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oriole's nest in the old elm. Why ! It doesn't seem as though
had been away at all."
The man steps along the highway until he reaches the maple
bordered path that leads to the river. The lea' es rustle a wel
come to him, but his heart is heavy and he almost wishes that he
had not come. 'The last time he came by the river path he had
not been alone, and now he is thinking of that time and wonder
ing what induced him to come back again. Just ahead is a turn
in the path and beyond there used to be a seat beneath an ancient
maple. As he turns the corner a woman rises startled from the
seat and there are tears in her eyes as she looks up.
The man's face turns white and he clutches fiercely at the
walking stick in his hand, but at first he cannot speak—he can
not think of a word to say. The woman finds her voice first.
' " I . did not know that anyone was near."
Then the man remembers that he must say something and, lift
ing his hat, he replies:
" I beg your pardon ; I did not intend to intrude.
just going to the river for a walk."
He sees that she is trembling and, he does not even hear the
reply for his heart is leaping wildly and he finds difficulty in con
trolling his voice,
"It seems strange that we should meet here after so long. I
did not know that you were in' the place."
" I only came this morning. I have not been here for a long
Her face is turned slightly away, but her lips tremble and she
is very pale, and the man's whole being quivers. He comes a
step nearer and asks in a low voice:
" Are you sorry that I found you here ? "
There is no answer and again: he speaks:
" Shall I go away again ? "
She does not speak, but as he holds out his arms and cries:
" Are you going to send me away ? " he hears the answer in a
whisper close to his ear, " I am glad I DID come back."
A MUr,TING ON THP, RIVER• PATH