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It was a warm. wet night on board the
steamer Augusta, and young ilioreton. last
of the f7aSSL‘ll;:('I‘S on deck. flung his cigarette
ovcrsldo and walked forward to the bows
where the fol: came flowing in in dripping
banks, and the lookout stood like an oil-
sklnned statue peering into the impenetra-
ble gloom. ' . . .
After a moment he turned. walkcd.rap-
idly back along the deck. and entered the
stateroom. His face was haggard and whito
as he switched on the electric light. But his
jaw was set ilrmly. u %
Ila sat down to perfect his plans. There
must be no slip. lle would wait until he was
certain the last night-lmwk among tho pas-
sengers had retired. Then it was but 2 step
to the rail. lie could watch his chance when
no dockhand or - steward was near. and
quietly slip over. '
Ile glanced about his stateroom‘. Every-
thing was as he chose to leave it. lie vras
not trying to hide his identity. Ila had
given his right name to the puts:-r when ho
came aboard. and he had no doubt there
were detectives already waiting for the
Well, he would disappoint them. Out-
side the sh1'p‘s hell struck the hour. and
Moreton drew a deep breath and aroso.
This was the end. His heart hammered in
his chest. and his hand shook as he opened
his stateroom-door. but he did not hesitate.
Ila reached the rail. placed his hands on
the top. and crouched to vanlt>
Then. like a reprieve to a. man on the scaf-
fold. came a wild yell from the bow of the
boat. and with somethin like a sob Moro-
ton let his hands fall. There were answering
shouts from the bridge while he stood sha-
ldng in the shadow of the superstructure.
He thought himself discovcrtil.
The vibrant pulsations of the engines
ceased. and began again reversed. but the
great boat. plowed forward still. On the
bridge an officer blared profanely through a.
L Men beimn to appear on deck.
New 8-Tone Mears Ear P
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stewards, deckhands. a passenger or two.
Morcton. waking as from sleep. realized that
disaster of some sort was imminent.
Then crashing. the ship struck. kround
forward rasvlmzly. Carcened to starboard.
and stopped. Moreton, flung headlong by
the shock, found himself clutching wildly
with both hands. every instinct of self-
preservation fiercely alert. ,
singularly enough. the first collected
thought he had was of the exact location ofa
rack full of life-prcscrvers. lie snatched one
down and bnekl it about his chest. Only
when ho had tinished tho Job and stood en-
cased in the saving cork did the facts of his
situation como back.
Forty raving men had followed his exam-
ple, and were lighting viciously for the life-
prrservcrs. Hero and there were wome
for the most part calmer than the rum.
whether from sheer fright or better nerve it
were hard to say. One stepped up to Moro-
tan as he stood fingering the straps of the
"What is it?" she asked.
"We're aground." answered Morcton.
"They're lowering the boats." .
He pointed to a group or men struzzzlmz
tranu'cally about an olllrer who was vainly
trying to drive them back.
“ on there is danger." said the girl.
','Are we in
server?" , V . .
She spoke hurriedly, but with perfect sell‘-
posscssion. and even in that moment of terri-
fying ' Moreton found an instant
to admire her steady command of herself.
"You,may have this one," he said. pull-
ing the thing all‘. "I -- I don't need it my.
“I don't like to take yours," said the girl;
but he was already buckling it about her.
Perhaps five minuts had passed since the
first shock of the mtastrophe, five minutes
of wild commotion. yells. orders. confusion,
tho rush of panic-stricken folk: then the
steamer slid gently back from the rocks and
instantly began to settle by the head. Ono
boat was launched and swamped. before it
could clear the side. by the crowd of men
who leaped into it.’ Morcton turned to the
girl, who stood looking anxiously about her.
"Do you swim?" he a: '
“Not well." she answered. “I can make
out, though. with this;" and sho indicated
"Come on,‘ then." he said.
time to lose.
Already the water was lapping at the
deck. He helped her mount the rail. and to-
gether they leaped into the sea. and struck
out from the wrcck.- he fog enveloped
them instantly. ’
iiloreton kept his left hand on the girl's
shoulder. lest they become separated; and
-5 in. such. on-in you (B515
ants lri.co.Dapi- cu CM-n
even with the support given by the iifo-pro-
g 4 THE ,.;REPRlEVE ‘
nr rnrnrnicx‘ XVALWORTH nizownq
“Can you tell me where I can get 3 life-pro-,
scrver, his right arm soon became wearied,
lie was not a strong swimmer at best. and
hampered with shoes and clothing ho rap-
idly became exllaustcd. Tho Limo came
when his arm felt numb and helpless, and
they were making no progress whatever.
