74 Ashes of Incense

this particular case, Mrs. Sargent, I seem to be the only one wh0’s ready t0 employ it. \Ve are —you and your husband and Paula and I——danc- ing on a volcano, whose top is apt to fly 0H at any moment.”

“A volcano?” The White childish brow wrin- kled in bewilderment. ‘Tm afraid I don’t un- derstand, Mr. Templeivaite.”

“Pm afraid you do,” said Guy grimly. “I hope you don’t. I don’t know whether or not you love your husband, Mrs. Sargent-—I have neither the desire nor the impertinence to ask— but I (he drew a deep breath) love my wife. And—I-—mean—to—keep—her." His brown face held all the iron pugnacity of man primi- tive.

Dorofée shook her curls into her shining eyes deprecatingly. “But of course you mean to keep her. \Vhy not? Who is to steal her?” Simon, by the bluet bed, ran his pink tongue along his whiskers as though he smiled.

“Nobody,” said Guy Templewaite, through

' closed jaws. “That’s just what I mean, Mrs.

Sargent. I married Paula”-—his sharp face soft- ened indescribably—“she was the sweetest, most unaffected pretty girl I ever saw, when We were married. She wore her hair parted then,” he