shame. “You see, she's right. I couldn't Don't keep it back-just to be deresist.'

cent! She said it was plain, plain enough Mr. Ewing was lost. “Resist what?” for anybody to see. What I want to

“This!" Corey closed his fingers now know is if everybody knew it but me!" on the Croix. "A new decoration!”

“ ‘Knew what?” cried poor Mr. Ewing, And then, as if every atom of his great, lost more completely now than before. strong body had suddenly succumbed to “Knew why I've done all the things some long-growing exhaustion, Corey I've done-run all the risks. Why I dropped down into a chair and threw went over there this time, in August, out his arm across the table as if he without letting her know-God knows would put away from him as far as I didn't know why!—why I've always possible that offending decoration.

“But when?”—Mr. Ewing found him Why have you?" The question self reiterating — “when — when you

asked itself. haven't been away-"

“Because I wanted the decorations! “Oh yes,” said Corey. “You remem The damned orders and medals and ber, in August.'

things! Because I couldn't resist getting And here Mr. Ewing confessed that he a new one—wherever I saw a chance. thought for a moment that Corey must Do you

believe a man could be as-as be hopelessly mad. There was the

ques rotten as that, all his life, and not know tion of time, and a dozen'other questions it himself?” besides. It seemed out of the realm of Slowly, then, Mr. Ewing began to see. possibility, out of the realm of reason. And remotely it began to dawn upon him

“How did you keep her from know -the thing she" in her anger had done. ing?"

For there was no doubt that the thing Mr. Ewing had not wanted to ask was done. The man's faith and belief had hoped the point would explain itself in himself, in the cleanness and sim—and Corey looked for a moment as if plicity of his own motives, were gonehe might be planning an evasion—then and gone in a single devastating blow braced himself and looked Mr. Ewing from which he had not, and could never, straight in the eyes. A faint expression recover. And, searching for the right of scorn came round his mouth, as if thing to say, Mr. Ewing stumbled, as he spoke of another-a scoundrel who one always will, upon

the one thing hardly deserved his scorn.

he should never have said: “I left letters—dated ahead with “But you know better than that. the scrubwoman at the laboratory to You know it's not so. mail.” He said it, took his eyes from Corey's answer was not argumentaMr. Ewing's, and then he appeared to tive; it only stated, wearily, the fact wait.

which from the first had seemed to posMr. Ewing sat there filled with a kind sess his mind: of amazement, touched with fear for “No, I don't know it's not so. I've what should come next, and suddenly never been able to give any reasons for he became conscious that Corey was doing the things myself. You've asked watching him with what seemed a tre me why. ... I couldn't tell.” mendous anxiety, waiting for him to “Why, it was youth,” said Mr. Ewing, speak. And a moment later, apparently and one can imagine him, saying it, no longer able to bear that silence, gently, as an old-fashioned physician Corey leaned nervously toward Mr. might offer his homely remedy to a Ewing, and asked in the tone of one patient whose knowledge exceeded his seeking an answer of utmost importance:

“Men do those things when “You don't see it? You don't see what they're young." she saw?"

And Corey, rejecting the simple, old“See what?” said Mr. Ewing-"what fashioned cure, made an attempt at a who saw?" Yet he knew that Corey had smile for the kindness in which it was meant his wife. It was she who had offered.

“All men

are young, some found the Croix ... but what did he time,” he said; "all men don't do them.” mean she had seen?

“But you happened to be the kind


who would.” And at this Corey made problem with her usual original simno attempt to smile.

plicity. She took away the need for his “That's it!” he said. “I wasn't the saying anything at all; for the following kind. I was the kind to stay at home. day the station cab drove up to Corey's

I know that. I was always hap- front gate and stopped. The driver got pier here in Dubuque. And now,

w—this down from his seat and went up the last You'd hardly say that was on walk and into the house. A moment account of my youth!”

later he came out again, bearing on his “No-but it had got into your shoulder the small-size officer's trunk, blood.”

the lid forced down now and locked, and Corey at this gave a start and looked in one hand, dragging slightly, a full up suddenly at Mr. Ewing. “Into dunnage-bag. And after him followed my blood- It's the very word she Corey. And no one followed him. No used! When she admitted I might not one came out on the porch to say goodhave known it myself, she said she by. No one stood at the window. The supposed it was just ‘in my blood’!" driver


the trunk on the seat beside He made a gesture which began vio- him, and the dunnage-bag into the seat lently and ended in futility, and sat beside Corey. And then, without a silent, looking off steadily into space, as word or a sign, they drove away toward if hearing again all those dreadful reve the station. lations of hers. And once or twice Mr. It was understood in Dubuque after Ewing, who sat helplessly by, waiting, the next few days that Corey had gone perhaps praying, for some inspiration, to help in the war; he had received an made a valiant but utterly vain effort to urgent message from France. put out his hand, to show by some mere And Mr. Ewing received, the day physical act, if no other, his unshaken after Corey's departure, a little note of belief in his friend.

