"I know how it happened, Max," she said--"about Joe's mistake and all that.

The rest can wait until you are much better."

If there had been any change in her manner to him, he would not have

submitted so easily, probably. But she was as tender as ever, unfailingly

patient, prompt to come to him and slow to leave. After a time he began to

dread reopening the subject. She seemed so effectually to have closed it.

Carlotta was gone. And, after all, what good could he do his cause by

pleading it? The fact was there, and Sidney knew it.

On the day when K. had told Max his reason for giving up his work, Max was

allowed out of bed for the first time. It was a great day. A box of red


roses came that day from the girl who had refused him a year or more ago.

He viewed them with a carelessness that was half assumed.

The news had traveled to the Street that he was to get up that day. Early

that morning the doorkeeper had opened the door to a gentleman who did not

speak, but who handed in a bunch of early chrysanthemums and proceeded to

write, on a pad he drew from his pocket:-"From Mrs. McKee's family and guests, with their congratulations on your

recovery, and their hope that they will see you again soon. If their ends

are clipped every day and they are placed in ammonia water, they will last

indefinitely." Sidney spent her hour with Max that evening as usual. His

big chair had been drawn close to a window, and she found him there,

looking out. She kissed him. But this time, instead of letting her draw

away, he put out his arms and caught her to him.

"Are you glad?"

"Very glad, indeed," she said soberly.

"Then smile at me. You don't smile any more. You ought to smile; your


"I am almost always tired; that's all, Max."

She eyed him bravely.

"Aren't you going to let me make love to you at all? You get away beyond

my reach."

"I was looking for the paper to read to you."

A sudden suspicion flamed in his eyes.


"Yes, dear."

"You don't like me to touch you any more. Come here where I can see you."

The fear of agitating him brought her quickly. For a moment he was


"That's more like it. How lovely you are, Sidney!" He lifted first one

hand and then the other to his lips. "Are you ever going to forgive me?"

Most Popular