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    Software name: appdown
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      It was a sweet mercy in her to change the subject, and tactful to change it to Charlotte, as if Charlotte were quite an unrelated theme. The cousins vied with each other ever so prettily in telling how beautiful the patient was on her couch of enfeeblement and pain, how her former loveliness had increased, and what new nobility it had taken on. That any such problem overhung her life as that which we had just been weighing, seemed never to have entered their thought, and if they had ever conceived of a passion already conscious between Charlotte and Ferry, they veiled the fact with charming feminine art.It required some time for them to get properly stowed in their new conveyances, as they needed considerable instruction to know how to double their legs beneath them. And even when they knew how, it was not easy to make their limbs curl into the proper positions and feel at home. Frank thought it would be very nice if he could unscrew his legs and put them on the top of the cango, where he was expected to place his boots; and Fred declared that if he could not do that, the next best thing would be to have legs of India-rubber. The cango is a box of light bamboo, with curtains that can be kept up or down, according to one's pleasure. The seat is so small that you must curl up in a way very uncomfortable for an American, but not at all inconvenient for a Japanese. It has a cushion, on which the traveller sits, and the top is so low that it is impossible to maintain an erect position. It has been in use for hundreds of years in Japan, and is not a great remove from the palanquin of India, though less comfortable. The body of the machine is slung from a pole, and this pole is upheld by a couple of coolies. The men move at a walk, and every few hundred feet they stop, rest the pole on their staffs, and shift from one shoulder to the other. This resting is a ticklish thing for the traveller, as the cango sways from side to side, and gives an intimation that it is liable to fall to the ground. It does fall sometimes, and the principal consolation in such an event is that it does not have far to go.

      "Just a moment," Leona said eagerly. "Suppose I deny that. How are you going to prove that I did so?""Keep the doctor to yourself," Maitrank snapped. "I'm all right. See, there is nothing in any of my pockets. My overcoat could not----"

      "If you open the lid," explained the Clockwork man (and at the sound of that human[Pg 162] voice the doctor jumped violently), "you will see certain stops, marked with numbers.""But you were in the house," he said, "disguised as a Spanish woman----"

      "I shall count myself honored," said I, and we went, together and alone.Hmm! yes! I wouldn't have got off my horse and leaned over that box to save the Confederacy. "I thank you, Lieutenant, but I can't stop. If you'll hand me up a jacket and pair of shoes I'll sign for them and go. I don't want a hat, but I reckon I'd as well include shoes, although really,--" I glanced down brazenly at the stirrup-leathers that so snugly hid my naked toes.

      The house was wonderfully quiet; not a sound came from anywhere. The repulsive figure of the man lay there like some new and hideous form of death. Who he was and why he came there Bruce did not dare to think for the present. Perhaps the dark owner of the house had returned; perhaps this was the very man himself. Certainly there was no foul play here, no audacious criminal invasion of the house, seeing that the light in the hall could be seen from the street.

      "I fancy I can see my way to settle this business," he said. "In my early days I saw a deal of the shady side of finance--as a lad I was in the office of one of the very worst of them. I know all about this fellow. He is going to climb down, he is going to take a reasonable rate of interest, and he is going to give your lover time. You can make your mind easy about that."


      But this only pleasantly mystified him. He glanced all over me with a playful eye and said, "You must have a carbine the first time our ordnance-wagon finds us. drop back, now, into the ranks.""Is she alone?"


      MUTSUHITO, MIKADO OF JAPAN. MUTSUHITO, MIKADO OF JAPAN.But the same moment his friend, the cashier, came rushing in. His eyes were gleaming behind his spectacles.


      She hurried down the garden to the green gate. A little way beyond it was a policeman. No escape that way for the present. The garden was all right, but it would be light in two or three hours. There was a yell from the roof, and then a policeman's hoarse roaring, saying that he had "got him." The next time Leona looked out the policeman outside the green gate was gone."Oh, good Lord!--Ned!--Good Lord A'mighty! but this is too absurd. Why, Ned, don't you see that the bottom cause of this trouble isn't--"