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of the dynamo-electric machines to generate current at

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"There was a whole lot of repentance and general misery in the letter. I don't like to think of it overmuch. But it knocked Cottonton flatter than stale beer. Honest. I never saw such a time. I'm no good at telling a yarn, kid. It was something fierce. There was nothing but knots and knots; all diked up and tangles by the mile. And so I had to step in and straighten things out. And--and so, kid, I told the major everything; every scrap of your history, as far as I knew it. All you had told to me. I had to. Now, don't tell me I kicked in. Say I did right, kid. I meant to."

of the dynamo-electric machines to generate current at

"Yes, yes," murmured Garrison blankly. "And--and the major? What--did he say, Jimmie?"

of the dynamo-electric machines to generate current at

"Say? Well, kid, I only wish I had an uncle like that. I only wish there were more folks like those Cottonton folks. I do. Say? Why, Lord, kid, it was one grand hallelujah! Forgive? Say," he finished, thoughtfully eyeing the white-faced, newly christened Garrison, "what have you ever done to be loved like that? They were crazy for you. Not a word was said about your imposition. Not a word. It was all: 'When will he be back?' 'Where is he?' 'Telegraph!' All one great slambang of joy. And me? Well, I could have had that town for my own. And your aunt? She cried, cried when she heard all you had been through. Oh, I made a great press-agent, kid. And the old major-- Oh, fuss! I can't tell a yarn nohow," grumbled Drake, stamping about at great length and vigorously using the lurid silk handkerchief.

of the dynamo-electric machines to generate current at

William C. Dagget was silent--the silence of great, overwhelming joy. He was shivering. "And--and Miss Desha?" he whispered at length.

"Yes--Miss Desha," echoed Drake, planting wide his feet and contemplating the other's bent head. "Yes, Miss Desha. And why in blazes did you tell her you were married, eh?" he asked grimly. "Oh, you thought you were? Oh, yes. And you didn't deny it when you found it wasn't so? Oh, yes, of course. And it didn't matter whether she ate her heart out or not? Of course not. Oh, yes, you wanted to be clean, first, and all that. And she might die in the meantime. You didn't think she still cared for you? Now, see here, kid, that's a lie and you know it. It's a lie. When a girl like Miss Desha goes so far as to-- Oh, fuss! I can't tell a yarn. But, see here, kid, I haven't your blood. I own that. But if I ever put myself before a girl who cared for me the way Miss Desha cares for you, and I professed to love her as you professed to love Miss Desha, than may I rot--rot, hide, hair, and bones! Now, cuss me out, if you like."

"You're right, Jimmie. I should have stood my ground and taken my dose. I should have written her when I discovered the truth. But--I couldn't. I couldn't. Listen, Jimmie, it was not selfishness, not cowardice. Can't you see? Can't you see? I cared too much. I was so unworthy, so miserable. How could I ever think she would stoop to my level? She was so high; I so horribly low. It was my own unworthiness choking me. It was not selfishness, Jimmie, not selfishness. It was despair; despair and misery. Don't you understand?"

"Oh, fuss!" said Drake again, using the lurid silk handkerchief. Then he laid his hand on the other's shoulder. "I understand," he said simply. There was silence. Finally Drake wiped his face and cleared his throat.

"And now, with your permission, we'll get down to tacks, Mr. William C. Dagget--"

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