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face came closer and closer to his. Their lips met, and the Boy experienced his first lover's kiss. He was in a state of heavenly bliss. Nothing else mattered now. Finally he realized that his arms were getting numb; so he placed the Girl on the steps of the veranda and sat down beside her in silent embarrassment. Presently the Girl placed her hand on his arm and said: “Oh, my Robert is such a wonderful man! So masterful!"
That gave him the courage he was silently praying for, and he asked: "Sadie, dear, when shall we get married?"
"Oh, this is so sudden," said she. "I never thought of such a thing. But any time you say. I don't care for a big church wedding all I want is your great love." (He had previously told her of his father's two thousand acres of good farm land.) He was silent for a time, then he began hesitatingly: "You know, Sadie, I am only nineteen."
"Oh, what does four years matter when we love each other so dearly?" she answered, and, continuing in a coaxing voice: "You remember my birthday party last month, don't you, with those twenty-three cute little candles on that beautiful cake?" He quickly replied: "Sure, I remember. That was fine. But what was the meaning of the question mark that you scraped off so quickly when the girls began to giggle?" She hesitated a moment and then said lightly: "Oh, that was just a little joke my sister played on me. But let's talk about something else."
Just then they heard the bunch of fraternity boys coming from their den of torture, and Robert said: "I must say goodnight, now. I have an exam. at nine o'clock, so I ought to get a few hours sleep before breakfast," and with a kiss and a lingering handclasp, he finally broke away and ran to catch up with the bunch of Pies who were hurrying toward college to get to the dormitories before daylight.
The balmy spring days passed on, and Robert was full of pepsin and charcoal tablets, examinations, and love. At least once during each twenty-four hours he would "go for the mail" and pass on down to the end of the street where the few sweet
moments usually expanded into hours with Sadie. Several times the Girl had held up her hand, and caressing her left digits, musingly asked herself: "I wonder how a diamond would look on my poor hard-working finger?" And Robert would hastily grasp her hand and cover it with kisses, telling the Girl she had the most beautiful hand in the world and needed no ornaments to make it attractive, and to please have a little more patience— the ring would surely come. The fact was, Robert had written "Dad" several times for extra money, then boldly asked for the ring itself, but all his appeals had been ignored. Finally he sent his father a telegram collect, as follows:
"Robert Whitehead, Sr.: Come at once and meet the most wonderful Girl in the world. Bring the diamond ring I wrote about. If you don't come, I'll marry Sadie next Sunday and go to Newport News and get a job in the Ship Yards. Desperately,
"ROBERT WHITEHEAD, JR."
The following morning the sleepy old Brafferton Halls echoed with the name of Robert Whitehead, Junior, as the messenger's cry was taken up by several scores of students who, of course, merely wanted to make sure that Robert would receive his telegram. Consequently, when the noon train pulled into the station, a bunch of Robert's fellow students were on hand to welcome his father. The faint clang of dinner bells could be heard in the distance, and with a roaring last shout: "Welcome to our city, Mr. Whitehead," the bunch hurried northward, and Robert and his father crossed over to the Main Drag. Passing down the street, Mr. Whitehead stopped occasionally to shake hands with some old acquaintance, as he himself had graduated from William and Mary some twenty odd years ago.
As they neared the cottage of delight, Robert was startled as he saw Sadie. He had never seen her quite so "fussed up." Her eyebrows had lost their golden luster and were a shiny black, like the patent-leather pumps Henry Billups used to wear to church. Bits of powder dropped from her cheeks as she nodded and shook her head to give her extra curls the proper Mary
Pickford effect. Mr. Whitehead also was startled. He stopped and stared, and muttered a low "Ah Ha! So Ho!" as Robert, with the perspiration trickling down his back, pulled his father toward the Girl. Evidently père was not so highly elated with the most wonderful Girl in the world. However, hope again took the ascent when Mr. Whitehead went up to Sadie, greeted her cordially, and took a seat beside her in the hammock. His eyes twinkled, as he patted her hand and said:
"My, but this is just like old times," and laughing heartily, he asked the Girl: "Do you remember that beautiful spring moonlight night, as we sat here on this hammock, when you dared me to lift you? And oh, how green I was!"
"Yes-No Yes, I don't remember!" stammered the Girl, as she slid out of the hammock and ran into the house. Mr. Whitehead then got up and, taking hold of Robert's hand, said: "Come, son, let's go."
"But, father!" protested Robert, holding back. "What's the meaning of all this your queer familiar talk—and Sadie running away as she did?"
"It means, son, that Sadie has been playing her usual game, and lost," gravely replied his father. "She and I were engaged more than twenty years ago when I was a Senior at college. She was also engaged to another student at the same time, who became a frater of mine that spring. So after comparing notes, I went back to the mountains to look for some rosy-cheeked girl with a complexion that God gave her, with truth in her eyes and sincerity in her heart. I found her the most wonderful girl in the world—your mother. Let's go to her at once. She is waiting for her boy."
Robert glared at his father. "It's not true!" he said. "I won't leave here until I see Sadie, and hear from her own lips-"
"It is true," said Sadie, sorrowfully, as she came toward Robert from just inside the door where she had been standing, listening. With arms outstretched, she walked past Mr. White
head and placed her hands on Robert's shoulders. "Too true," she continued. "And I must suffer. Woman pays, and pays, and pays. Love to her is an open book and she must suffer for the indiscretions of her female ancestors way back to Mother Eve. While man! Ha! Man pays nothing, knows nothing, suffers nothing. He comes up, like the grass, fresh and green every spring.”
Robert's hands hung limp by his side. The Girl grasped them in her own as she looked up into his face with a sad smile. Then she turned slowly away. Suddenly, with a tilt of her chin, she clenched her fists, and sprang toward Mr. Whitehead, like a tigress leaping on her prey. "So this is your revenge!" she said. "But never mind," and she snapped her fingers before his face : "I'll get him yet. While there's a student left, there's hope. I should worry!" and she rushed into the house.
James W. Gossman.
WHEN BETTY CAME FROM COOKING SCHOOL
HEN Betty came from cooking school
Her cheeks were like a blushing rose;
A dozen dimples sought repose;
She wore a hat of rosy tulle
When Betty came from cooking school.
I held her dainty parasol
(I wished it might have been her hand);
I whispered airy nothings.
That but she and I could understand
Ah, me! I fear I played the fool
When Betty came from cooking school.
Now Betty sits beside my hearth,
The prize, at last, is all my own,
And I am happy, though I feel
That prize was rather dearly won,