"I am not leaving you," she told him. "I don't even know that I am blaming

you. But I am not going to have anything to do with it, and that's flat."

So it happened that K., making a spring pilgrimage to see Tillie, stopped

astounded in the road. The weather was warm, and he carried his Norfolk

coat over his arm. The little house was bustling; a dozen automobiles were

parked in the barnyard. The bar was crowded, and a barkeeper in a white

coat was mixing drinks with the casual indifference of his kind. There

were tables under the trees on the lawn, and a new sign on the gate.

Even Schwitter bore a new look of prosperity. Over his schooner of beer

K. gathered something of the story.


"I'm not proud of it, Mr. Le Moyne. I've come to do a good many things the

last year or so that I never thought I would do. But one thing leads to

another. First I took Tillie away from her good position, and after that

nothing went right. Then there were things coming on"--he looked at K.

anxiously--"that meant more expense. I would be glad if you wouldn't say

anything about it at Mrs. McKee's."

"I'll not speak of it, of course."

It was then, when K. asked for Tillie, that Mr. Schwitter's unhappiness

became more apparent.

"She wouldn't stand for it," he said. "She moved out the day I furnished

the rooms upstairs and got the piano."

"Do you mean she has gone?"

"As far as the barn. She wouldn't stay in the house. I--I'll take you out

there, if you would like to see her."

K. shrewdly surmised that Tillie would prefer to see him alone, under the


"I guess I can find her," he said, and rose from the little table.

"If you--if you can say anything to help me out, sir, I'd appreciate it.

Of course, she understands how I am driven. But--especially if you would

tell her that the Street doesn't know--"

"I'll do all I can," K. promised, and followed the path to the barn.

Tillie received him with a certain dignity. The little harness-room was

very comfortable. A white iron bed in a corner, a flat table with a mirror

above it, a rocking-chair, and a sewing-machine furnished the room.

"I wouldn't stand for it," she said simply; "so here I am. Come in, Mr. Le


There being but one chair, she sat on the bed. The room was littered with

small garments in the making. She made no attempt to conceal them; rather,

she pointed to them with pride.

Most Popular