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By FANNY KEMBLE JOHNSON Author of "They Both Needed It," "The Master of his Fate," etc.

Illustrations by George Wright

WILD, soft rush as of some one sliding down the baluster-rail, a faint whir as of quail rising from green coverts, a presence not to be ignored in the door


Hobson, taking his afternoon ease on the porch, threw Mrs. Roderick Ivor, his hostess, and third cousin on the mother's side, a glance of pained astonishment as he rose to greet her niece Bina, his fourth cousin, also on the mother's side.

"Why, this is a pleasant surprise, Bina," said Hobson, gloomily. "I thought you would n't be here before August. You've grown a lot. I suppose you still think you want to be a trained nurse, hey?"

Bina was seventeen. She possessed to overflowing all the glow, the color, the music, of that incomparable age. She came forward and put out her hand with a touching mixture of womanly assurance and girlish timidity.

"How do you do, Cousin Hobson?" said Bina, with the utmost propriety.

Hobson proffered his nice, comfortable chair to Bina. He seemed about to cry. He was reflecting on the fact that he, a poor, city-distracted genealogist, had come to Cedarcliff hoping to find there peace and quiet wherein to complete his great work, "The Harrison Family."

"Pen 's crazy to see you, Bina," it came to him to say; "I believe he 's down by the creek hunting you up."

"Oh," cried Bina, eagerly, "did you bring little Pen with you, Cousin Hob?"

She turned her face, brimming with color and light, on them for a brief moment as she ran down the steps. Her smooth hand shone rosy in the sunlight as she flung it up to hail Cousin Hob's little boy.

He came tearing, almost as vivid a thing as Bina herself, all red cheeks,

bronze curls, and naked brown legs and arms. Hobson and Kathy watched him. embracing Bina with rapture, two creatures of deeper kin than that created by simple family ties. After a long moment of suspense for Hobson, little Pen drew Bina toward the creek. She threw them a longing glance as she went. She loved to talk with Cousin Hobson; but how sweetly she went to play with Cousin Hobson's little boy instead!

Hobson grinned, and sank back in his nice, comfortable chair with a sigh of relief mingled with apprehension.

"I'll have your writing things taken to the office," said Bina's thoughtful Aunt Kathy.

"What good would that do?" asked Hobson. Still, he considered the suggestion, and said presently, "Well-suppose you do, Kath."

Kathy said soothingly:

"Poor old Hob! But never mind; she won't be here next summer to upset you." Hobson sat erect.

"Do you mean that her mother has consented to let that child enter a hospital?" Kathy nodded.

"An innocent child-it 's indecent. It should n't be allowed."

"Oh, goodness, Hobson!" cried Kathy.

"MAY I come in?" asked Bina next morning.

Hobson, from his place at Ivor's desk in the ancient, octagonal brick office near the creek, blinked up at the peeping brightness that was Bina's face; then he leaned back and removed his eye-glasses.

"Have you got me in the book?" asked Bina, advancing joyously.

"Could I keep you out of it?" asked Cousin Hobson, with the deadliest pessimism.

"Oh, do show me!" cried Bina. "Do let me see, Cousin Hob!"

With an ill-considered and desperate gesture he snatched pages and pages of his precious "Harrison Family" (his mother had been a Miss Harrison) out of Bina's grasp. She stood still. The suns clouded over in her gray eyes; her eager hands dropped dead; her color stormed.

Hobson felt like the meanest man he had ever heard of. He pretended to be searching among the sheets he had rescued.

"Here you are," he said, affecting heartiness. "You come in here."

With precision and lucidity he explained the position of the tiny, fluttering leaf which represented Bina on the widespreading Harrison family tree.

He was effusively kind, to make up for having been a brute. Bina immediately. came on in and settled herself among the vine shadows flecking the window-seat.

Past eleven, too late to be of any real assistance, his young cousin, Roderick Ivor, Jr., wandered by with his new setter pup, and, in response to an imploring glance from Hobson, invited Bina to come and play with the pup. Hobson looked after them as he settled the glasses back on his fine Roman nose.

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"Why don't you let old Hob alone?"

"But I love to talk to persons older than myself," said Bina. "All my best friends are older than myself. My very best girl friend is thirty-six years old."

"I would n't bother Hob too much, though," said Roddy, staring. "He came down here to be quiet, you know, and finish his genealogy."

Roddy's tone evinced that respect for literature, as applied to family history, proper to his twenty years.

"Did you ever know," asked Bina, not appearing to hear a word Roddy said, "that we had a doctor in our family, oh, about two hundred years ago, who kept a private graveyard for his patients?"

"Hob 's stringing you."

"He 's not. He showed it to me in the book. It was really all right. Persons. came to him in their carriages from a hundred miles around. And when they died, as of course some of them did, he just used to bury them in his graveyard to save their families a whole lot of trouble. You can see for yourself that it would, Roddy-in those days."

"All I say is," said Roddy, "that, relative or no relative, no doctor with a private graveyard could ever have had my patronage."

Bina continued enthusiastically:

"And we had another doctor, an awfully young one, who cut off a man's leg when there was n't the least need of it just because he was perfectly crazy to try a fine set of instruments he 'd won for a prize. He told the man about it a long time afterward, and they both thought it a great joke."

"I hope," said Roddy, in his best elderbrother manner, "that you did n't think it a great joke, Bina?"

"No-just a 1-little one," murmured Bina, with a deprecating, sidewise glance. She struggled with laughter.

"Bina," said Roddy, -twin elder brothers could not have said it more gravely or affectionately,-"you are a splendid girl, but you are too flippant about serious things. I don't like it in you." He stooped, picking up a stick and throwing it for the puppy to bring.

Bina appeared rebuffed. They walked along in silence. Presently Roddy looked at her. She met the look with an eager, wistful smile.

"But I've no business preaching to you," said Roddy, coloring a bit. "It's just because you are splendid, and I think the world of you, that I 've got the nerve to do it." He added, sniffing, "Smells good, does n't it?”

Delectable odors were floating toward them from the kitchen, where Miss Lizzie, the housekeeper at Cedarcliff these twenty years, sampled a kettle of blackberry-jam. Roddy's sister Mary sat in a stately pose on a flour barrel and stirred and stirred.

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