FICTION

The Man who was Happy

JOHN RHODES STURDY November 15 1931
FICTION

The Man who was Happy

JOHN RHODES STURDY November 15 1931

The Man who was Happy

The story of a very gallant lover and the road by which he found content

JOHN RHODES STURDY

LET us look in for a moment at the St. Peter's Club, aristocratic forum of the city’s most distinguished gentlemen; into the long lounge where the oak panelling and leather-covered chesterfields carry one away from the hurry and noise of the street outside and create an atmosphere of relaxation and peace. Colonel Michael Johns, M.C., late of the Indian Army, speaking;

“You know young Teddy Howe, don't you? Poor devil! I feel sorry for him, y’know. One seldom meets such a decent chap, and a handsome lad at that. He's not the type one would picture running hopelessly after a woman. He gives one the opposite impression. Sort of ‘top man or none at all,’ if you know' what I mean."

Doctor Hilary Gurd. celebrated for his startling work in medical research, nodded. “I believe I do," he said. “Young Howe does give one an impression of leadership. You say he’s in love w'ith this girl -what is her name?” "Cariotta Reveil,” answered Colonel Johns. “Oh, he's most assuredly in love with her. That’s the only possible excuse for his actions.” He grunted. “The young idiot follows her about like a dog. And, what's worse, she’s practically engaged to young Redvers. Gad, you'd think Howe would be too proud to take dirt in the eye like that. But no; he’s willing to take that and then some, the young fix.il !”

"It’s hopeless''"

“Oh, absolutely! The girl may like him—I suppose

everyone does—but as for íove and all that rot, not a chance. Cariotta is a splendid girl, of course; none better. She humors Howe most of the time; tries not to hurt him. They tell me he proposes every other day and receives the same answer every time. It’s a most definite ‘no.’ Can’t understand why he sticks around in the face of it.”

Doctor Gurd lighted a cigarette. “Some men are like that,” he

“How d’you mean?” “Their love lies very deep. Their regard is a little too strong for pride. Understand? No, perhaps you wouldn’t.” He puffed at his cigarette. “I shouldn’t call young Howe a fool. He can’t have the girl perhaps, but he can hang about and catch a glimpse of her now and again. He’s probably content, in a way, with that. At least, he has probably faced facts and realized that that is all he can ever hope for or accomplish. He’d rather just look at her and talk to her than walk out of her life. Oh, I know it doesn't sound natural. Things like that never do. What sort of chap is this young Redvers?”

“Oh, a splendid fellow! Cut out for a brilliant career in medicine. Carlotta’s made a good choice there. She'll be happy.”

"And he?”

’’Madly in love with her.”

"Jealous of Howe?"

"No, I shouldn't say he was jealous. Things are too definite for that.”

’Things are never too definite.”

Colonel Johns laughed. "Well, have it your own way. But I’ll wager ten to one Teddy Howe doesn’t win her.” “I don’t believe he will either. But I shan’t call him a fool.”

"Drink?"

“Righto; thanks.”

And. leaving the two gentlemen in the long lounge, we make our way through the city to a district of stately residences, where a very old and honored society makes its home. It is a small district, but its roll of distinguished familiesis impressive and the nouveaux riches have never succeeded in gaining entrance to its jealously guarded portals.

Mrs. Johnson Wilson-James is giving a party. Her home, one of the most beautiful in the district, is brilliantly and gaily lighted, and from the open windows on the east wing the strains of a dance orchestra are carried out on the night breeze and can be heard for some distance along the avenue. On the polished floor of the ballroom many couples swing in time to the music; and, in another room, the clink of glasses and the sound of gay laughter are clearly evident.

'"TWO young men, Teddy Howe and Garth Bowen, looked on the ballroom scene with interest. They were standing near the entrance, their backs to the orchestra on its raised dais and their eyes fixed intently on the swaying dancers.

