Y anybody wants it. It's a poky little place. But--well, it doesn't
matter about the house. I called up some people to-day who have been
wanting one in this neighborhood and I'm practically sure they'll take
it." "But--you and Chris--" "We have separated, Clay. At least, Chris
has gone. There's a long story behind it. I'm not up to telling it
to-night. And this money will end part of it. That's all I'm going to
tell about the money. It's a small sum, isn't it, to break up a family!"
"Why, it's absurd! It's--it's horrible, Audrey." "Oh, it isn't the
money. That's a trifle. I just had to have it quickly. And when I
learned I needed it of course the banks were closed. Besides, I fancy
Chris had to have all there was." Clayton was puzzled and distressed. He
had not liked Chris. He had hated his cynicism, his pose of
indifference. His very fastidiousness had never seemed entirely genuine.
And this going away and taking all Audrey's small reserve of money--
"Where is he?" "I don't know. I believe on his way to Canada." "Do you
mean--" "Oh, no, he didn't steal anything. He's going to enlist in the
Canadian army. Or he said so when he left." "Look here, Audrey, you
can't tell me only part of the story. Do you mean to say that Chris has
had a magnificent impulse and gone to fight? Or that he's running away
from something?" "Both," said Audrey. "I'll tell you this much, Clay.
Chris has got himself into a scrape. I won't tell you about that,
because after all that's his story. And I'm not asking for sympathy. If
you dare to pity me I'll cry, and I'll never forgive you." "Why didn't
he stay and face it like a man? Not leave you to face it." "Because the
only person it greatly concerned was myself. He didn't want to face me.
The thing that is driving me almost mad is that he may be killed over
there. Not because I love him so much. I think you know how things have
been. But because he went to--well, I think to reinstate himself in my
esteem, to show me he's a man, after all." "Good heavens, Audrey. And
you went through dinner with all this to bear!" "I've got to carry it
right along, haven't I? You know how I've been about this war, Clay.
I've talked and talked about wondering how our men could stay out of it.
So when the smash came, he just said he was going. He would show me
there was some good stuff in him still. You see, I've really driven him
to it, and if he's killed--" A surge of resentment against the absent
man rose in Clayton Spencer's mind. How like the cynicism of Chris's