"Harry," said my wife, the morning of the day of our projected house-warming, "there's one thing you must get me."

"Well, Princess?"

"Well, you know you and I don't care for wine and don't need it, and can't afford it, but I have such a pretty set of glasses and decanters, and you must get me a couple of bottles just to set off our table for celebration."

Immediately I thought of Bolton's letter, of what he had told me of the effect of wine upon his senses at Hestermanns dinner table. I knew it must not be at ours, but how to explain to my wife without compromising him! At a glance I saw that all through the future my intimacy with Bolton must be guided and colored by what I knew of his history, his peculiar struggles and temptations, and that not merely now, but on many future occasions I should need a full understanding with my wife to act as I should be obliged to act. I reflected that Eva and I had ceased to be two and had become one, that I owed her an unlimited confidence in those respects where my actions must involve her comfort, or wishes, or coöperation.

"Eva, darling," I said, "you remember I told you there was a mystery about the separation of Bolton and Caroline."

"Yes, of course," said she, wondering, "but what has this to do with this wine question?"

"A great deal," I said, and going to my desk I took out Bolton's letter and put it into her hand. "Read that my dear and then tell me what to do." She took it and read with something of the eagerness of feminine curiosity while I left the room for a few moments. In a little while she came after me and laid her hand on my arm.

"Harry, dear," she said "I'll stand by you in this thing. His secret shall be sacred with me, and I will make a safe harbor for him where he may have a home without danger. I want our house to seem like a home for him."

"You are an angel, Eva."

"Well, Harry, I must say I always have had conscience about offering wine to some young men that I knew ought to keep clear of it, but it never occurred to me in regard to such a grave noble man as Bolton."

We never know who may be in this danger. It is a diseased action of the nervous system—often inherited—a thing very little understood, like the tendency to insanity or epilepsy. But while we know such things are, we cannot be too careful.

"I should never have forgiven myself, Harry, if I had done it."

"The result would have been that Bolton would never have dined with us again, he is resolute to keep entirely out of all society where this temptation meets him."

"Well, we don't want it, don't need it, and won't have it. Mary makes magnificent coffee and that's even so much better. So that matter is settled, Harry, and I'm ever and ever so glad you told me. I do admire him so much! There is something really sad and noble in his struggle."

"Many a man with that temptation who fails often exercises more self-denial, and self-restraint, than most Christians," said I.

"I'm sure I don't deny myself much. I generally want to do just what I do," said Eva.

"You always want to do all that is good and generous," said I.

"I think, on the whole," said Eva, reflectively, "my self-denial is in not doing what other people want me to. I'm like Mrs. Quickly. I want to please everybody. I wanted to please mamma and Aunt Maria."

"And came very near marrying a man you couldn't love purely to oblige people."

"If you hadn't rescued me," she said, laughing. "But now, Harry, really I want some little extravagance about our dinner. So if we don't have wine, buy the nicest of grapes and pears, and I will arrange a pretty fruit piece for the center of the table."

"My love, I will get you all the grapes and pears you want."

"And my little Ruth has sent me in this lovely tumbler of apple jelly. You see I held sweet council with her yesterday on the subject of jelly-making, where I am only a novice, and hers is splendid; literally now, splendid, for see how the light shines through it! And do you think the generous little Puss actually sent me in half a dozen tumblers."

"What a perfect saint!" said I.

"And I am to have all the flowers in her garden. She says the frost will take them in a day or two if we don't. Harry, next summer we must take lessons of her about our little back yard. I never saw so much made of so little ground."

"She'll be only too delightful," said I.

"Well, now, mind you are home at five. I want you to look the house over before your friends come, and see if I have got everything as pretty as it can be."

"Are they to "process" through the house and see your blue room, and your pink room, and your guest chamber, and all?"

"Yes. I want them to see all through how pretty the rooms are, and then sometimes, perhaps, we shall tempt them to stay all night."

"And sleep in the chamber that is called Peace," said I, "after the fashion of Pilgrim's Progress."

"Come, Harry, begone. I want you to go, so as to be sure and come back early."

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