K. shook his head. He had had that gift of the big man everywhere, in

every profession, of securing the loyalty of his followers. He would have

trusted every one of them with his life.

"You're going to do it, of course."

"Take up your work?"


He stirred restlessly. To stay on, to be near Sidney, perhaps to stand by

as Wilson's best man when he was married--it turned him cold. But he did

not give a decided negative. The sick man was flushed and growing fretful;

it would not do to irritate him.


"Give me another day on it," he said at last. And so the matter stood.

Max's injury had been productive of good, in one way. It had brought the

two brothers closer together. In the mornings Max was restless until Dr.

Ed arrived. When he came, he brought books in the shabby bag--his beloved

Burns, although he needed no book for that, the "Pickwick Papers," Renan's

"Lives of the Disciples." Very often Max world doze off; at the cessation

of Dr. Ed's sonorous voice the sick man would stir fretfully and demand

more. But because he listened to everything without discrimination, the

older man came to the conclusion that it was the companionship that

counted. It pleased him vastly. It reminded him of Max's boyhood, when he

had read to Max at night. For once in the last dozen years, he needed him.

"Go on, Ed. What in blazes makes you stop every five minutes?" Max

protested, one day.

Dr. Ed, who had only stopped to bite off the end of a stogie to hold in his

cheek, picked up his book in a hurry, and eyed the invalid over it.

"Stop bullying. I'll read when I'm ready. Have you any idea what I'm


"Of course."

"Well, I haven't. For ten minutes I've been reading across both pages!"

Max laughed, and suddenly put out his hand. Demonstrations of affection

were so rare with him that for a moment Dr. Ed was puzzled. Then, rather

sheepishly, he took it.

"When I get out," Max said, "we'll have to go out to the White Springs

again and have supper."

That was all; but Ed understood.

Morning and evening, Sidney went to Max's room. In the morning she only

smiled at him from the doorway. In the evening she went to him after

prayers. She was allowed an hour with him then.

The shooting had been a closed book between them. At first, when he began

to recover, he tried to talk to her about it. But she refused to listen.

She was very gentle with him, but very firm.

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