WE were running away — Eve and I and our son — running from the wrath to come. For it would surely come, as surely as time. And, although our son could not do any running to speak of, as yet, he was quite ready to be taken anywhere at any time. So he laughed mightily as Eve lifted him into the buggy, then held him with one hand while she climbed in herself. That had been a problem, that getting them into the buggy, for I felt it necessary to hold the horse by the bridle the while, lest he take it into his foolish head to run with his precious freight. But I need not have worried. Eve put the boy in and got in herself, very deftly and easily; and the horse only turned his head, inquiringly, to see what was making all that noise behind him. Having found that it was only a boy of two, — he seemed to judge the age quite accurately, I thought, — he dropped his ears and submitted contentedly to my firm hold.

It was some festivities at the great house on the hill that we were running away from; festivities of the second order. Festivities of the first order I should not dare to try to escape. It would be futile to try to escape them; like running from sin and death or taxes. But those of the second order I thought I might flee from with impunity. Mrs, Goodwin was to have a party; and a party is a party, call it what you will —tea, reception, bridge, or what not. I abominate bridge, chiefly, I suppose, because I do not know anything about it. For fear that I might like it, I have never learned.

I do not like parties. Not that I have any serious objection to parties, so long as I do not have to go to them. There are so many things in life that are better worth while; and I am a busy man. I have to sit on the seat under my great pine and watch the play of light upon the water — with Eve beside me and my son on the grass at our feet to help me at my watching — at about the time that a party would be in full swing. I find it far pleasanter and more edifying to watch the water so, and to listen to the prattle of my son and to learn his language, — Eve is already learned in it, and she teaches it to me, so that I have some hope that I may become skillful at it by the time he is ready to talk my own, — I find it pleasanter to be so occupied, I say, than to listen to the kind of gabble current at parties. Still, I note with some surprise that, on the rare occasions when I cannot escape them, I enjoy myself very well. That is a mystery which I do not try to explain.

And Eve knows my weaknesses — she knows them all, I fear - and humors them, even taking upon her own shoulders burdens which should, of right, be mine. I remonstrate —to no purpose — and bless her. That very morning, having persuaded her to go, — a matter of no difficulty, — I remonstrated again.

She turned to me. “Adam,” she said, her eyes shining, “whither thou goest, I will go; and — ”

But, thereupon, I interrupted her in such fashion that she could not finish.

“Eve,” said I at last, “you shame me. We will not run away, but I will send the horse back. I might turn him loose in the road, and I have no doubt he will find his way back to Shattuck’s.”

For it was yet early, barely light enough to see, and the horse might well think it the other end of the day. Indeed, when I went out, I found him sleeping patiently.

“No, no,” said Eve. “Let us go, as you had planned. You would be miserable all day.”

“Well,” I said, “and so I would.”

And we gathered up the baskets and went out.

I clambered in beside Eve; I am not graceful, and the wheel was cramped on that side, but I managed to get in, after a fashion, and sat, my son between my knees. He wanted something, but I could not make out what, although he conversed about it earnestly. And the horse would not start. I clucked to him and slapped him with the reins, even fished him, thinking that he might be used to that neck-breaking method, — it is much the custom among country people, among country women, if it must be said, — but he only pricked his ears and looked back at us patiently. I have rarely seen a more patient animal.

Eve was laughing hysterically. “He wants to drive, Adam,” she said, as soon as she could speak.

I turned to her in some surprise. “The horse ? ” I asked.

“It is your son that wants to drive.” said Eve. “Don’t you hear him asking ? ”

For my son was still conversing earnestly. I listened to him with some care; but he might have been talking in hieroglyphics for all my understanding. I could not understand a word; but I was quite ready to take Eve’s word for it.

“He may,” I said. “I think it will be quite safe.” And I put the reins within his little hands, still holding him between my knees.

He shook the reins and clucked to the horse, and that surprising animal started at once. He whirled us out of the yard — by good luck, he missed the gate-posts — and down the road at a smashing gait. My son was filled with glee and laughed loud and shook the reins again. It was a straight road; straight as far as Shattuck’s.

“We might as well be in my father’s car,” said Eve in some alarm. “Don’t you think, Adam, you had better — ”

But we had reached Shattuck’s — a bare expanse of shadeless yard worn to the gravel. The horse would have turned in there, but I had my hands upon the reins by this, and checked him. What any horse can see in Shattuck’s to desire is beyond me; but the ways of a horse are past understanding. We were jogging gently along, now, very gently indeed. The horse had his ears down and they bobbed with every step.

“Not the same as your father’s car,” I said, with a chuckle. For I had a vision of Old Goodwin in his car, and he drove it himself; drove it as though the Devil were after him. “I wish your father might have come, Eve. He would have liked to come, I think — to-day.”

“To-day, or any other day, Adam,” said Eve. “He always likes it.”

“We will come again, some day soon, and we will ask him. Although this is no motor car, Eve. We shall have time to see the beauties that are about us.”

And again I had a vision of Old Goodwin driving his car, and I sat in the back seat, with Eve, and I found myself fully occupied with holding my clothes on. I could see nothing of the beauties about me — save Eve. I doubt if anything could prevent that. And this our son was not there in that motor car, for at that time he was not. He was not — and here he was, between my knees, as important a person as Eve or I; vastly more important than I.

And, as we jogged along the road, my son well nigh drunken with the joy of driving a real horse, I thought upon the manner of Old Goodwin’s reception of the news of our running away — when he learned it: I could see him grin, could hear him muttering his comment. “The rascal! I wish I dared!” But he would not let Mrs. Goodwin hear him. And Mrs. Goodwin would sigh as one whose fate was hard, and smile as though it was of no moment. But she would grudge me Eve. And I know well that, in her heart of heart, she still grudges me Eve — always.

We were in the woods by this, mounting to the ridge road, and the horse was walking. I marveled that any horse could walk so slowly as he did, dragging one foot after another as though each one were weighted with lead. But I let him walk, for there was yet a quarter of an hour before the sun should rise and we were due upon the ridge.