"Pretty,” commented Garth, who stood six feet in height, and weighed almost two hundred pounds. He nodded as he spoke toward a fair-haired girl in a green dress who danced gracefully by.

Teddy Howe nodded. He was as tall as his friend but slimmer, and he was one of those few fortunate men who seem to have been born in evening clothes. His eyes followed the fair-haired girl as she passed.

“Know her?" he enquired.

“Her name’s Sylvia Something. Quite interesting, if you like the type."

Garth grinned. “My ears are attentive, old man. Tell me about her.”

“There’s nothing to tell. I’ll "introduce you later if you like.”

"And why not now?"

“I’ve other things to do."

“Cariotta. I suppose? Well, that’s your affair. But I shouldn’t be so anxious if I were you. She’s rather busy this evening."

"Oh. have a little sense, old boy ! You’ve seen altogether too much of her lately. A man can be too attentive, you know. It doesn’t pay to be always hanging about. She must be horribly bored with you."

Teddy smiled at his friend. "You’re awfly concerned about me, aren’t you, old man? I usually do things in my own way."

"Yes, and make a mess of them, like this affair. Cariotta was yours, you know, if you’d used your head. Jimmie Redvers did, and look at him."

"Well, after all, she loves him, you know.” There was a trace of sarcasm in Teddy's voice.

“Bah!” exclaimed Garth, exasperated, “you make me deathly ill ”

"Do I really, old man?"

Garth looked disgusted. His eye caught sight of the fair-haired girl again. He immediately brightened up.

"Pretty," he commented again, and rubbed his chin. The dance came to an end, and he straightened his tie and sauntered off in her direction. Teddy watched him go with a smile.

Couples were leaving the floor. Teddy stepired to one side and allowed them to pass. A young woman, escorted by a short man. passed close to him, and he touched her lightly on the arm.

"Could I speak to you. Cariotta?”

The girl looked up in surprise and gave him a welcoming

smile. She was not beautiful exactly, but her features were fine and well cut, and she was the type of woman a man would remember if he had but seen her once. Scarcely any artificial coloring on her lips and cheeks; which was wise, because with make-up she would have been merely pretty. There were a great many pretty women at this party, and one or two who were really beautiful. Men said of them, ‘‘By George, what beauty !” and let it go at that. But of Cariotta Reveil they said; “Fascinating, isn’t she? I mean, she’s rather different from the others. Don’t ask me what it is; I couldn’t tell you. But there’s something fresh and clean and terribly attractive about her that makes you want to know her, and know her really well.”

They might have said more if they had but looked into her deep eyes or brushed their cheeks against her black hair. They would have caught a glimpse of something fine and clean and brave, and found themselves blind to all the ugly things of life. That was the way Cariotta affected men. Strange perhaps, and yet perhaps not. Some women can do that sort of thing.

“Of course, Teddy,” she said, and turned to her companion, the short man. “You’ll excuse me for a few moments?”

Poor devil, he could not refuse although he wanted very much to do so. He would hate Teddy Howe from this moment and never forget Cariotta. It was that way.

CARLOTTA and Teddy walked slowly to the library, which they found deserted. She seated herself on the chesterfield, while he remained on his feet and lighted a cigarette.

“Enjoying yourself?” were his first words.

“Immensely. I’m having a marvellous time. Everything’s been so lovely. What about you?”

He looked at his cigarette. “Oh, splendid, of course. I always enjoy myself at parties. Garth was with me for a while, but he deserted. Some blonde girl in a green dress.” “Sylvia Monck.”

“Is it? I’d forgotten her last name. She’s quite attractive.”

Cariotta looked at him. “Why don’t you desert, too, Teddy?”

“Me? Why should I?”

“You’d be much happier.”

He shook his head. “You’re wrong. I’d be miserable.” “You don’t know,” she said. “You’ve never tried it. One can’t just say things like that.”

