It was one thing or the other. Yet it might be neither. There was a disquieting alternative. No doubt the message disposed of the delicate affair for good and all in ten terse words. The maid had made up her mind; she had disclosed it in haste: that was all. It might be, however, that the dispatch conveyed news of a more urgent content. It might be that the maid lay ill-that she called for help and comfort. In that event, thing could excuse the reluctance of the man who should decline an instant passage of Scalawag Run with the pitiful appeal. True, it was t inviting-a passage of Scalawag Run in the wet, gray wind, with night flowing in from the sea.