"That was a trick. I'm sorry, Max. I don't care for anyone else in the

world. If you let me go I'll want to die."

Then, as he was silent:-"If you'll marry me, I'll be true to you all my life. I swear it. There

will be nobody else, ever."

The sense, if not the words, of what he had sworn to Sidney that Sunday

afternoon under the trees, on this very road! Swift shame overtook him,

that he should be here, that he had allowed Carlotta to remain in ignorance

of how things really stood between them.

"I'm sorry, Carlotta. It's impossible. I'm engaged to marry some one



"Sidney Page?"--almost a whisper.


He was ashamed at the way she took the news. If she had stormed or wept,

he would have known what to do. But she sat still, not speaking.

"You must have expected it, sooner or later."

Still she made no reply. He thought she might faint, and looked at her

anxiously. Her profile, indistinct beside him, looked white and drawn.

But Carlotta was not fainting. She was making a desperate plan. If their

escapade became known, it would end things between Sidney and him. She was

sure of that. She needed time to think it out. It must become known

without any apparent move on her part. If, for instance, she became ill,

and was away from the hospital all night, that might answer. The thing

would be investigated, and who knew-The car turned in at Schwitter's road and drew up before the house. The

narrow porch was filled with small tables, above which hung rows of

electric lights enclosed in Japanese paper lanterns. Midweek, which had

found the White Springs Hotel almost deserted, saw Schwitter's crowded

tables set out under the trees. Seeing the crowd, Wilson drove directly to

the yard and parked his machine.

"No need of running any risk," he explained to the still figure beside him.

"We can walk back and take a table under the trees, away from those

infernal lanterns."

She reeled a little as he helped her out.

"Not sick, are you?"

"I'm dizzy. I'm all right."

She looked white. He felt a stab of pity for her. She leaned rather

heavily on him as they walked toward the house. The faint perfume that had

almost intoxicated him, earlier, vaguely irritated him now.

At the rear of the house she shook off his arm and preceded him around the

building. She chose the end of the porch as the place in which to drop,

and went down like a stone, falling back.

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