A clear whistle sounded in the red woods to our right, and my son asked me questions which I did not understand. But I surmised the purport of them, and I told him it was a quail. The fact that it was not did not disturb me in the least, but rather gave me some pleasure. Let the naturalists name and classify as they will, — as I was once forced to do, but sorely against my will, sorely, —the bird that gives that clear whistle is none the less a quail. And two rabbits scurried across the road, and my son yelled with excitement. But, save for the yelling of my son and for the sound of our horse’s feet and for the creaking of that old buggy, it was strangely silent in those woods. There were sounds — the soft sound of the wind in the treetops, the throbbing of the wood life — which but soothed the senses. The occasional call of some bird echoed afar. And we came out upon the crest of the ridge, into a great clearing, and I stopped the horse. He was quite willing to stop.

We were upon a backbone of land, and we saw, on one side, the little cluster of houses we had just left, close at hand. On the other side, farther away, was a village of fisher-folk, the houses scarcely more than huts, that stretched along a road, and the road gleamed white. Beyond the road was a narrow strip of beach, and beyond the beach again, the boats, each moored to its stake. The men were going to their boats as we looked. And beyond the boats were the waters of the bay, that were covered with a curtain of mist, — not fog, but a haze that was impalpable, — and the waters shone with the coming of the sun. It was all ghostlike, — the light, and seeing the

fisher-folk but hearing nothing. Our son, for a wonder, made no noise, for he was busied in watching the men going to their boats, and the boats setting sail, one by one.

And the light on the waters changed and was no longer ghostlike. It showed me that the sun was risen, but I could not see him. I was puzzled,

“Where is he, Eve?” I asked. “I cannot see him, although I know that he is up.”

I felt that I was being cheated — and by the sun. I would not have thought it of him.

“See, Adam,” said Eve. “There he is.”

And I saw him at last. He was already risen and showed red through the haze. I looked long at him and at the water ; and, as I looked, I remembered another sunrise that Eve and I had watched together. I turned to Eve — and found her watching me, a light in her eyes that makes them better worth looking at than any sunrise. Our groping hands found one another.

“And were you thinking of that time, too, Eve ? ” I asked, softly.

She answered me nothing, but she smiled and her eyes filled — with happy tears, I thought. And we sat silent long, until the sun had climbed somewhat and he was no longer red but yellow. My son again began his conversation, pointing, with an eager and earnest finger, toward the boats. They did but drift gently, with sails that did not even flap. There was not a breath of wind down there, for the land breeze of the night and the early morning had died out,

“What does he say, Eve?”

Eve smiled at me. She is very patient. I am afraid I should not be as patient with a parent who could not understand his own son.

“He wants to go down to the boats,” she answered, interpreting. “And why not, Adam ? We have the day before us.”

Why not, indeed ? If Eve but wished it — that, was reason enough. And I gathered lip the reins, and clucked to the horse.

Whereupon the horse woke, heaved a tremendous sigh, and regarded us reproachfully; but he did not move. I, too, heaved a sigh, and handed the reins to my son.

It would have been a short journey if we could have gone straight down; but we could not go straight down. We had to go around; and even with these added miles, it was not a half-hour before we were driving along by that other shore, with the water not fifty feet away. It was as smooth as glass, save for a gentle swell that rolled in and broke lazily almost at our feet. And the surface of the road began to show an occasional fragment of a clamshell; and the clamshells showed more frequently as we went on, until the road •was nothing but clamshells and the fragments of them. It was the shells that made the road gleam white when we had seen it from the ridge.

The place seemed deserted; all the population gone out in the boats, that floated, without motion, so near that a man could have thrown a stone with some hope of hitting them. But, even as I thought these thoughts, I saw that I was mistaken; all the population was not gone. For there, over her ankles in the water, which just wet the hem of her cotton skirt, stood a girl: a half-grown girl, seemingly, with her hair in a long braid down her back. She had her back toward us, and her shoulders were shaking with the sobbing of spent grief.

Eve, too, had seen. She laid her hands upon the reins and stopped the horse.

“Little girl,” she called softly, “what is the matter ? Come in and tell me.”

The girl turned obediently and began to wade ashore. And, as she came, I saw that her eyes were all swollen with weeping, and I could see, by the look in her face, that she was very wretched. And Eve saw the wretchedness in her face and she knew what was in her heart.

“ Oh! ” she cried. “Let me out, Adam.”

And she jumped from the buggy and ran to meet the girl, and she met her at the edge of the water and threw her arms about her. I thought that strange, that she should embrace a stranger — and a fisher-girl, at that — upon sight. I did not like it overmuch, for these people are apt to be — well — not as clean as Eve. But, as for what Eve had done, why, I have learned something in the last three years, and I have faith that whatever she does is right and wise.

The fisher-girl sobbed afresh when Eve took her in her arms, and she raised her eyes to mine, where I sat in the buggy; but I doubt if she saw me or even knew that I was there.

“My Dick has gone,” she wailed. “He’s gone and left me.”

And she sobbed wildly, as though she would never have done. And Eve and the girl sat down upon the sands, and I supposed that Eve gave her what comfort she could, though I heard nothing. My son, by this, was lamenting with them, loudly; and Eve, hearing him, motioned to me to put him down. I had no sooner placed him upon the sand than he made his way to them on his hands and knees. And his mother and the girl made much of him, and he stopped crying and began his talk.

The girl was not so young as she had seemed when we first saw her shoulders shaking and the long braid of hair hanging dowm her back, and noted the short skirt and the bare feet and legs and not much beside. Now that I had leisure to look well at her I saw that she was, perhaps, twenty or thereabouts, and that she was strong and comely. She would have been beautiful if she had been brought up differently; if — if — it is hard to say just what, in such a case, but there was something lacking, — something that I missed. And her dress was of cotton — some cheap stuff — and it was well faded by the weather, and. it was stained about the bottom with much wetting in the salt water. Not that it mattered, though. I would hazard a guess that the girl looked better in her cotton dress, all stained as it was, than she would have looked in silks and satins.

