The Blackened Bag
As it chanced, she did not turn. The hall door opened - the head behind the settee sank
down again. Jack Bailey entered, carrying a couple of logs of firewood.
Dale moved toward him as soon as he had shut the door.
"Oh, things have gone awfully wrong, haven't they?" she said with a little break in her
He put his finger to his lips.
"Be careful!" he whispered. He glanced about the room cautiously.
"I don't trust even the furniture in this house to-night!" he said. He took Dale hungrily in
his arms and kissed her once, swiftly, on the lips. Then they parted - his voice changed to
the formal voice of a servant.
"Miss Van Gorder wishes the fire kept burning," he announced, with a whispered "Play
up!" to Dale.
Dale caught his meaning at once.
"Put some logs on the fire, please," she said loudly, for the benefit of any listening ears.
Then in an undertone to Bailey, "Jack - I'm nearly distracted!"
Bailey threw his wood on the fire, which received it with appreciative crackles and
sputterings. Then again, for a moment, he clasped his sweetheart closely to him.
"Dale, pull yourself together!" he whispered warningly. "We've got a fight ahead of us!"
He released her and turned back toward the fire.
"These old-fashioned fireplaces eat up a lot of wood," he said in casual tones, pretending
to arrange the logs with the poker so the fire would draw more cleanly.
But Dale felt that she must settle one point between them before they took up their game
of pretense again.
"You know why I sent for Richard Fleming, don't you?" she said, her eyes fixed
beseechingly on her lover. The rest of the world might interpret her action as it pleased -
she couldn't bear to have Jack misunderstand.
But there was no danger of that. His faith in her was too complete.