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Upon a shady bench in the Bois de Boulogne, well in view of a driveway where smart carriages with liveried attendants went swiftly past, sat an old lady, alone. Her stately head with its bold profile was bent, as if in thought; her grey side curls drooped ; her mitt-clad hands were clasped in her lap. Despite her venerable air, and her irreproachable attire of black silk, there was a dash of wildness in her look; her very quietness was full of the energy of arrested motion, and wore an air of expectancy, as if life's adventure were only just begun. As a maple leaf, sere and yellow, floated to her shoulder and rested symbolically there, she thrust it impatiently aside.

'Get you away!' she said, shaking her fist in the face of the fading wood with a grim smile. 'I'll think about dyin' when I get ready, and not before.'

The brilliant old eyes, as they were lifted to the pageant before her, full of the gay colours and the odd outlines of the autumn styles, now sparkled with zest in watching, now searched beyond, scanning avenue and bypath, as if looking for a way of escape, and yet Mrs. Faunce had nothing to escape from, except her own charitable deeds. She had striven to do good and had done it ; the misery of the successful philanthropist was hers. Never did the albatross hang with such heavy weight about the neck of the Ancient Mariner as did the ‘Orphanage of the Open Door’about that of Mrs. Faunce. By tireless efforts, by emptying her ample pockets so completely that she had at moments almost lacked the necessaries of life, by wheedling tourists of all nations, and by even entering again (for purposes of begging) the great social world upon which she had long since turned her back for the free life of the wanderer, she had succeeded in establishing a home where twenty orphan children were cared for.

' Merciful powers !' ejaculated Mrs. Faunce. “It seems good to be sittin' here with none of 'em on me lap.'

There was not, in the whole city of Paris, any trustworthy person whom Mrs. Faunce wished to see installed as matron, and the weeks dragged slowly while she filled that arduous post in person. Cook and maids were satisfactory, but keeper of those little souls there was none, save herself, and she was going wild under the

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burden, though she loved them every one. They took her to task for the problems of the universe, her, who pleaded not guilty of the creation of the world and a knowledge of the purposes behind it. Little German Enchen had insisted that God did not make her. Madame had done it out of the dust of the earth, and her infant faith had been shaken when Madame repudiated the charge. Jeannot had fought Petit Pierre for insisting that God was not a lady, for Jeannot held in all reverence that God wore side curls. They said their prayers at her knee—that was well enough-lisping in unison,

Now I lay me down to sleep.'
She had taught them Herrick's pretty grace :

Here a little child I stand,
Heaving up my either hand;
Cold as paddocks though they be,

Here I lift them up to Thee'; and it was a fine sight to see them standing by their chairs at the long white table and repeating this in concert. But the questions that they asked ! If God was good, as she had assured themthe indomitable old face under the steady shadows of the withered leaves quivered—why had little English Mary's mother died when her father was sick, and there was nobody to take care of either of them ? Why, asked Petit Pierre, whose vagrant life with the organ-grinder had taught him much of the ways of man, if not of the ways of God, were animals caught and torn apart by steel traps ? Once he had seen a rabbit that had pulled its leg off trying to get away. Cut to the core of her honest heart by erplaining what she did not know-unable to tell these youngsters her grounds for a dim belief that, in the great game, the apparently losing game, of a spark of soul versus a boundless universe of triumphing matter, the soul was after all on the winning sidethe old lady threw back her head with a little shake, a motion that a spirited horse might make in attempting to free his head from the check-rein.

'What they need about 'em when they're little is a grown-up baby like themselves that can explain the whole thing to 'em from beginning to end, and believe all she says. They're too sharp for me.'

Wanderlust tugged at her heart-strings in the sting of the autumn air, and she longed to be up and away. There was the Taj

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Mahal ; she had never seen it, nor had she crossed the Himalayas. Ah, to fare forth again by land or sea, for she never could get over the feeling that the quest along the open road might some day lead to the great meaning of things! With equal longing she idly watched the faces that appeared before her and disappeared again, and she yearned for some new divine adventure wherein she might play helper to mankind; for she was an incorrigible and audacious knight-errant, and no amount of failure, no amount of success could stay her. Had she not once helped a young Russian revolutionist across the border and into safety by means of changing clothes with her ? Had she not rescued two young English lovers from suicide upon the Breton coast ? Had she not befriended in the Paris streets a young girl of angelic face who turned out to be a pickpocket and, smiling, robbed her benefactress? But what did it matter? They were part of herself, these suffering saints and suffering sinners. It was one of the compensations for growing old that the walls of self grew thinner and more thin, and all human laughter and human tears grew to be one's own.

From the vision of many passing faces, one presently detached itself. At a short distance another old lady, slight, dowdily dressed, was moving irresolutely to and fro, a quaintly pathetic little figure, wearing a homely village look in all this brilliant spectacle. Not without satisfaction Mrs. Faunce realised that the eyes of this silent, drifting creature were upon her, and she sat very still as the stranger drew timidly near, paused in hesitation, then, with a fluttering, indrawn breath, settled like a frightened bird upon the edge of the bench.