And presently she was laughing at the efforts of my son at conversation, and Eve was laughing with her. For he was making most earnest attempts at it, and pulling at her dress and pointing. The girl seemed to understand him better than I, which vexed me somewhat. And she looked where he pointed, and shook her head and said something. Then I, too, looked, and I saw that the boats had gone upon their business, for a breeze had sprung up — enough to waft them gently on. It would grow into a wind, shortly. But one boat was standing to and fro, and I saw the man in the boat watching us, somewhat anxiously. Then, when he had watched a while, he seemed to grow tired of his watching, or impatient to get his fare of fish, and he stood off after the others.

I was growing impatient, too, by this. For I had come out with my wife and my son, thinking to spend the day in the red woods or jogging comfortably along behind a horse that would not require too much attention — except, perhaps, to keep him going — over roads that gave one a wide view of the country and the sea. And here was I, left alone behind that same horse, and there were my wife and my son talking a language that I could not have understood if I had heard it — and I could not hear so much as a word. And they seemed like to spend the day at it and to forget that I was, at all. As I thought upon the matter, my sense of injury grew and my wrath grew with it.

“Ahem!” I said, not wishing to break in upon their talk too suddenly. “Don’t you think, Eve, that we might be going ? ” I had some hope that I should not seem angry.

But Eve looked up and laughed. She knows my weaknesses — all of them — as I said before.

“Yes, Adam,” she said, “in a minute. But come with us, first. The horse will stand, I think.”

“He is more likely to lie down,” said I, getting out of the buggy. “But never mind. We can get him up again, with help.”

And I left the horse standing, and the baskets with the luncheon and certain of our knives and forks and other silverware, and went to meet them. They had risen and were coming to meet me; but slowly, for my son had struggled to his feet and he had given a hand to each.

We met at the edge of the road. “This is my husband,” said Eve. And the girl smiled, a sweet and patient smile, and held out her free hand. And I took it, and she gave me a strong and friendly clasp, but she said nothing.

“We are going to look at Myra’s house,” said Eve. “When the men are out with their boats, she digs clams — when the tide serves.” Eve smiled as she added this, remembering some things.

“And is all this,” I asked, pointing to the road, “the fruit of Myra’s industry ?”

Myra laughed. “The other women helps,” she answered. “’T is a many years that we’ve had a shell road.”

I took up my son, whereat he shouted and pummeled me lustily with his feet. “Horsie! ” he cried. I have succeeded in learning what he wants when he shouts “Horsie!” and I accommodated him, prancing and galloping up to Myra’s door, with him upon my shoulders.

“Come in,” she said; “or, no — ” She glanced about, quickly, as if she were half afraid — or half ashamed. There was nobody in sight. The place seemed deserted. “I’ll show you Dick’s. ’T is only a step.”

And she led us to Dick’s house. It does not seem right to call such a place a house. It was scarcely more than a hut — a cabin. Myra threw open the door, which was not locked. Indeed, I doubt if it was latched.

“You’ll think it but a poor place,” she said, as if apologizing. “But I’d have made it — I’d have done what I could — all that any woman could — ” She stopped, while the tears slowly trickled down her face.

Eve laid her hand on Myra’s arm. “And you shall yet,” she whispered; “you shall have the chance. Trust me.” Then she spoke aloud. “Shall we come in ? ”

“Yes, come in,” said Myra. Her voice was dull and hopeless, and the tears still trickled down her face, unchecked.

We went in. It was a poor place, beyond a doubt: a cabin of two rooms, the outer room evidently the kitchen and living-room, drawing-room and library, combined. I say library, for I saw a weekly paper — six months old — upon the table. There was a poor little stove in one corner, and the furniture was the cheapest of the cheap; much of it made of old boards which Dick had knocked together. But everything was spotlessly clean — as clean as two strong arms could make it. We did not go into the other room. Our courage failed us; we had no heart for it.

“I — I come over,” said Myra, hesitating, and with a pretty color in her cheeks, “when Dick ’s away to his fishing, an’ — an’ red up a bit.”

And again I saw Eve lay her hand on Myra’s arm and press it. And she led Myra to a wonderful barrel chair, pretending an interest in it. She even made her sit down in it and was astonished, or seemed to be, — she would have fooled me easily, — that the chair fitted her so well. At which Myra blushed again and confessed that Dick made the chair for her. Then she was mournful at the very thought of it. And Eve had to think up some other way to cheer her up; and we stayed there half the morning, on one pretext or another, until Myra was lighthearted again.

“Never fear,” said Eve, as we were going at last. “Never fear but we will have Dick back again — if you do as I said.”

“I’d do anything,” said Myra, “anything, if it would bring Dick back — as he used to be.”

So we said farewell and went to look for the horse. We found him in the very spot where we had left him. He had not moved a muscle, apparently, and was sleeping soundly, his nose upon the ground. And we roused him and drove off.

We went to the red woods and searched until we had found a favored spot. It was just off a little road — hardly more than a path —that wound in among the trees, perhaps a road that was used in the winter by the wood-choppers; and there, presently, we came upon a clearing on the side of a hill. There was a view of the water in the far distance, and on every other side trees — nothing but trees: trees in the first flush of youth, baby trees, and trees so old that they had grown decrepit; and, underneath, the remains of others that lay and rotted where they had fallen.

“I think this will do, Eve,” I said. “Do you take the boy and let him dig in the ground if he will. There may be sundry insects, but they will not hurt him — nor you.”

And I unharnessed the horse — he seemed grateful, poor beast — and set his dinner before him, which he began to munch contentedly. And having finished it, he fell asleep again. I am afraid that Shattuck does not give his horses sleep enough. I must speak to him about it.

Eve, meanwhile, had spread a cloth upon the ground, and had put upon it the contents of the baskets. I was as glad as the horse that it was come time for dinner, for I felt a gnawing hunger. I said as much. And Eve smiled, but as if her thoughts were elsewhere, and she said nothing. Indeed, she was silent so long that I remarked upon it. My son, a cracker in one hand, was groveling on the ground and making a prodigious stir among the dead leaves.

