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The Search   By: (1865-1947)

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Transcriber's note:

Chapter numbering skips Chapter XI in the printed text. The original numbering has been retained in this transcription.




Grosset & Dunlap Publishers New York

Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1919, By The Christian Herald Copyright, 1919, By J. B. Lippincott Company

Printed in the United States of America




Two young men in officers' uniforms entered the smoker of a suburban train, and after the usual formalities of matches and cigarettes settled back to enjoy their ride out to Bryne Haven.

"What d'ye think of that girl I introduced you to the other night, Harry? Isn't she a pippin?" asked the second lieutenant taking a luxurious puff at his cigarette.

"I should say, Bobbie, she's some girl! Where d'ye pick her up? I certainly owe you one for a good time."

"Don't speak of it, Harry. Come on with me and try it again. I'm going to see her friend to night and can get her over the 'phone any time. She's just nuts about you. What do you say? Shall I call her up?"

"Well, hardly to night, Bob," said the first lieutenant thoughtfully, "she's a ripping fine girl and all that, of course, but the fact is, Bob, I've decided to marry Ruth Macdonald and I haven't much time left before I go over. I think I'll have to get things fixed up between us to night, you see. Perhaps later . But no. I guess that wouldn't do. Ruth's folks are rather fussy about such things. It might get out. No, Bob, I'll have to forego the pleasures you offer me this time."

The second lieutenant sat up and whistled:

"You've decided to marry Ruth Macdonald!" he ejaculated, staring. "But has Ruth Macdonald decided to marry you?"

"I hardly think there'll be any trouble on that score when I get ready to propose," smiled the first lieutenant complacently, as he lolled back in his seat. "You seem surprised," he added.

"Well, rather!" said the other officer dryly, still staring.

"What's there so surprising about that?" The first lieutenant was enjoying the sensation he was creating. He knew that the second lieutenant had always been "sweet" on Ruth Macdonald.

"Well, you know, Harry, you're pretty rotten!" said the second lieutenant uneasily, a flush beginning to rise in his face. "I didn't think you'd have the nerve. She's a mighty fine girl, you know. She's unusual !"

"Exactly. Didn't you suppose I would want a fine girl when I marry?"

"I don't believe you're really going to do it!" burst forth the second lieutenant. "In fact, I don't believe I'll let you do it if you try!"

"You couldn't stop me, Bob!" with an amiable sneer. "One word from you, young man, and I'd put your captain wise about where you were the last time you overstayed your leave and got away with it. You know I've got a pull with your captain. It never pays for the pot to call the kettle black."

The second lieutenant sat back sullenly with a deep red streaking his cheeks.

"You're no angel yourself, Bob, see?" went on the first lieutenant lying back in his seat in satisfied triumph, "and I'm going to marry Ruth Macdonald next week and get a ten days' leave! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!"

There ensued a long and pregnant silence. One glance at the second lieutenant showed that he was most effectually silenced.

The front door of the car slammed open and shut, and a tall slim officer with touches of silver about the edges of his dark hair, and a look of command in his keen eyes came crisply down the aisle. The two young lieutenants sat up with a jerk, and an undertone of oaths, and prepared to salute as he passed them. The captain gave them a quick searching glance as he saluted and went on to the next car.

The two jerked out salutes and settled back uneasily.

"That man gives me a pain!" said Harry Wainwright preparing to soothe his ruffled spirits by a fresh cigarette... Continue reading book >>

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