what? A traffic policeman dashed through on a motor cycle, and she shuddered and cried a little, silently. What could they do for him? Ben Griswold had a large professional income, it is true, but comparatively small investments; they lived furiously on what he made. Elizabeth and Cortwright had been their investments—and now Cort was driving a muddy truck somewhere in France, and Beth was engaged to marry a policeman ! Such a quiet, steady girl—too quiet, her mother had secretly muttered in her heart. They emerged from the block and waited in the side street among the club taxicabs. "Extra! Extra!" yelled the newsboys. "United States on verge o' war!" Well, perhaps that would make a difference. If there should be war, people might forget sooner—but oh, how it cut her! How it cut! The door slammed beside her. "Get along home, Georges!" said Mr. Griswold. "I always forget Georges has gone. Well, Betsy, buck up, my dear; it might be worse." "Ben! It was the man!" "Yes, my dear, it was. You have good eyes, if you are an old lady:" "Ben! He—he was a—a —" " Oh, yes; he's a policeman, all right. No doubt of that." "Ben! Does he admit —" "He came right up to me, my dear, and asked my permission to marry my daughter. He didn't know who she was at all till this morning. He thought she was a nurse girl, it seems." "Oh! That ridiculous costume! But he knew perfectly—the idea! As if anyone could think Elizabeth was a nurse!" " Well—I don't know. It seems he did." " What was he doing—a man like that in that club?" He was drinking a Scotch and soda, my dear." "Ben! An ordinary policeman!" "I shouldn't exactly say that, Bessie. Not exactly. You see—oh, hang it all, Betsy, I can't quite believe it myself, yet! Look here, dear. You remember when the commissioner swore in all those extra fellows to help out the police in case of riots or whatever —" "No." " Well, he did. He—he's one of those." "Oh. Is it a better kind?" "Oh, Lord, I suppose it is. Betsy, old lady, you certainly had a bad time. I—I


Bacon - Comrades in Arms
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