“I know,” said Eve, in answer, “but I cannot help thinking, of that poor girl. Did you know, Adam, about that village ? ”

I confessed to some faint knowledge upon the subject. I knew it was there and I knew what it looked like. Indeed, I knew some things about the village — or some of its inhabitants — that were not savory. But I did not tell Eve that.

And Eve was silent for some while, looking far out over the distant water; and she was thinking, or so I supposed. For the faint flicker of a smile played about her lips.

“Adam,” she said, at last,“you are an essentially good man — ”

“I am glad, Eve, that you have discovered that.”

She laughed. “ But there is Oliver.”

“ Oliver ! ” I cried, ready to be angry. I would have crushed this Oliver — would have pounded him to a jelly. “And who. is Oliver? ”

Again Eve laughed. “I do not know Oliver —”

I was relieved. “Ah! ” I said, sighing. “Then I can listen with an open mind. I was ready to do this Oliver some hurt —I could even have murdered him, with pleasure. Who is Oliver? ”

“He is a fisherman, I believe; at least, he lives in that village. And Myra — ”

“Oho! ” I cried. “So there is the snake in the grass.”

Eve gathered her skirts quickly about her and jumped to her feet. “Oh, where ? Where is the snake ? ”

“I was referring to this Oliver,” I said. “You need not be alarmed.”

She sank down again, laughing. “You should not speak of snakes, Adam. As well speak of mice.”

“Well, then, there is the mouse at the cheese, if you will. A woman shall not be held blameless — ”

“Myra is not, at all events, although she has tried only to be kind‘to him. But I gather that Dick does not like it.”

“I should think not,” I said. “And I suppose that Oliver was the cause of the quarrel. I am inclined to side with Dick. Oliver — Oliver,” I said, struck with a sudden thought — a memory of some years back. “ I have an idea that I know your Oliver. He is young — not so young as Myra — and very good looking, as I recall him.”

“And what do you know of him, Adam ? ”

“I know no good of him,” I answered. “I could send him to jail if I but lifted my finger. But I would not, at the time. I wanted him to have a chance.”

Eve clapped her hands softly, as I mentioned the word “jail.” “Oh, goody! ” she cried. “Then you can take care of Oliver.”

So I could take care of Oliver. Why should I ? I must have shown some of the surprise I felt, for Eve said at once that she had a plan; and the only thing that: was awry about it was Oliver. I was expected to remove Oliver, which, after some remonstrance, I undertook to do. Eve always has her way.

My son was sleeping soundly on the ground, One little arm doubled under his head. I moved him into the shadow, for the sun shone warm; but he did not wake. Then I removed the ants and spiders and a large assortment of other insects from the cloth — its whiteness seemed to hold an attraction for them — and shook it out and folded it, with the help of Eve. Then, with a look about, I saw the red of the sumach and the maple and the yellow of the birches; and the seed pods lifting on their dry stems, and the rotting logs and the dead and dying leaves. It did not seem melancholy to me now. And I lay down upon the sod and watched the clouds and I heard the birds and the beasts of the wood and the creeping things.

I must have slept; for I was conscious, next, of some one sitting on my chest and shouting. It was my son, and there was Eve looking down at me and smiling. It was time to go. And, when I had harnessed the horse, we jogged peacefully home, unhurried and content. Old Goodwin, in his car, would have made it in ten minutes; we were three quarters of an hour at it.

Old Goodwin came in that evening, after supper. He grinned as he took my hand.

“We were very sorry not to see you at our party, Adam.”

I was somewhat embarrassed, but not so much as one might think. “We were detained,” I said; “unavoidably detained. It is a matter of regret to me that Mrs. Goodwin should have been, in any measure, disappointed.”

At which speech, Old Goodwin laughed aloud. “You scapegrace! ” he said. “A fig for your regrets! And though I have no doubt that Mrs. Goodwin was sorry for your defection, I could not swear that she was surprised. She does not expect much of you, Adam.”

“Then she will not be disappointed,” I answered; “for I am not good for much, I find.”

But Old Goodwin went on as though I had not spoken. “But we, who know you — we expect a good deal of you. And you are wrong in this, Adam, I believe.”

I was silent for some while. “I may be wrong — let us assume that I am wrong, and that I know it,” I said, at last. “I feel that I shall go on being wrong — doing as I have done — to the end of the chapter. I am too old a dog to learn new tricks. I think that Mrs. Goodwin will be able to forgive me, as far as I am concerned. But, as for taking Eve away with me — I am ready to acknowledge that that is wrong, without a doubt, and to ask Mrs. Goodwin’s pardon for it — on my knees, if she prefer that manner of doing it.”

Here Eve broke in, “And, father, we saw something — and I want you to do something for me. Adam will not mind, I know, if I tell you about it so that he shall not hear. Do not listen, Adam.”

Oh, no, I did not mind. And I would not listen. For I have none of that idle curiosity that can let. nothing pass without unhappiness. And I smoked my pipe in peace, and held a book in my hand, up near the candles. But I pricked my ears — I could not help it — and heard nothing for my pains. And at last the candles were become but stumps, and Old Goodwin noted it and took his leave.

When he was gone and we were starting to mount the stairs, on a sudden Eve threw her arms about my neck.

“Adam, Adam,” she cried, half laughing as she spoke, “I am glad, glad, that I have you safe.”

I do not know what reply I made, — and if I did I would not tell, — but it must have satisfied her.

A motor car is a good thing for certain purposes, of which purposes seeing the country is not one; but, for getting to a place, it is an admirable device, and, the more power it has, the sooner will you get where you are going. It is better than any horse at Shattuck’s — when Old Goodwin drives the car; the fact that you leave behind you, for miles, a thick cloud of dust and a villainous srnell is beside the question. It is unfortunate for pedestrians — they have no business to be walking upon the roads, for it is well recognized that roads are meant to drive upon, and they that walk have no just cause for complaint if they are left alive.