He smiled. “It’s rather decent of you to discourage me this way, princess. You don’t care to see me suffer, do you? But I’m not suffering. I'm happy right now. I couldn’t run about with some other girl—I simply couldn’t.”

“I’m to blame, Teddy.”

“To blame? For what?”

“Oh, for all this! We should have parted long ago. When I found out I was in love with Jimmie.”

“Are you?” He came and sat down beside her. “Are you?” he repeated.

She smiled at him. “You like me awfully, don’t you, Teddy? I sometimes wish you didn’t. I can’t help it. I love Jimmie. We’re going to be married.”

He took her hand. “Lord,” he whispered, “it must be wonderful, that sort of thing ! To know you’re being loved while you’re loving. How he must feel !”

“But you’ll know it, Teddy,” she said very softly. “You’ve got to know it. And you’ll be so square and true when it happens.”

He smiled. “I’m never going to know it that way, princess. You see, things are never quite so beautiful the second time. I couldn’t feel again as I feel now.”

“You only think so.”

He looked at her hand in his. “I’ve had a lot of dreams,” he murmured. “Most of them were too wonderful to be true. Dreams, oh, about all sorts of things—you and me, and what might have been if I had been someone else. It’s funny, you know, but I always like to go to bed at night so I can lie there and picture those things in my mind. I leave my light burning and the ceiling is a kind of movie screen. Foolish, isn’t it? But you know, I find a lot of happiness

Continued on page 44

Continued from page 11

in that sort of thing. I’m like a shop clerk reading a society novel—putting myself in someone else's place and loving it. Am I boring you, princess?”

She shook her head. Perhaps she did not trust herself to speak.

“Don’t misunderstand me,” he went on. “I’m not a sentimental fool. There were women before; I’ve loved them, and one or two are fragrant memories. I don’t go about with a depressed look, reciting verses —you know that. I’ve often prided myself on my sensible outlook on women and love. Nothing sentimental, nothing silly. One has to be sensible about most things, and I think I have been, nearly always. And I’m being that now.”

He snubbed out his cigarette in an ashtray and watched the last curl of smoke disappear.

“People think different. Why shouldn’t they? It seems so obvious that I’m acting the goat. But I’m not.”

"Why not, Teddy?”

“Because I see everything so clearly. I win or lose. I lose, most likely, but why should I hasten the end? Oh, people can’t understand those things. They can't understand why I want to be with you until the last possible moment, if only to look at you. I’ll miss you—heaven only knows how much!—if you go, princess, but I’ll never regret. You’ve given me something I’ve never had before; a real happiness.”

CARLOTTA looked at him. “You make me feel—awfully good, Teddy. If I could only believe the things you say. But all the time I have the feeling that I’m hurting you, that we should have said good-by long ago. I wish you weren’t in love with me. I feel such a cad about it all.” “Then do believe me. Forget what other people say. Once you have faith in your own convictions, the others fade into oblivion. You’re headed for happiness; headed straight and true. And that's what I want you to have, more than anything in the world.”

“Do you really think,” she asked, “that I shall be happy?”

"Of course. Happiness was made for “But I’ve had so much of it. I mean, He nodded.

“I’m so afraid, Teddy. Everything’s been so wonderful. “Somehow it's too good to last.”

“It’s up to you.’

“What is?”

“To make it last. I once thought that happiness of that sort was built on dreams. But I was wrong. It’s built on good common sense and understanding. Any woman can make a success of marriage, and all of her married life if she uses her head. It’s one thing for a woman to make a man fall in love with her before marriage; it’s something entirely different to keep him in love with her after. But you’ll make a success of it. You needn’t worry.”

Cariotta smoothed her gown and asked for a cigarette. When it was lighted she said : "You'd make a wonderful husband, Teddy. I wonder if you'll ever marry?”

He smiled. “Very likely I shall. I think I should like to have children. Oldfashioned, isn't it? But I’d like to have a son, just to mold him into the kind of man that I should have liked to have been. Oh, yes, I’ll marry.” He laughed. "Maybe we could have a foursome of bridge some evening. I can't positively guarantee my wife, but I’m not such a bad judge of femininity.”

