At three o'clock one morning Sidney roused from a light sleep to hear a

rapping on her door.

"Is that you, Aunt Harriet?" she called.

"It's Christine. May I come in?"

Sidney unlocked her door. Christine slipped into the room. She carried a

candle, and before she spoke she looked at Sidney's watch on the bedside


"I hoped my clock was wrong," she said. "I am sorry to waken you, Sidney,

but I don't know what to do."

"Are you ill?"


"No. Palmer has not come home."

"What time is it?"

"After three o'clock."

Sidney had lighted the gas and was throwing on her dressing-gown.

"When he went out did he say--"

"He said nothing. We had been quarreling. Sidney, I am going home in the


"You don't mean that, do you?"

"Don't I look as if I mean it? How much of this sort of thing is a woman

supposed to endure?"

"Perhaps he has been delayed. These things always seem terrible in the

middle of the night, but by morning--"

Christine whirled on her.

"This isn't the first time. You remember the letter I got on my wedding



"He's gone back to her."

"Christine! Oh, I am sure you're wrong. He's devoted to you. I don't

believe it!"

"Believe it or not," said Christine doggedly, "that's exactly what has

happened. I got something out of that little rat of a Rosenfeld boy, and

the rest I know because I know Palmer. He's out with her to-night."

The hospital had taught Sidney one thing: that it took many people to make

a world, and that out of these some were inevitably vicious. But vice had

remained for her a clear abstraction. There were such people, and because

one was in the world for service one cared for them. Even the Saviour had

been kind to the woman of the streets.

But here abruptly Sidney found the great injustice of the world--that

because of this vice the good suffer more than the wicked. Her young

spirit rose in hot rebellion.

"It isn't fair!" she cried. "It makes me hate all the men in the world.

Palmer cares for you, and yet he can do a thing like this!"

Christine was pacing nervously up and down the room. Mere companionship

had soothed her. She was now, on the surface at least, less excited than


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