That, in substance, is the feeling that I have when I am riding with Old Goodwin. When I chance to be walking and one of those devil-cars passes me, I choke and swear for hours; swear at the owner of the car and at him who drives — there is little hope that one will have the chance to recognize either, what with the pleasurable excitement of keeping one’s body safe and with the disguise which they all wear. There is no telling one from another. And I have been so entertained by the excitement — the pleasurable excitement — of keeping my body safe, that I have even found myself in the act of climbing a tree, and the car more than a mile away. And then I curse them all roundly, even to the maker of the car, and wish that they might be toiling along the road, innocently, and I in a car scraping their shins and letling out an extra burst of speed and a smell more villainous than ever.

For Old Goodwin had taken me over to the village — in a quarter of an hour — to see about the removal of Oliver. And Oliver was quickly found, as it chanced, in the shade of one of the huts, sorting short lobsters. He knew me and would have escaped if he could. I saw his glance around. And I did not mince matters, but told him, at once, to make himself scarce, to get out, unless he wanted to investigate a jail from the inside. And he looked darkly at me and swore under his breath, and left his short lobsters to crawl back into the water again, — I emptied his lobster pot for him, — and walked off along the sands. That was the last of Oliver, in that play. We were to see no more of him for a season.

Old Goodwin chuckled joyously as I rose from emptying the lobster pot and climbed into the car. “That was quickly done, Adam,” he said, “and thoroughly. But I question if it was wise. You have made an enemy.”

“He was that before,” I answered. “I have done him a favor in the past, and he was afraid that 1 would be unable to forget it. And if I am to have an enemy I prefer that there should be no doubt about it; that the first attack should come from me. Eve would have talked with him and would have seemed to persuade him to cut off his own head, as like as not — he might have done it. Eve can do almost anything with a man — or with a woman. But it is likely that, when one was expecting Oliver’s head to be delivered at the kitchen door, on a salver, she would find that it was some other man’s head — some righteous man’s — that had been delivered, ready trussed. At all events, it is my nature to do as I have done. I have found that going against my nature gets me into trouble. And Oliver is bad.”

Old Goodwin laughed again. His laugh made me uncomfortable, somehow. And he started the car and, having got it well started, he turned to me. It made me. nervous to have him turn, and the car doing its sixty miles an hour — sixty miles, if it was a foot. He only wished to ask about the roads — whether there was another by which we could get home. I said there was not, which seemed to disappoint him; and he muttered something about our taking our own dust on the way back, and hurrying through it. It was a scant ten minutes from the emptying of Oliver’s lobster pot to the time when I found myself sitting on my own doorstep, dizzy and almost sick.

Old Goodwin went again to that village, and more than once, as I have some reason to suppose; but he did not ask me to go with him, for which I was grateful. At least, I try to think I was. If the whole truth should be known, I suspect that it would be found that I was a little bit disgruntled — jealous, to put it plainly — at having been left out of Eve’s plan. I knew well, at the bottom of my heart, that I had but to ask her — even to give her a hint of my feeling —and she would unfold it truly, to the smallest detail; and willingly — eagerly. And the reason why I did not ask it, I am afraid, is that thus I should deprive myself of the privilege of feeling injured. When I came to think upon the matter and found what my feelings really were, I was much ashamed.

And so it chanced that I showed no surprise, in either speech or manner, when it was Myra who brought me my breakfast on a morning not long thereafter. Eve was watching me, expecting something.

“ Good-morning, Myra ,” was all that I said; and she flushed at — at I do not know what, unless it was because she supposed that I knew of Eve’s plan, of which her presence was, no doubt, a part. But I did not know of it, and I would not ask.

“Good-morning,” she said quietly. And, having deposited my breakfast, she went out.

Eve was looking at me and smiling. Something was expected of me. I cast about in my mind lest I say the wrong thing.

“I hope, Eve,” I said, “that your father did not kidnap her. If he did, you must not tell me.”

But Eve laughed outright at that, saying nothing. I might draw what inference I would, for all the help she would give me. I was half inclined to believe that Old Goodwin had kidnapped her — with her consent. He was quite capable of doing it; and I knew well that, whatever he undertook to do, he would do thoroughly, chuckling good-naturedly the while. And Myra would have had a wild ride in the car and would have repented of her sins — if she had time — before she was whirled up to our gate.

And so it befell that we were all down on the shore, one afternoon, down by our clam-beds, Eve and Old Goodwin and his grandson and I — and Myra. And Myra was down on the sands with my son, and she frolicked with him, and dug in the sand and told him stories, and, at last, he would have her skip stones for him; which she did, for a long time, with great skill. And we sat upon the bank above, and Eve watched them, a smile on her face, and she almost cried out when her son shouted at the skipping stones. We spoke little or not at all. Eor Old Goodwin is no great talker, and never was; and I was content to see the colors on the water and to see my son so happy and to watch Eve. And at last, as I looked up, I saw a boat just coming past the point.

“What boat is that?” I asked. For I know all the boats that are used to come into that harbor, and this was not one of them.

And Myra heard me and looked up, startled, but as though she had been expecting it. Then she fled straight towards Eve. It was as if Old Goodwin and I had not been.

“It’s Dick! ” she cried.

“Oh, Myra, run! ” cried Eve. But Myra was already gone, sobbing, up the path among the trees. Eve followed her, swiftly.

“This is interesting,” I said. “What is to happen next ? ”

Old Goodwin smiled his quiet smile of peace.

“If you wait here, you will see,” he said. “I think I shall be wanted at the house. You will excuse me, Adam ? ”

And he arose slowly, and went. I doubt if he knew whether I replied or not. But my son, deserted thus suddenly, called out after him and he turned and waved a hand, then went his way again.

“ Come, son, sit with me,” I said, “and we will watch the boat.” And I went and fetched him and set him beside me, and we watched.