"Is that an indirect compliment?”

“It’s more direct than you think. I picked one a little too wonderful when I picked you.”

“That’s very nice of you, Teddy,” she said, flushing. "You know, I like you awfully.”

A warm glow of pleasure crept into

Teddy's cheeks. He had made a success of his friendship with her. That was something of which to be proud ; never to forget.

‘T’ve kept you too long,” he said. "We should be getting back. I wonder if Garth has captured the blonde girl?”

“Probably. He’s quite proficient, don’t you think?”

As they rose to leave, a young man entered the library and smiled at them in welcome.

"Hello! I thought I’d find you here.”

He was a thin young man, not unhandsome, with small grey eyes and a pointed chin His face was interesting and clever looking, and he walked with a slight stoop from the waist.

"Teddy and I have been talking, Teddy.” said Cariotta, snubbing out her cigarette. “He rescued me from the most abominable dancer.”

“Do you think he'll have to rescue you again? This is our dance.”

They all laughed. Teddy came over and touched the other man on the shoulder. “Sorry if I kept Cariotta longer than necessary. I’m afraid I overstep my privileges now and again.”

Redvers smiled good-humoredly. “Tosh, old man! You know dashed well I don’t

Teddy said "Thanks,” and smiled at Cariotta. “Better hurry up and dance, you two. Orchestras these days are rather stingy with their music.”

THEY left him, then, with a few words of parting, and he lighted another cigarette. Cariotta was now probably lost to him for the rest of the evening. Well, he had had his few moments with her and he felt happy. He was undecided whether to have a drink or look for someone with whom to dance when Garth made his appearance in the library.

Garth was excited. He was mopping his forehead with a handkerchief and looking very warm.

“Gad!” he muttered, half to himself. “What a woman !”

Teddy asked: “Which one?”

“Sylvia. The one in green. Steer wide of her, old man. She’s poison.”

“You needn't warn me. I’ve seen Sylvia in action before. Tell me your troubles.” Garth sat down on the edge of the chesterfield and thrust his handkerchief up his sleeve.

“Do you know Michael Brown?” he asked. “If you don’t, avoid him. He introduced me to this girl. I danced with her for a time she dances like a nymph and then she murmured something about being warm and suggested we try the night air. I agreed, of course, because it really was warm, and that low beggar, Brown, wasmaking horrible faces at me. We retired to the west verandah and found a seat in a corner. It was dark there very dark! I tried to kiss her.”

“And she promptly slapped your face,” concluded Teddy.

Garth shook his head, wearily. ' Nothing of the kind. She threw her arms about my neck and kissed me back. Passion! The girl is simply bubbling over with it. We sat there for ten minutes, and she let me have it full strength. And then she asked for a cigarette, and I didn't have any, so I went off to look for one, leaving her there alone.” He frowned darkly. ’When I returned she was entwined about the neck of some awful young beggar who looked as frightened as a hare, I tell you, old man, the woman is a she-devil !”

Teddy laughed at his friend’s discomfort. “Poor old Garth ! I suppose you took it for granted that she was madly in love with

Garth made a wry face. “I think I need a drink,” he said. Coming?”

Teddy assented with a nod, and together they made their way to the large room where Mrs. Johnson Wilson-James' second butler and his assistants were doing their

valiant best to supply a surprising number of thirsty mouths with refreshments. A short young man, holding a tall glass in his hand, came up to Teddy and Garth.

“Hello, you two!” he greeted them gaily. “Great party, isn’t it?”

Teddy agreed that it was.

