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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Nine-Tenths.

He turned about laughing.

“What do you think of that for a pesky little animal?”

“Joe!” she cried in her agony.

Joe said nothing, but stared, and a great sob shook him and escaped his lips.

“Myra!!”

He had her in his arms; he kissed her on the lips—­that new kiss, sealing those others.  And the wonderful moment came and went; the moment when two flames leap into one fire; when two lives dashing upon each other blend into one wonderful torrent.  They did not mind the publicity of the place that afternoon; they were quite oblivious of the world.  They were in another realm, breathing another air, treading a different earth.  It was too sacred for words, too miraculous for aught but the beating of their living hearts, the pulse of singing blood, the secret in their brains.  Their years fell away.  They were youth itself, dabbling with the miracles of the world; they were boy and girl, new-created man and woman.  The world was a garden, and they were alone in that garden, and nothing but beauty was in that place.  They had each other to behold and hear and touch and commune with.  That was enough....

“Joe,” said Myra, when the first glory had faded and they were conversing sweetly, “I made up my mind to save you, and I did!”

“Wonderful woman!  And you’re sure now you don’t mind me—­the way I’m constructed in the cranium and all that?”

“I love you, Joe!” She was as happy as a woman could be.

“I’m a powerful idiot, Myra.”

“So am I.”

“Well,” he mused, “you’re taking your chances.  Suppose I go off into another strike or something?”

“I’ll go with you.”

“Myra,” he said, “then let’s go home and tell mother.”

They were as happy as children.  They were well satisfied with the world.  In fact, they found it an amazingly good place.  Every face that passed seemed touched with beauty and high moral purpose, and the slate of wrong and injustice and bitterness had been sponged clean.

“Oh, Myra,” cried Joe, “isn’t it great to know that we have it in us to go plumb loony once in a while?  Isn’t it great?”

And so they made their way home, and walked tiptoe to the kitchen, and stood hand in hand before Joe’s mother.  She wheeled.

“Joe!  Myra!”

Joe gulped heavily.

“I’ve brought you a daughter, mother, the loveliest one I could find!”

Myra sobbed, and started forward—­Joe’s mother grasped her in a tight hug, tears running fast.

“It’s about time, Joe,” she cried, “it’s just about time.”

XIII

THE CITY

Over the city the Spring cast its subtle spell.  The skies had a more fleeting blue and softer clouds and more golden sun.  Here and there on a window-sill a new red geranium plant was set out to touch the stone walls with the green earth’s glory.  The salt breath of the sea, wandering up the dusty avenues, called the children of men to new adventures—­hinted of far countries across the world, of men going down to the sea in ships, of traffic and merchandise in fairer climes, of dripping forest gloom and glittering peaks, of liquid-lisping brooks and the green scenery of the open earth.

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