Bongjure ? ' faltered the new-comer, as if asking a question.

'Good afternoon !' responded the deep, rich voice of Mrs. Faunce.

‘ Oh!'cried the other in shrill delight. “I knew you wa’n’t French!'

* Part of me is,' muttered the old lady, 'though me family is Irish on both sides.' The stranger's face fell; evidently she thought this a damaging admission, despite the pride with which it was uttered, yet she sidled a little nearer on the bench.

'Good weather for gettin' in corn,' she ventured.

"Now I'll warrant,' said Mrs. Faunce, smiling, that you come from the State of Maine?'

'Well, how did you ever know that ?' responded the newcomer joyously. 'You ain't an American, are you ? '

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'God forbid !' ejaculated Mrs. Faunce piously, but the other did not hear.

Mebbe you might be acquainted with the Gloverses or the Westons? I was born a Glover, but I'm Weston now.'

Not with the Gloverses, nor with the Westons, Mrs. Faunce admitted, but she knew the type of woman before her, with her antiquated black velvet bonnet, cashmere dress, wherein the style of a generation ago wrestled with the present style, and neatly darned lisle gloves; and she could summon in imagination the proper background of white houses and elm trees. The outer look was so familiar, including the lined and worried face under the yellow-grey hair, that Mrs. Faunce jumped at the utterly unexpected question coming from the thin, wrinkled lips.

You ain't got any daughters, have you? You look so kind of care-free.'

The look of childish pathos in her face would have touched hearts harder than that of her listener, as she went on, without waiting for an answer.

'You don't mind my settin' here, do you? I'm kind of tired.'

* Bless your heart, I'm glad enough to have somebody of me own age for company,' responded the old Irish lady heartily.

Neither knew just how it happened, but, as the minutes slipped on, and the pleasant autumn sunshine warmed the yellowing grass, Mrs. Faunce found herself listening to the story that the other, unasked, faltered out, perhaps hardly knowing how much she told. 'He'had been a maker of concrete for building purposes, he being her husband, John Henry Weston; and, in the later years of his life, had devised a formula which gave it unprecedented hardness and durability. This had led to establishing a branch of the business at Paris ; two years ago he had died. His work was carried on by his partner, Robert Foster, who had married her elder daughter, Julie ; and it was to relieve the young wife's loneliness that Mrs. Weston had come with her younger daughter to join the Paris household.

We've been here now eighteen months,' said the old lady, uncomplainingly, then added, after a significant pause : "Tain't just like havin' your own home. There's a lot of real pleasure in havin' a home of your own.'

And while there's a lot in not havin'one,' flashed Mrs. Faunce.

'I don't know as I ought to say anything about it,' the stranger continued apologetically, but it does seem good to have somebody

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to talk to. I'm glad you ain't young; I've got so I'm afraid of

young folks.'

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The watching bird-like eyes of the old Irish lady filmed over and she laid her wrinkled hand on the smaller hand of the other woman. The story that was poured into her ears, so new and painful to the teller, so trite to her, with her intimate knowledge of French life, resolved itself into the old tale of the unobservant elderly husband, the audacious lover, and the reckless wife.

* There's a Frenchman that comes to the house too often, when Robert ain't there ; he has to be away a good deal on business. Julie's real pretty, and she's innocent; she don't know the world the way I do, and she won't listen to a word I say about Mo’seer

I Blanc. Don't you think you ought to avoid the very appearance of evil ? '

Paris would cease to be if that came to pass,' murmured Mrs. Faunce.

* There's somethin' wrong, somethin' troubling them,' said Mrs. Weston, with deepening wrinkles between her brows. “I don't know as I told you he's got a friend that's payin' attention to my other daughter, Maude. That's all right, though I did think she was as good as engaged to a young fellow at home when she came away. But it's all right payin' attention to a woman that ain't married ; the thing that seems queer to me is the other one's payin' so much attention to a woman that is married.'

A smile flickered across the face of Mrs. Faunce.

'It's a great responsibility,' she suggested,' a knowledge of the world. What did you say this second man's name is ? '

* Lamballe, Adolphe Lamballe. I don't quite like him, but maybe it's because I've never been used to men that use perfumery and wear jewelry. You don't know him ? ' she asked anxiously, watching the other's face. ' Lamballe and Blanc,' mused Mrs. Faunce. They're a well

a known pair. Now this difficulty of which you speak, might it be connected with money?' The stranger drew away and eyed her with admiration.

. 'Well, you do beat all for knowing things !' Yes, it had to do with money. M. Lamballe was, for the moment, in hard straits, owing to a business crisis that was no fault of his own, and he wished to borrow a large sum for a few days only. “I told Julie to ask her husband ; it's for men folks to take care of women, and not for women to take care of men, but she wouldn't. Then I told her to

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