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Out Of The Night
by [?]

“There is but one remedy for your complaint.” Doctor Suydam settled deeper into his chair. “Marry the girl.”

“That is the only piece of your professional advice I ever cared to follow. But how?”

“Any way you can–use force if necessary–only marry her. Otherwise I predict all sorts of complications for you–melancholia, brain-fag, bankruptcy–“

Austin laughed. “Could you write me a prescription?”

“Oh, she’ll have you, Bob. You don’t seem to realize that you are a good catch.”

Austin finished buckling his puttee before rising to his full height. “That doesn’t mean anything to her. She doesn’t need to make a catch.”

“Nonsense! She’s just like all the others, only richer and nicer. Go at her as if she were the corn-market; she won’t be half so hard to corner. You have made a name for yourself, and a blamed sight more money than you deserve; you are young–comparatively, I mean.”

The elder man stroked his shock of iron-gray hair for answer.

“Well, at any rate you are a picturesque personage, even if you can’t wear riding-clothes.”

“Doesn’t a man look like the devil in these togs?” Austin posed awkwardly in front of a mirror.

“There’s only one person who can look worse in riding-clothes than a man–that’s a woman.”

“What heresy, particularly in a society doctor! But I agree with you. I learned to ride on her account, you know. As a matter of fact, I hate it. The sight of a horse fills me with terror.”

Doctor Suydam laughed outright at this. “She tells me that you have a very good seat.”

“Really!” Austin’s eyes gleamed suddenly. “You know I never had a chance to ride when I was a youngster–in fact, I never had an opportunity to do anything except work. That’s what makes me so crude and awkward. What I know I have picked up during the last few years.”

“You make me tired!” declared the former. “You aren’t–“

“Oh, I don’t skate on waxed floors nor spill tea, nor clutch at my chauffeur in a tight place, but you know what I mean. I feel lonesome in a dress-suit, a butler fills me with gloom, and–Well, I’m not one of you, that’s all.”

“Perhaps that’s what makes a hit with Marmion. She’s used to the other kind.”

“It seems to me that I have always worked,” ruminated the former speaker. “I don’t remember that I ever had time to play, even after I came to the city. It’s a mighty sad thing to rob a boy of his childhood; it makes him a dull, unattractive sort when he grows up. I used to read about people like Miss Moore, but I never expected to know them until I met you. Of course, that corn deal rather changed things.”

“Well, I should rather say it did!” Suydam agreed, with emphasis.

“The result is that when I am with her I forget the few things I have done that are worth while, and I become the farm-hand again. I’m naturally rough and angular, and she sees it.”

“Oh, you’re too sensitive! You have a heart like a girl underneath that saturnine front of yours, and while you look like the Sphinx, you are really as much of a kid at heart as I am. Where do you ride to-day?”

“Riverside Drive.”

“What horse is she riding?”


The doctor shook his head. “Too many automobiles on the Drive. He’s a rotten nag for a woman, anyhow. His mouth is as tough as a stirrup, and he has the disposition of a tarantula. Why doesn’t she stick to the Park?”

“You know Marmion.”

“Say, wouldn’t it be great if Pointer bolted and you saved her life? She couldn’t refuse you then.”

Austin laughed. “That’s not exactly the way I’d care to win her. However, if Pointer bolted I’d probably get rattled and fall off my own horse. I don’t like the brutes. Come on, I’m late.”

“That’s right,” grumbled the other, “leave me here while you make love to the nicest girl in New York. I’m going down to the office and amputate somebody.”