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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 353 pages of information about O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921.

An outward-bound shrimp lugger saw the figures on Au Fer reef and came to anchor beyond the shoals.  The Cajan crew rowed up to where Milt Rogers and Crump and the black deckhand were watching by a pool.  The shrimpers listened to the cowman, who had tied the sleeve of his shirt about his bloody head.

“You can get a barge down from Morgan City and take the cows off before the sea comes high,” said Rogers quietly.  “They’re eating the lilies—­and they find sweet water in ’em.  Worlds o’ lilies driftin’ to sea with sweet water in the bulbs!” And he added, watching Crump and the black man who seemed in terror of him:  “I want to get off, too.  I want to see the swamp country where worlds o’ flowers come from!”

He said no more.  He did not even look in the pool where Crump pointed.  He was thinking of that girl of the swamps who had bid him come to her.  But all along the white surf line he could see the green-and-purple plumes of the hyacinth warriors tossing in the breeze—­legion upon legion, coming to die gloriously on Au Fer’s sands.

But first they sent a herald; for in Tedge’s hand, as he lay in the pool, one waxen-leafed banner with a purple spear-point glittered in the sun.

THE URGE

By MARYLAND ALLEN

From Everybody’s

She is now a woman ageless because she is famous.  She is surrounded by a swarm of lovers and possesses a great many beautiful things.  She has more than one Ming jar in the library at her country place; yards upon yards of point de Venise in her top bureau-drawer.  She is able to employ a very pleasant, wholesome woman, whose sole duty it is to keep her clothes in order.

She wears superb clothes—­the last word in richness and the elegance of perfection—­clothes that no man can declaim over, stimulating himself the while with shot after shot of that most insidious of all dope, self-pity.  You see, she earns them all herself, along with the Ming jars, the point de Venise, the country place, and countless other things.  She is the funniest woman in the world—­not in her press-agent’s imagination, but in cold, sober fact.  She can make anybody laugh; she does make everybody.

Night after night in the huge public theatres of the common people; in the small private ones of the commoner rich; in Greek amphitheatres where the laughter rolls away in thunderous waves to be echoed back by distant blue hills; in institutions for the blind; in convalescent wards; everywhere, every time, she makes them laugh.  The day labourer, sodden and desperate from too much class legislation, the ego in his cosmos and the struggle for existence; the statesman, fearful of losing votes, rendered blue and depressed by the unruliness of nations and all the vast multitude of horrors that lie in between—­all of these, all of them, she makes laugh.  She is queen of the profession she has chosen—­unusual for one of her sex.  She is the funniest woman in the world.

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