The short young man continued: “Been in here most of the evening myself. Not usual for me, you know, but I had an early dance with Sylvia Monck. Must have a few stimulants after that, you know.” Garth, who had just found himself a drink, lifted his eyebrows in interest. “Charming girl, Miss Monck, isn’t she?” “Urn—yes!” agreed the short young man, as though he was not so sure. “A trifle primitive, if you know what I mean, but charming, of course. Confidentially, she’s out for Jimmie Redvers this evening.” Teddy demanded: “What do you mean?” “Oh, you know Sylvia. She singles out one man at every dance and does her level best to get him. It’s her sporting blood, I suppose. I might say she usually succeeds. Clever girl, that way.”

“And you mean Redvers is the man just

“Ab-so-lutely !”

Garth, finishing his drink, laughed. “The poor girl is barking up the wrong tree. No one could take Jimmie away from Cariotta. He’s too much in love.”

The short young man shrugged. “You underestimate Sylvia’s cleverness. I shouldn’t be at all surprised to see her cop him. Cheerio! See you later, if I’m able to see at all.”

The short young man was gone. Garth looked at Teddy.

“Hope he’s right,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“Why, if this girl gets Redvers, and Cariotta finds out—poof! You’ll be sitting on the golden throne.”

“You’re crazy!”

Garth shook his head in exasperation, looked at his glass, discovered it empty and went back to the bar. Teddy stood alone, frowning.

'T'HE last dance of the evening had ended.

with a great deal of clapping on the part of the dancers who wanted more, and frozen expressions on the part of the musicians who '■toutly refused to give it to them. Mrs. Johnson Wilson-James moved about the ballroom, her face wreathed in a happy smile, for she was in a particularly joyous mood. Her party had been a splendid success. People had enjoyed themselves. Life was very sweet, according to Mrs. Wilson-James.

Teddy stood by the entrance as he had done before, and watched the stream of men and women. And again, as before, a girl passed close to him and he touched her

“Enjoyed yourself, Cariotta?”

He gave a start of surprise. Carlotta’s face was pale and drawn; her eyes misty with tears. Pressed close to her tear-stained cheek was a small handkerchief, a handkerchief which she had twisted into a tiny ball. Her mouth was quivering.

“My stars!” Teddy cried. “What is the matter?”

Her voice was barely audible when she spoke. “Nothing, Teddy. I’m quite all right.”

She walked on, and he followed her. Up the stairs, along the hallway.

“Something has happened. Tell me what it is, Cariotta?”

“Nothing.”

“You’ve been crying.”

“Please! I wish you wouldn't.”

“But I must know.” he pleaded. “You have to tell me.”

They were still walking. She was silent. "Listen, princess! You must tell me What has happened. Don't hide it from me. I want to know.”

They had come opposite the door of the ladies’ dressing room. Cariotta halted and looked at him.

“You remember, Teddy,” she said very slowly, “what you’ve often asked me?” “You mean about marrying me?”

“Yes.” Her voice had almost gone beyond control. “I believe—my answer is ‘yes.’ Telephone me Thursday. I—I must go

“But—” He could not think clearly.

“Promise you won’t wait for me. Promise, Teddy.”

He nodded, confused. “I promise— but—”

She gave a little gasp, almost of pain, and fled into the dressing room. Teddy stood rooted to the spot, his mind a cyclone of thoughts. Something startling had happened, something sudden and unexpected. She had agreed to marry him ! But that was impossible; she didn’t love him. Unless—

He hurried along the hall and ran into Garth.

“Teddy!” exclaimed Garth. “Come into the library with me. Quick !”

He dragged Teddy into the library and sat him on the chesterfield. His face was livid with excitement.

“Listen, old man! You must use your head. You’ll win her if you do.”

“I don’t—”

“Can’t you see? That fellow at the bar was right. Sylvia made good her vow.”

“Y'ou don’t mean—?”

“Exactly! Jimmie walked into her trap. And Cariotta happened to pass the door of the verandah just as Sylvia threw her arms about him. She’ll never forgive him for that. And if you use a little common sense—gad, man, the girl is yours!”

