The June moon had risen, sending broken shafts of white light through the

ailanthus to the house door. When the girl came at last, she stepped out

into a world of soft lights and wavering shadows, fragrant with tree

blossoms not yet overpowering, hushed of its daylight sounds of playing

children and moving traffic.

The house had been warm. Her brown hair lay moist on her forehead, her

thin white dress was turned in at the throat. She stood on the steps, the

door closed behind her, and threw out her arms in a swift gesture to the

cool air. The moonlight clothed her as with a garment. From across the

Street the boy watched her with adoring, humble eyes. All his courage was


for those hours when he was not with her.

"Hello, Joe."

"Hello, Sidney."

He crossed over, emerging out of the shadows into her enveloping radiance.

His ardent young eyes worshiped her as he stood on the pavement.

"I'm late. I was taking out bastings for mother."

"Oh, that's all right."

Sidney sat down on the doorstep, and the boy dropped at her feet.

"I thought of going to prayer meeting, but mother was tired. Was Christine


"Yes; Palmer Howe took her home."

He was at his ease now. He had discarded his hat, and lay back on his

elbows, ostensibly to look at the moon. Actually his brown eyes rested on

the face of the girl above him. He was very happy. "He's crazy about

Chris. She's good-looking, but she's not my sort."

"Pray, what IS your sort?"


She laughed softly. "You're a goose, Joe!"

She settled herself more comfortably on the doorstep and drew along breath.

"How tired I am! Oh--I haven't told you. We've taken a roomer!"

"A what?"

"A roomer." She was half apologetic. The Street did not approve of

roomers. "It will help with the rent. It's my doing, really. Mother is


"A woman?"

"A man."

"What sort of man?"

"How do I know? He is coming tonight. I'll tell you in a week."

Joe was sitting bolt upright now, a little white.

"Is he young?"

"He's a good bit older than you, but that's not saying he's old."

Joe was twenty-one, and sensitive of his youth.

"He'll be crazy about you in two days."

She broke into delighted laughter.

"I'll not fall in love with him--you can be certain of that. He is tall

and very solemn. His hair is quite gray over his ears."

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