THE POSSUM HUNTERS



cess. Gladly he would exchange all of the per-
sonal gain, the esteem of those he had led to vic-
tory, the acclaim which was given for success,
all, he would exchange it gladly, could he but
establish the condition of his desire in the loss
-his home.
  But what were those conditions of his desire
His conscience asked as mentor. What individual
characters did his brain flash on the screen of
truth when his pictured "home" was drawn from
fancy Whose face smiled up to him in the lead-
ing role Was it Caroline's No. Truthfully
he answered. Then who
  He was a just man, an honorable man; so he
accepted this reverse as a just and honorable re-
ward of fate. He had paid the price; he would
not complain. He had not heeded the warning,
the warning given by Beatrice Herron. He could
remember her very words, "within one year"; yet
for that very forecast he had ordered her from
him: "within one year."
  God, how swift is justice.
  What of the future Would he find ways to
make amends for his blind ruling Would the
years yet to come bring opportunity to pray for-
giveness 
  Yes. By the Eternal God of light and life; yes.
He would search for that one, he would go to her
about whom his dreams were built, he would find
her, and with a life long gladness win the heart,
and hand, and brain, and soul of
  He heard a noise, a movement of someone in
the doorway leading to his father's room, he re-
membered that his father had asked him to leave
the door open, he had wondered why at the mo-
ment though had quickly forgotten it; could his
father have heard all he said to Caroline He
turned, he startled, he was surprised, though



873