Garth rambled on, but Teddy did not hear. He was frowning deeply. He understood now, perfectly. It was his chance, of course. To marry Cariotta. To have her forever. All those dreams and plans of his come true. He rose slowly to his feet.

“Let’s go home, Garth,” he said.

TEDDY telephoned Carlotta’s home the next day and was told, very politely, that she was not at home. From Monday to Wednesday he received the same answer. In the meantime Garth kept in constant touch with him, advising, cautioning, encouraging.

“Don’t be a fool about this,’ he warned. “You’ve never had such a splendid opportunity as now. Cariotta refuses to see or talk to Redvers, which means that she is taking the affair pretty seriously. It’s now or never for you. I’d be sensible and go right after her.”

Teddy wondered. He might win her, marry her. But then she was in love with Jimmie Redvers. He knew that. After all, a fit of anger was just a fit of anger. It wore off—and then? Regrets and unhappiness and strife.

Yet perhaps Cariotta would come to love him after a time. Perhaps eventually, he would take the place of Jimmie Redvers in her heart. She liked him ; he loved her. He wanted her, more than anything in the world. Why should it be impossible?

He dreamed, as he had always dreamed. He heard people saying: "Well, Teddy Howe wasn’t such a fool after all. And we laughed at him for plodding after Cariotta, so hopelessly we thought. Lord, this world is funny !”

He saw a little chateau in the Loire Valley. He had always wanted a chateau in the Loire Valley, maybe because he had been there once, a long time ago. He saw the blue Mediterranean, too, and the Cape, and the Indies and Florida. He saw himself in all those fascinating places with Cariotta, and perhaps he smiled happily in his sleep. He saw himself in the cities where he had often been alone—Durban, Auckland. Berlin, Budapest—and he found himself saying proudly to the people there whom he knew; “Let me introduce my wife. I’m through, you know, with travelling alone.” On Thursday morning he again telephoned Cariotta, and reached her.

“Will you come to lunch today?” he asked. '‘I’ve invited one or two people to my apartment. Can you make it?”

She asked who the people were, and he mentioned his cousin, Celia, and Garth. She accepted then, and seemed quite gay about it.

At one o’clock his man let her in at the door, and Teddy led her to his small study.

"It’s much cosier in here," he explained. ‘‘May I get you something to drink, princess?”

"No, thanks really, ’ she replied. She looked rather pale and ill, and he thought her eyes were somewhat swollen, but it might have been his imagination.

She sat on the small chesterfield, and he pulled up an easy chair to within a foot of

“You're the first to arrive,” he said. “I’m glad.”

“I am, too,” she said, and smiled at him. “I shouldn't have accepted if there had been a crowd. Celia and Garth, they’re different.”

Teddy offered her a cigarette and she accepted. As she lighted it, he looked at her.

“I wanted you here first, princess, because I have something to say.”

She jerked her head nervously. He noticed that and frowned.

“You're not happy, are you?” he asked. She said: “Why not? Happiness was made for me.”

"It was. I'll always say that."

"Well, then, I'm happy. I feel lively, too. I expect you to take me dancing this evening.”

He wanted to take her in his arms. He wondered if she would allow him. It was a long time since he had kissed Cariotta. He would never forget those kisses; never forget the softness of her hair against his cheek. That had been before Jimmie Redvers’ time—how many million years ago?

"I’d like to take you dancing,” he said, and then added, "forever.”

T_TE SAW her head jerk again. And then 4 4 she smiled.

“My promise holds good, Teddy. I don’t regret it. Perhaps you can give me the happiness that you said was made for me.” "Yes; I could give you some sort of happiness.” He paused. ”1 hope I’ve always given you that.”

He rose to his feet, lighted a cigarette and stood over the fireplace, his eyes on the

‘Tm a queer duck,” he murmured. "I can’t understand myself at times. I'd love to marry you. But I shan’t.”

“I don't understand, Teddy.”