farewell, written in pencil, while he was And so, when the need for speech had waiting for his train, and mailed at the become imperative, Mr. Ewing found station. It said merely good-by, and himself saying something to the effect that he hoped he would understand. that these things pass; that she had only The next week Mrs. Corey closed up been angry, and had said the first thing the house and went to Des Moines, to that had come into her mind. And stay with her people, she said, until her Corey, realizing the extremity into husband's return. which he had led his friend, rose and, And that was all Mr. Ewing had either ignoring or not hearing, from the ever known of what passed between depth of the chasm into which he had those two, of the details that led to the fallen, Mr. Ewing's last remark, made sudden and final decision to go. And some hurried attempt at apology, and it was all that he had heard of Corey awkwardly moved toward the door. until that day, three months ago, when

Mr. Ewing had only been able to fol there came to him the unexpected letter low after, and say, lamely and in spite from the man in New York, telling of of himself, that he mustn't say or do Corey's death, and of a message and 'anything he might be sorry for, and that papers he had to deliver. Mr. Ewing they would see each other again. And had replied at once that he would go, then he stood in the open door and and had followed his letter almost immewatched Corey go down the path to the diately. He had seemed to feel, ever gate, and along the walk, until he had since that Sunday afternoon when he turned the corner, and so out of sight. had failed to be of use, an increasing

And then he had gone back into the sense of responsibility. house and spent the remainder of that He had met the man at his club; and afternoon trying to realize what had I had, as he told of the meeting, as he passed, trying to decide upon what he described the man, a curious impression should

say the next time they met. of actually seeing them there, in the big But he had reached no conclusion, and Fifth Avenue club, sitting in deeply in the end had decided to leave it to luxurious chairs and no table between chance. And Chance had solved his the gentle, gray-haired, gray-eyed, gray


Drawn by Gerald Leake


garbed Mr. Ewing, who had never been straight game. Well, so had Corey in New York City before; and the other, been, too, sure of the straightness of tall, very tall, with black hair, black his game. And I have heard it vouched eyes, and brown burned skin, who

for that, even in those robust times, the looked, Mr. Ewing said, as if he'd done thing had been seen to happen, and to all the things Corey had done.

come, with just that appalling simplicity It had been quite by chance that this of psychology, from cause to effect, man, whose name was Burke, and Corey straight, and without hesitation. had been attached to the same section The analogy grew, for Burke averred and were thrown in that way a good deal that the queerest thing of all about together. And his very first statement Corey was that he had been the only had shown, with all the force of the

man he had ever seen lacking entirely casual phrase, how tremendously Corey the emotion of fear. He volunteered on had changed.

every sort of hazardous enterprise, and “A queer fellow," he said, "no one came through safe when men beside him could understand.” And he was a man, were killed, time after time, protected, one would say, well accustomed to the they had got to believe, by the inscruqueerest of men.

table quality of his fearlessness. It was, Mr. Ewing said yes, he supposed one Burke said, as if against some other would call him that, and asked just in secret consideration death to Corey what way Burke had thought Corey counted nothing at all. queer.

Then there was something a little And Burke, it seemed, had had more peculiar in so silent a man having so than enough to base the idea upon. He many friends. Corey silent! Rememcast about in his mind to select one out bering him, one could hardly credit that of the many queer things. And he had change. Burke qualified that by saying hit upon the most revealing one of them that when he used the word silent, he all.

didn't in any sense mean morose. Corey Corey, he said, had gone about cov had never been that. He merely hadn't, ered with medals, two rows, overlapping, as people somehow seemed to expect on duty and off, all the time. That in him to do, talked. And what he had itself was queer, especially for an Amer meant by “friends” he wished to ican. Most men wore bars, but Corey qualify, too. He hadn't meant pals. had worn the whole thing. And yet, There had been nothing so active as Burke said, he was the least egotistical that. But there were ways to tell when man he had ever known. And he had a man was well liked. For example, no seen him wince when other men, pass one who knew him had ever seen anying, had smiled at sight of his decora- thing funny about Corey's decorations, tions. He could never make it out. and they never talked about it among

There was no wonder in that. Mr. themselves. Ewing, who knew Corey well, and had, Somebody had once asked Corey one might say, something to go on, how long he had been over the first time. couldn't make it out. And no more, for It was evident that he had been there that matter, could I. There was some before, because of the Croix de Guerre thing in it a little bizarre, and certainly he wore when he came. And Corey had alien. Surely no normal Anglo-Saxon answered, about six weeks, or a little less. American had ever indulged in such “And you got the Croix in that time?" extremes of self-flagellation as that! An exclamation forced out of the fel

And then, abruptly and unbidden, low's astonishment, and bringing from there came into my mind a story of the Corey an answer without a hint of reold West, the story of how in the pioneer buff, yet certainly nothing that a man days a gambler, sitting down to play could call brag. solitaire, laid his gun on the table beside “You forget," he said, with an almost him and, if he caught himself cheating, imperceptible glance down at his two administered justice first hand by shoot rows of medals“I knew the ropes.” ing himself. To be sure, in those days The man had afterward said to Burke a man was pretty certain of playing a that he was sorry he'd asked. But he

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