K. glanced toward the street where Sidney's name and Max's lay open to the

sun and to the smiles of the Street. Christine might be right, but that

did not alter things for him.

Christine's thoughts went back inevitably to herself; to Palmer, who was

doing better just now; to K., who was going away--went back with an ache to

the night K. had taken her in his arms and then put her away. How wrong

things were! What a mess life was!

"When you go away," she said at last, "I want you to remember this. I'm

going to do my best, K. You have taught me all I know. All my life I'll

have to overlook things; I know that. But, in his way, Palmer cares for me.


He will always come back, and perhaps sometime--"

Her voice trailed off. Far ahead of her she saw the years stretching out,

marked, not by days and months, but by Palmer's wanderings away, his

remorseful returns.

"Do a little more than forgetting," K. said. "Try to care for him,

Christine. You did once. And that's your strongest weapon. It's always a

woman's strongest weapon. And it wins in the end."

"I shall try, K.," she answered obediently.

But he turned away from the look in her eyes.

Harriet was abroad. She had sent cards from Paris to her "trade." It was

an innovation. The two or three people on the Street who received her

engraved announcement that she was there, "buying new chic models for the

autumn and winter--afternoon frocks, evening gowns, reception dresses, and

wraps, from Poiret, Martial et Armand, and others," left the envelopes

casually on the parlor table, as if communications from Paris were quite to

be expected.

So K. lunched alone, and ate little. After luncheon he fixed a broken

ironing-stand for Katie, and in return she pressed a pair of trousers for

him. He had it in mind to ask Sidney to go out with him in Max's car, and

his most presentable suit was very shabby.

"I'm thinking," said Katie, when she brought the pressed garments up over

her arm and passed them in through a discreet crack in the door, "that

these pants will stand more walking than sitting, Mr. K. They're getting

mighty thin."

"I'll take a duster along in case of accident," he promised her; "and

to-morrow I'll order a suit, Katie."

"I'll believe it when I see it," said Katie from the stairs. "Some fool of

a woman from the alley will come in to-night and tell you she can't pay her

rent, and she'll take your suit away in her pocket-book--as like as not to

pay an installment on a piano. There's two new pianos in the alley since

you came here."

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