Murchison sat on the oak settle, opened the envelope, and drew out the paper with its familiar crest.

“My dear Fellow,—Being a hearty admirer of your wife’s management of your health, I, a ridiculous bachelor, presume to afflict you with medicine of my own, gratis. 杭州按摩披肩I send you half a dozen bottles of Martinez’s 1887, as good a port as you will find in any cellar. I know that you are an abstemious beggar, but take the stuff for the tonic it is, and drink to an ‘incomparable’ wife’s health. The wine has purpled me out of the gray dumps on many an occasion. Not that you 杭州水疗中心 will need it, sir, for such a disease. Chivalry forbid! Yours ever,

“Porteus Carmagee.”

“P. S.—Gage is smuggling this over for me in the car.”

Murchison read the letter through as though this eccentric but lovable gentleman had written to bully him on behalf of some injured client. Six bottles of Martinez’s 1887, plumped by this dear old blunderer into Kate’s haven of refuge! Had Murchison believed in the personal existence of the devil, he would have imagined that the Spirit of Evil had bewitched the innocent heart of Mr.杭州夜网最新地址 Porteus Carmagee. Good God! what a frail fool he was that such a thing should have the least significance for him! James Murchison scared by a drug in a bottle! And yet the first impulse that he had was to dash the hamper on the floor, and watch the red juice dye the stones.

He heard his wife singing in her 杭州油压毛推 room above, singing with that tender yet subdued abandonment that goes with a happy heart. He heard the door open, her footstep on the landing.

“James, dear.”

He started as though guilty, and crumpled the letter in his hand.


“Would you


like supper now, and a walk later? There will be a moon.”

“Let us have supper,” he answered back.

“I will come in a minute. Have you seen the sunset? It is grand over the heath.”

She went back into her bedroom, humming some old song, her very happiness hurting the man’s heart. What 杭州水磨 was this lust, this appetite, this thirst in the blood, that it should make him the creature of such a chance? Had he not free will, the self-respecting strength of his own manhood? Strange irony of life that six bottles of choice wine should typify the father’s sins visited upon the children! A scientific platitude! 杭州按摩桑拿网 And yet the thought was pitiful to him, pitiful that the spiritual beauty of a woman’s love could be challenged by such a pathetic thing as this. He had grappled and thrown the passion time on time, and yet it had slunk away to come grinning back to him with open mouth and burning eyes.

He was still sitting on the settle with the letter crumpled in his hand, when Catherine called to him again from her bedroom.

“Do look at the sky, dear, it is wonderful.”

His wife’s innocent happiness stung him with its unconscious 杭州男人放松的地方 pathos. She had conceived this Eden for him, and lo—the serpent was amid the flowers her hands had gathered. He roused himself, picked up the hamper by the cord, and carried it into the little dining-room beyond the hall. Ignorance was bliss for her; knowledge would dash her joyous confidence in a moment. There was no need for her to know; he felt sure of himself, safe with her in such a place. Looking round him a moment, he pushed the hamper under the deep window-seat, where it was hidden by the drapings. Poor Porteus, how little he thought that an asp lurked under the leaves of the vine!