The wind was light and the boat came in, uncertainly, until it grounded gently, far out beyond my clam-beds, for the tide was nearly down. Then the man let down his sail and took in his hand the light anchor, with its rope, and, in the other hand, a basket; and he waded ashore. And he dropped his anchor in the sand and stood before me.

“Mr. Goodwin?” be asked. He was not tall but he was broad-shouldered and stalwart and as brown as an oak leaf.

“Up this path,” I said, pointing, “is the way to his house. Mr. Goodwin will be somewhere about.”

I looked him in the eye as I spoke. His expression was grave, even sombre. I thought of Oliver. Then he glanced down at my son, beside me, and his eye lighted somewhat and he smiled gravely. Altogether, I thought him a manly sort of man. He turned and looked out over my clam-beds to his boat, and to the water beyond. A long time he looked; then he sighed and smiled again. It was a sad smile. I was glad that Eve was not there to see it. She would have told him everything in the next minute.

“This is a pleasant place,” said he; “a pleasant place.” And he sighed again.

“It is,” I agreed. “If you are going up to Mr. Goodwin’s, I think we will go with you — if you don’t mind. We will show you the way, and I have an errand there.”

He nodded, still gravely. “Thank you,” he said.

The errand that I had was nothing else than to find Eve. For she had been gone from me a quarter of an hour, and I was not easy. I am never easy long without Eve. And I lifted my son upon my arm, and strode on ahead, up the path, with Dick striding after, in his high rubber boots. My son turned and watched him, then began to talk.

“There is Mr. Goodwin,” I said. For we had come to the end of the path, and I had caught sight of Old Goodwin pottering about at the side of the house.

Dick was smiling once more, smiling at my son’s chatter. It was not. a sad smile.

“Good-by, little man,” lie said. And my son bade him good-by, politely, and he was gone to meet Old Goodwin.

As for my errand, I should not accomplish it on the same side of the house with Dick. I went around to the other side and explored the piazzas most thoroughly. There was no sign of Eve — nor of anybody else, although one would have thought it would be found pleasant out there. There was a place at the end of the long piazza : a place screened from the winds of autumn by glass at one side; a place where the floor was covered with rugs, and easy chairs stood about a large table — just the place where one would have expected to find the Rich. Why, the price of the rugs alone would have furnished my house. And there was a telescope on a massive base, of which I approved. I looked through it, being there, and chanced to see the fishing fleet straggling in towards its village. Without the glass, I could not see them, for the boats of that fleet are very small. Then my son would look through the glass, and I wasted ten minutes in trying to show him how to do it.

When my son was tired of this sport I looked up and saw, just within the doorway, a starched and stiff functionary in many buttons. He had evidently been watching me with some interest. Indeed, I caught him at it. And he relaxed somewhat of his starchedness and responded pleasantly enough to my greeting, really seeming human, for the moment. They know, these functionaries, what I think of their official stiffness, —I neither know nor care what they think of my opinion, — and they are ready enough to be a little human for me and Eve. But for Mrs, Goodwin, never! They might as well be carved out of wood — jointed dolls of men — for her. I went in, my son on my arm, and the man, once more a jointed doll, held the door open for me, bowing low the while. I could devise a spring that would do the work as well; but he was there for that purpose — as if, forsooth, I was not able to open a door for myself!

And I roamed about the house, meeting other wooden men at every turn. They, too, relaxed a little at my coming and became, for the moment, just men; men like myself and like Old Goodwin, yet not like us, either. No man is like another. And then we heard the swish of silken skirts, and they became expressionless and starched and stiff once more, and there was Mrs. Goodwin.

“Ah, Adam! ” she said in a low and well-bred voice, and smiling. “No one could guess who it is that you are looking for. But I have sad news for you. She is not here.” And her tone changed, but she still smiled. “You never enter my house unless it is to look for Eve.”

I laughed, in some embarrassment. For it was true, in substance. And I murmured something about apron-strings. What was a man to say, taken by surprise like that ? I need time to get up my lies and to make them sound like truth. It is hard work. But Mrs. Goodwin led the way to a room — we had been standing in the hall — and sat her down and stretched out her arms for my son.

“Come to grandmother,” she said. And he went, most willingly, and rubbed his shoes over her dress unrebuked.

“Now, Adam,” she went on, “I have a bone to pick with you, and I will pick it now. We may as well have it out. Why do you ? ”

I laughed again, but not in embarrassment. I was amused. “Why do I what ? ” I asked. “Why do I come into your house ? To look for Eve, as you have said.”

“Now, Adam,” she said again, most earnestly, “you are evading, and it is not like you. For, whatever your faults may be, and you have faults, in plenty, Adam,” — she laughed, lightly — “evasion is not one of them. You are straightforward and honest — ”

“Thank you,” I said.

“Too honest and too straightforward,” she continued, “to make your attempts at evasion anything but failures. A week ago I asked you here. Instead of coming, you stole off with Eve and were gone all day. And that is but a sample. It hurts, Adam. That is the plain English of it.”

The plain English of it! How much better it would be if plain English were more often spoken!

“I am sorry, Mrs. Goodwin,” I said. “I did wrong in taking Eve, and I ask your pardon. As for myself, I do not imagine that it matters to you where I am at any time. And that is plain English, too.”

The tears came into her eyes at that. “You are wrong there, too, Adam,” she said gently. “I asked those people here especially to meet you. I wanted them to know you.”

She might have let me know. But 1 was ashamed.

“Can’t you forget the past?” she said. “I know that I was hateful to you and — I am sorry for it. And now, I should like to have you come here or not, as you wish; but I do not like to feel that — ” she spoke wistfully, I thought —“I do not like to feel that you are avoiding this house — and for that reason.”

For Mrs. Goodwin had not been — nice — or kind to me when I was engaged to Eve, or for some time after. But again I was ashamed.

“I will forget it gladly,” I said; “and, on my part — ”

“Then we will never mention it again,” she cried, interrupting me, “for, from this moment, it is forgotten, and you are my Adam as you are my husband’s.”

