. . . . . . . .
The next morn-ing a pas-sen-ger car drawn by the fast-est en-gine of the “Il-li-nois Cen-tral Rail-road” rolled out from Chi-ca-go, and took some gen-tle-men straight to Spring-field to tell Mr. Lin-coln of his nom-i-na-tion, though, of course, the news had been sent there by wire the night be-fore.
“Oh, she was beautiful, Bud, with that silky hair that ’ud make a thoroughbred filly’s look coarse as sheep’s wool, an’ two mischief-lovin’ eyes an’ a heart that was all gold. Bud—Bud”—and there was a huskiness in the old man’s voice—“I know I can tell you because it will never come back to me ag’in, but I love that Kathleen now as I did then. A man may marry many times, but he can never love but once. Sometimes it’s his fust wife, sometimes his secon’, an’ often it’s the sweetheart he never got—but he loved only one of ’em the right way, an’ up yander, in some other star, where spirits that are alike meet in one eternal wedlock, they’ll be one there forever.
“Well, I’m glad to have seen his picture after all these years,” he said; and on the
"True, though, in a way, isn't it?" Arthur said. "Truer than you guess, because I had known that it might kill him if he had a great shock. I'd even said so to Hubert, a few days ago—Sunday, I think it was. But I'd forgotten it. When I was telling him that I meant to go and take Eleanor with me whatever he did, I never once considered that it might be too much for him. And that was criminal carelessness in a medical man. I've been thinking about it more or less ever since."
"Well, I'm perfectly free, you know," Arthur said, and instantly realised that he had said the forbidden thing. They could not bear that admission of bondage in a full company.
He opened his helmet and tossed it aside. Dead already, he could lose nothing by making himself comfortable for dying. He shivered. The chill of infection? No, the night was cool. He looked about him in the light of the sky of stars. The fields were below him, rustling in a million private conversations as the breeze filtered through them. It was a lovely place to die, here on the crest of a hill.
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