He smiled wistfully. "It's just my crazy idea of things, I suppose. Remember what I said about common sense and understanding?”

"Yes."

“You didn't listen to me.” He looked at the tip of his cigarette. “You couldn't have, or else things wouldn't be the way they are. Maybe it's because you're in lova. People in love are often blind to realities.” He flicked the ash from his cigarette.

“I lived for a time in a village called Trenville, some way out of Lyons. There was a girl in the village, a pretty little thing, who was madly in love with a young saddler in a place near by. He was in love with her, and they were very happy. Then one night the girl strolled along the river bank, and found her young saddler in the arms of a cheap actress from a provincial troupe. She was crazy with anguish and despair. In the morning they found her body in the river. The young saddler never got over it. If she had waited, there might have heen some explanation. But she didn't, you see, and what might have ended in happiness ended in tragedy and death.”

"Teddy, why are you telling me this?”

His eyes remained on the grate. "You came to me feeling miserable. You were angry. t(x>, and didn’t care. You said you

would marry me.” He smiled. “Princess, you didn’t really mean that.”

He turned to look at her, and found that she had covered her face with her hands. He bit his lip.

"I could have jumped at the chance. I wanted to—oh, how much! But I didn't. And you're going to thank me for it, later on. Don't you see, princess, you made a mistake? Jimmie loves you. There was an explanation but you wouldn’t listen. You lost your common sense.”

He came and sat down beside her and lifted her head. She was crying.

He said, very softly: "Listen, princess, and try to understand. That awful little blonde girl deliberately snared Jimmie. It was her boast to catch him. You saw them together, and in your blindness you saw the worst. But you must have faith in him, Cariotta. You’re going to marry him. You’ve got to have faith in him, don’t you see? And he’s worthy of it. He loves you, and always will. Dry your eyes, princess; you're going to be happy.”

She buried her face against his chest. He felt her soft hair touching his chin, her warm ai*ns about his neck. For the moment his generosity almost deserted him. His fists clenched, his eyes grew misty.

He raised her head gently. “Please—give me a smile, old girl. Just one.”

She looked up and tried bravely to smile. He grasped her shoulders firmly.

“You’ll go back to Jimmie, won’t you? You'll never regret it. And you’ll wear spectacles next time. Good girl !”

The doorbell rang. He rose to his feet, and smiled down at her although his lips were twitching. She leaned out and took his two hands in hers.

"I think," she said, her voice full with emotion, “that you're awfully near my idea of God, Teddy!”

He left the room hurriedly. His eyes were red and smarting, and somehow he could not swallow right. His man had just greeted Jimmie Redvers at the door. Redvers’ face was lined with anxiety.

Teddy held out his hand. “Everything’s fine.” he said, chokingly. “She’s in my study now. Good luck to you, old man !” Redvers grasped his hand. “Teddy, I'll never forget this.”

He hurried past, and Teddy looked at his man.

"My hat quickly, Refiles. I’m going out.” His hat was brought, and Teddy left the apartment. As he stepped into the elevator, he smiled a little wistfully to himself. Cariotta would be with Jimmie by now. She would be happy. Funny that he was happy, too. Those last words of hers —a man could go through hell with those in his heart. Life was rather wonderful, after all. There were the ugly episodes, of course, but they were always swallowed up by the beautiful ones. Episodes like Cariotta.

He would marry some day. He would have a son, and maybe that son of his would marry a girl like his princess. Something to look forward to, that.

UROM the window of the St. Peter's Club. Colonel Michael Johns and Doctor Hilary Curd saw him pass. They watched him with interest.

"Doesn't kxik very sad for a rejected suitor,” commented the colonel.

Doctor Curd regarded his cigar thoughtfully. “I wonder," he murmured, "if many successful suitors find the same happiness in life that young Howe docs." He sighed. "So few of us appreciate the real goodness of life. We’re a blind world of people." "Drink?'

"Righto; thanks.”