She rose and held out her hand to me; and I took it and, on the impulse of the moment, I raised it to my lips. She blushed, quite prettily, — she had not been expecting that, — and she smiled at me as I raised my head again.

“Very prettily done, Adam. Very nicely done, indeed. But you should have told me what you were going to do.”

“Then,” I answered, “I should have missed something. And, besides, I did not know it, myself.”

She laughed happily. And I took my son, who had been looking on in wonder at such acts; and Mrs. Goodwin slipped her hand within my arm and we went out into the sunshine together.

“To look for Eve,” she said; to which I unblushingly assented.

We did not see Eve, but we did see Old Goodwin, still standing where I had left him, and talking to Dick. I did not know that Dick, meanwhile, had been to the house, and had made his way, with difficulty, past innumerable flunkeys, with his fish; and then, with incredible swiftness, had been passed out again.

“Who is that man, Adam ? ”

“He is a fisherman,” I said; “and I have some reason to believe that he is a friend of Eve’s.”

And she looked up at me, in some doubt as to my meaning. I looked at Dick. And Mrs. Goodwin seemed to have settled her doubts, for she laughed as if she were much amused about something.

“And are all of Eve’s fishermen,” she asked, “gentlemen in disguise?”

“I do not know,” I answered, soberly enough. “But I am rather inclined to think that this one is.”

She was silent, for she did not know what to make of my speech. But Dick was gone, having given a grave good afternoon to Old Goodwin, who stood looking after him as he went down the path to the shore. And, no sooner was he gone, than Eve appeared. She had been hiding in a thicket, where she had had work enough in keeping Myra quiet. And she spoke with her father for a minute, and then she caught sight of us. And she came near, and she looked from Mrs. Goodwin to me and from me to Mrs. Goodwin. We both were smiling.

Eve gave a little laugh of delight. “Oh, mother,” she cried; “and oh, Adam, you make me so happy! ”

And she clung about my neck and we were not ashamed.

Once more Shattuck’s horse was waiting for us. It was the same horse as before. I had bargained with Shattuck for him, for I liked his leisurely manner. And he is safe. Shattuck guaranteed him safe. He even said, to show his confidence, that if any member of my family was killed - or, yes, only injured — and if it could be shown that it was from any misbehavior of that horse, I might bring him back, sir, and I need not pay a cent for hire; no, sir, not one cent. And I thanked Shattuck, humbly, as was becoming in me, and took the horse. What I do not know about horses would fill a considerable library. But Shattuck!

We were not running away, this time, the proof of which lies in the fact that Old Goodwin sat in one seat of Shattuck’s old surrey — he nearly filled it — and Mrs. Goodwin was there to see us off. Wonder of wonders! She smiled and laughed and patted my arm, and, altogether, she seemed prodigiously happy; said good-by to Eve and me fifty times — she forgot to say it as much as once to her husband, who smiled quietly, thinking he would not be observed at it — and then she took my son on her arm and watched us start the horse. When, at last, we had succeeded, it occurred to me to marvel at Mrs. Goodwin’s unusual exuberance of spirits and to wonder whether it was due to the fact that she was to have charge of my son until we came back again. She is capable of almost anything to accomplish that. Then we were approaching Shattuck’s and the horse demanded all my attention.

It was for our clergyman we were going, first. For, a few days after Mrs. Goodwin had come upon Dick, I saw his boat again coming in by my clam-beds. And then, to my — no, not to my surprise, I saw Dick himself taking his way along the shore. I thought that Eve might be glad to know of it, and I called up the stairs.

“Eve,” I said, “did you, perhaps, expect any one to bring you fish today ? ”

Whereupon there was a great flutter, and Eve came running down. “Is he coming? ” she cried. I thought that she seemed unduly excited over a few paltry fish. But she did not wait for me to answer. “I must tell Myra,” she said. “It would never do for him to see her here — yet.”

“Wait a minute, Eve,” I called. But she was gone, without a thought for me; and an instant later I saw Myra take to cover. She seemed to feel that the house was no better than a cage; and instead of running and hiding in a closet, she scooted for the shelter of some trees and bushes that were near. There she lay hid while Dick was in sight. Only when his sail had again been hoisted and his boat was standing off did she appear, looking as if — but I did not look at her. It was Eve’s affair, that of Myra.

And, as I still waited, came Eve, and smiled and — but what she did is neither here nor there. It pleased me.

“It is going beautifully,” she said; at which I smiled and made no answer.

And the next day Dick came again. I save Eve sitting beside him on the back steps and talking earnestly, whereupon I began a promenade up and down the path from mv garden to tiie gate. On the first lap Eve was talking earnestly and he was listening without interest, so far as I could see, and his face had the same grave, sad expression that I had noted. On the second lap he was listening still, but his face was gloomy and fierce. On the third, he was speaking bitterly and Eve was listening, and, now and then, she made him some reply. On the fourth, Dick had his face in his hands and Eve was talking; and, on the fifth, he was not there. But I saw Eve.

“Eve,” I said in astonishment, “what have you done with your fisherman ? Is it all over ? ”

She smiled as if she were happy and she took my arm.

“I think it is,” she said. “Come with me — and softly.”

And she led me to a spot from which we could see my pine and the seat under it. I had an affection for that seat. From it one could see the harbor and the bay beyond and the western sun; and it held memories.

“Look! ” Eve whispered.

I looked as she bade me; and I saw Dick and Myra in the shadow of the tree, and he held her close and she was weeping on his shoulder.

“Come away,” I said. And we went away as softly as we had come, and left them to their whispering and their weeping.^

Eve would have had the wedding at our house. And Myra was grateful for the wish, but she had her heart set on her own poor house. And that is the reason why we were once more behind that horse of Shattuck’s.

And we went to the village and got the clergyman — a youngish man with gray hair, who did not talk much after we had got well away, for which I was thankful. I do not like a talking parson. He is apt to make a parade of his religion; perhaps he feels obliged to.