“I think you'll have to go on alone,” he
managed to gasp.
. >"Put your hands on my shoulders," she
answered. "I can keep us both up for a
while." ‘ .
As his weight came on her back the girl
began a steady paddling with both hands,
and this. with tho buoyancy of the preserver,
kept both their heads above water until
hloreton was somewhat rested.
Ile then had the girl take hold of his coat:
and swimming with both hands towed her
on -until he tired once more. In this way
alternately swimming and resting. he mm;
for the sound of breakers, which came inter-
mittently to them through the fog, Um.
mately they felt the lift of a. larger wave
which seemed to rise beneath them. carr;
them forward on its crest and pass'on before
them. Another followed, and another and
then 'Moreton‘s feet touched bottom,’ and
a. moment later he was dragging the ex.
hausted girl up a. rocky bench,
Shaking with cold, she leaned heavily on
his arm, and when they had gained a pom‘;
well above the reach of the waves, he told
her to wait there while he tried to and 3,
house. It proved a perfectly hopeless quest
in the fog. Ile stumbled almost immediately
among trees and hrushwood, and arm. mu
minutes blind wandering, returned to me
girl, where she crouched out of the wind in
a crevice of the rocks. Protected from the
Wind. 1119)’ began to’ feel more comfortable
after a time, and Moreton flnauy induced
the girl to lie down and try to sleep,
113 Y0!’ 1115 Dart sat with his back avainst
a rounded rock and thought cyuicallyaor his
position. He wondered with some sense of
lgnonilny. what he should have done had he
achieved his original intention and slipped
overboard unseen in the fog, Xvould he have
drowned, or would he cravenly have swum
And then suddenly, as he sat. camo to him
the full solution of his difficulty. It was 5311;.
plicity itself. Ilo had but to vanish now and
hi‘? future Was rcasonably secure. If he
were not found among the survivors. in.
qulry would cease. ' ,
With the swlftness of desperation, Coupled
with the liveliest hope. his mind were a fab.
1'10 0! plans. He could hide in these woods
behind until his heard was grown. It was
Summer. and he could find sufficient to eat
one way or another. Then he would go west
or south. it malterwl Little where. He could
start fresh. lie arose to his feet.
‘‘“'hat is it?" asked the girl's voice the
instant he moved. ‘
Moreton came back to the present and sat
down again with the feeling that fate was
playing with him. Of course he could not
leave her here alone. miles. it might be, from
a. house. And yet if he stayed with her
until dayll,':ht. her description would serve
to identify him. and the pursuit would again
8 on. A -
The girl, unable to sleep, moved rest-
lcssly. and seemed inclined to talk.
‘They worried through the long hours
until daylight, talking of the wreck and
speculating on the loss of life, or sitting In
silence watching the cast for signs of day.
With the first glow of light he helped her
rise. and they started along the shore. The
fog continued thick, so that their surround-
ings were hidden and they walked, as it
were. in the center of :2. curtalned room
which traveled with them.
They had made perhaps two miles thus
before the increasing power of the sun began
to dispel the fog and open out the land and
sea before them. '
g On their right then they discovered a
forest of pine coming down to the edge of the
rocky shore. On the left lay the sea, undis-
turbed by any sign of the night's disaster.
“There's nothing for it but to push on."
said hloreton. "We ought to strike a villago
The sun dried their clothing and warmed
them through. They presently came upon a
trickle of water. and followed it back to a
spring high up among the rocks on‘ the edge
of the forest. and here rested-a. while. ‘It
crest of a wooded point and saw below them,
and not half a mile away, a river and a clus-
ter of houses on the bank. V
The Kiri was weak with fatigue and hun-
gcr and leaned heavily on )Ioreton‘s arm as
she stumbled along. At sight of the village
he stopped short.
"I've something to tell you before we go
any further." he said. as though this were
part of a plan he had worked out in his own
Concluded on third page of cover .
was nearing noon when they ascended the .
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