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Then the weary feet would fail,

But the never-daunted will
Urges "Forward, forward still!

Press along the trail!"

Breast, breast, breast the slope!
See, the path is growing steep.
Hark! a little song of hope
Where the stream begins to leap.
Though the forest, far and wide,
Still shuts out the bending blue,
We shall finally win through-
Cross the long divide.

On, on, onward tramp!

Will the journey never end?

Over yonder lies the camp;

Welcome waits us there, my friend.

Can we reach it ere the night?

Upward, upward, never fear!
Look, the summit must be near,
See the line of light!

Red, red, red the shine

Of the splendor in the west, Glowing through the ranks of pine, Clear along the mountain-crest.

Long, long, long the trail

Out of sorrow's lonely vale;

But at last the traveller sees

Light between the trees!



By Robert W. Chambers


ND now, at his attorney's request, and before his report was made, they decided to run through the documents in the case once more, reviewing everything from the very beginning. So young Courtlandt, his attorney, lighted a cigar and unwrapped the pink tape from the bundle of papers. There was enough daylight left to read by, for wall and ceiling still bore the faded imprint of the red winter sunset. Edgerton sat before the fire, his well-shaped head buried in his hands; Courtlandt, lounging on a sofa by the window, unfolded the first paper, puffed thoughtfully at his cigar, and presently began to read without inflection or apparent interest:

PARIS, December 24, 1902.

JOHN EDGERTON, Esq. Sir: My client, Michael Innis, is seriously ill, and I am writing you on his behalf and at his urgent solicitation.

It would appear that, during the panic of 1884, my client came to your father's assistance, at a time when your father's financial ruin, involving also, I believe, the ruin of many of his friends, was apparently only a question of hours.

It would also appear that, upon your father's death, you wrote Mr. Innis, voluntarily assuming your father's unpaid obligations. (Copy of your letter herewith inclosed.)

It further appears that Mr. Innis, accepting the assurance of your personal gratitude, generously offered to wait for the sums due him, permitting you to pay at your own convenience. (Copy of Mr. Innis's letter inclosed herewith.)

In the conclusion of this last letter (No. 2 on file) Mr. Innis mentions his life-long respect for your father and his family, humorously drawing the social distinction between the late Winthrop Edgerton, Esq., and Michael Innis the Tammany contractor; and rather wistfully contrasting the future prospects of Mr. Edgerton's son, yourself, and the chances of the child of Michael Innis.

To this letter you replied (copy herewith), repeating in a manly fashion your assurance of gratitude, holding yourself at the service of Mr. Innis. Now, sir, if your assurances meant more than mere civility, you have an opportunity to erase the deep obligations that your father assumed.

Mr. Innis is a man broken in mind and body. His fortune was invested, against my advice, in

Madagascar Railways. To-day he could not realize a thousand dollars from the investment.

been the education and fitting of his only child For twenty years his one absorbing passion has for a position in the world which he himself could never hope to attain. Wealth and education,

linked with an agreeable personality, may go anywhere in this century. And his daughter has had the best that Europe can afford.

Within a month, all is changed. Sir, it is sad to see this stricken man lying here, watching his daughter.

is near, terror of the future for her has wrung an And now, knowing that impending dissolution appeal from him to you-a strange appeal, Mr. Edgerton. Money alone is little; he asks more: he asks your protection for her not the perthe guidance of a father, the companionship of a functory protection of a guardian for a ward, but brother, the loyalty of a husband.

The man is blinded by worship of his own child; your father's son represents to him all that is noblest, most honorable, most desirable in the world.

Sir, this is a strange request, an overdrawn draft upon your gratitude, I fear. Yet I write you as I am bidden. An answer should be returned by cable with as little delay as possible. He will live until he receives it Marriage by proxy is legal. Special dispensation is certain. I am, sir, with great respect,

Your very humble servant,

WILLIAM Campbell.

Att'y and Counsellor at Law,

7 rue d'Issy.

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Courtlandt rose and walked over to the fire where Edgerton was sitting. His client raised his head, eyes a trifle dazed from the pressure of his fingers on the closed lids. "What the merry deuce did you send that cable for?" muttered Courtlandt under his breath.

"I don't know-a debt of gratitudeand he did not want it paid in money. Ian appeal like that had to be honored, you I was ashamed to haggle at the day of reckoning. A man cannot appraise his own gratitude."


"Such things cannot be asked of gratitude," growled the attorney. "The business of the world is not run on impulse! What is gratitude?"

"It is not gratitude if it asks that question," returned Edgerton; "and I fear that after all it was not exactly gratitude. Gratitude gives; a debt of honor exacts. There is no profit in following this line farther, is there, Billy?"

"No," assented Courtlandt, "unless it's going to help us disentangle the unfortunate affair." He unfolded another paper. "It's too dark to read," he observed, leaning forward into the firelight. The red reflection of the coals played over his face and the black-edged note-paper he was scanning. And he read, slowly:

JANUARY 3, 1903.

DEAR MR. EDGERTON: For your very gentle letter to me I beg to thank you; I deeply appreciate your delicacy at a time when kindness is most needed. Had you not written as you have, I should have found it difficult to discuss a situation which I am only just beginning to realize

must be as embarrassing to you as it is to me.

In the grief and distress which overwhelmed me when I was so suddenly summoned from the convent to find my father so ill, I did not, could not realize the step I was asked to take. All I knew was that he desired it, begged for it, and it meant to me nothing--this ceremony which made you my husband-nothing except a little happi

ness for the father I loved.

He made the responses for you, I kneeling at his bedside, scarce able to speak in my grief. There were two brief ceremonies, the civil and religious. He died very quietly that night.

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I hesitate I feel the greatest reluctance and delicacy in addressing you upon a matter that troubles me. It is this, Mr. Edgerton: if, through gratitude to my father for service done your father, you offered to become responsible for me, perhaps -I do not know-perhaps, as you have done me the honor of protecting me with your name, it is all that could be expected-and I hasten to assure you that I am content. Indeed, had I realized, had I even begun to comprehend what I was doingYet what could I do but obey him at such a time?

So, if you think it well that we remain apart for a while, I am content and happy to obey your wishes. Your name, which I now bear, I honor; your wishes, monsieur, are my commands. With gratitude, confidence, and respect I remain,

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"Yes," said Edgerton.

"You gave me a month to look up the

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Pray believe me that I understand how impossible it is for you to leave affairs of importance to come to Paris at this time. My aunt, who is with the Ursulines, has received me. matter. It is very quiet, very peaceful; I have opportunity for meditation, and for studies which I left uncompleted. Mr. Campbell, whom you have so considerately retained for my legal guidance, is kind and tactful.

He has, I believe, communicated with you in regard to the most generous provision you have

"Yes, a month."

"And now you want me to report, don't you, Jack?”

Edgerton glanced up. "If you're ready," he said.


Drawn by Howard Chandler Christy.

"I-I wonder if you are as embarrassed as I am?" she said.-Page 248.

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