But let your parson be a man, and interested in —but all this has been said many times before. Our parson was such a man, I think; supposed to be pleasing to Old Goodwin, who is as rich as all the rest of us put together — and richer — and therefore to be pleased. And this parson of ours was supposed to hold no very startling opinions, although I am convinced that Old Goodwin does not care a rap what opinions he may hold, and never did.

And we left the village behind us, and the long, white road stretched out ahead, dappled and flecked with shadows. For we were in the red woods now. They were red no longer, but brown and gray, with here and there a patch of green that marked a clump of pine. For the trees had lost their leaves, for the most part, and stood bare, stretching their dry bones; and what leaves there were left on them had lost their colors of red and yellow and had become brown and brittle. And the leaves that had fallen were drifted in great heaps and windrows in the road, so that our horse’s feet made a pleasant rustling as he jogged.

Eve and the parson, sitting in the back seat, had fallen silent this long time and looked out upon the woods and over the clearings that we passed and absorbed their beauties. Old Goodwin is no talker. And we jogged sleepily on, I waving the whip mechanically over the horse’s back, giving no thought to the manner of his going but gazing to the one side or to the other as the fancy took me, soothed by the soft sound of his feet upon the road and, now and then, the pleasant noise of the dead leaves. And I thought upon nothing in particular, and there came over me a deep sense of peace and a great content.

And, presently, we came out of the woods, and as we came I heard the parson sigh deeply and then Old Goodwin did likewise.

“What a great deal of time,” said the parson, as though musing and talking to himself, “man wastes in work! ”

“Amen to that!” said 1; for that is the kind of doctrine — rightly interpreted — that I like to hear. And the parson had left the interpreting to me, so that I suited myself and offended nobody if I kept silent.

Old Goodwin looked at me as I spoke, and he laughed, but said nothing. And I said no more, either, but the parson seemed to feel uncomfortable about his remark, fearing, no doubt, that he might he misunderstood. And so, indeed, he might; but I have not found that matters are mended by explaining, and I did not encourage him.

We were jogging along the shell road, by this, with the little waves breaking almost at our feet; and, in the distance, but coming slowly nearer, were the houses of the village. The fishing boats were all in and moored, each to its stake. I noticed that, for it was noon and there was breeze enough and the tide served well, although the tide does not so much matter to a fisherman. I was astonished at it; and yet more astonished that I saw nobody about.

And we drove up to the house that was Myra’s, and the horse stopped of his own accord, as though he knew we would go no farther. And we got out and marched, in solemn procession, up to the door, but we found nobody. This perplexed me somewhat; for how should we have a wedding with no bride ? But it did not seem to worry Eve. She whispered to me that I was to fetch Dick, and, of course, I went. But I lingered, first, to see what Eve would do. She went and knocked upon a door; which was presently opened a crack, then wider, and Eve slipped through and disappeared. It seemed that Myra’s father and mother were dead these many years, and she lived in this house alone. If I had known that, I should have been saved some perplexity. But I had not been told; indeed, there was little that I had been told. I went on to Dick’s.

I found him sitting just within his front door — his back door, too, for there is but the one — on a box. He rose when he saw me and gave me greeting in his own grave manner.

“Is it time ? ” he asked. “Shall I come now ? ”

And I bade him come, and we went back together. We found Myra just coming from her room. She looked shy and really pretty, — Dick, at least, seemed to think so,—but there were traces of tears about her eyes that only made them the softer and the more gentle as they looked at Dick. And she clung to Eve a moment and turned away, her lip trembling.

So they were married, Dick and Myra, and Old Goodwin gave the bride away, while I stood by like any stick. But I chanced to glance out the open door, and I saw the whole population of the village, in pairs, trying, very quietly, to look in. And I made the newly married pair stand in the doorway and greet their guests. For there was not room inside for a quarter of them all. And Eve whispered to me to look in the carriage, under the back seat, and to bring what I should find there. And so I did, and it was a box, and the box was very heavy; and, being opened, there was disclosed a wedding cake, very dark and all that a wedding cake should be. They set it out upon a board, not having a dish that was big enough, and the guests filed into the room and each took a piece — it was already cut — and then filed out again. But I made my way outside, with difficulty, and joined Old Goodwin where he stood, looking out over the water.

I soon found what he was looking at. It was a boat, but not like those other boats that were moored to their stakes, for it seemed new and it was clothed in a glory of new paint, and its sail was new. There was one man sailing it, and he headed straight for Dick’s boat, where she lay at her stake, and came alongside and grappled her and made fast. But there were fenders between. And Dick had come out and was looking on in wonder. He came straight to Old Goodwin.

“What is that? ” he asked.

Old Goodwin smiled at him. “It seems to be a boat,” he said.

“Yes,” answered Dick, “but what for ? ”

“Why,” said Old Goodwin, then, “to sail, of course. It looks as if it might be good to fish from.”

“Well,” persisted Dick, “whose is it?”

Old Goodwin laughed aloud. “It’s fast to your stake,” he said. “I think I should take possession of it; that is, of course, if you like it.”

“If I like it! ” muttered Dick. “If I like it! ” And he brushed his eyes with the back of his hand. “I thank you,” he said simply.

Then, for once, Old Goodwin was embarrassed. “Pshaw! ” he said. “Myra is not to have all the presents. Go out and get that man and bring him ashore. And then take your wife for a sail. It will be a wedding journey that she will like well enough.” But Dick was gone to do his bidding. “It will be a quieter one than I had — or you, either, Adam.” And then he whispered to me, “There will be a present or two along, shortly.”

At which speech I smiled as if I had known about it all the while.

So, presently, we were watching that new boat, and Dick held the tiller, proudly, I thought, while Myra stood and waved to us. Eve had slipped her hand within my arm and stood beside me as we watched. And the boat was less and less until it dwindled to a speck upon the sparkling water and vanished in the glitter of the sun.

Then Eve looked up at me and smiled a tremulous smile; and I looked down at her and I smiled, too.

She squeezed my arm. “Come,” she said softly. “Come.”

And she led me away to our horse that slept peacefully, his nose to the ground.