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 All love transports contain an element of the ridiculous, I presume, but to each how very important. I will pass mine over with what I have already said, save this: that each little variation in her costume, however slight, in her coiffure, or the way she looked or walked amid new surroundings, all seemed to re-emphasize the perfection that I had discovered and was so fortunate as to possess. She gave me her photograph, which I framed in silver and hung in my room. I begged for a lock of her hair, and finding a bit of blue ribbon that I knew belonged to her that. She would not allow me to visit at Florissant, where she taught, being bashful about confessing this new relationship, but nevertheless, on several Sundays when she was at her home “up the State” I visited this glorious region, hallowed by her presence, and tried to decide for myself just where she lived and taught—her sacred rooms! A little later an exposition or State Fair was held in the enormous exposition building at Fourteenth and Olive streets, and here, when the Sousa concerts were first on, and later when the gay Veiled Prophets festivities began (a sort of Roman Harvest rejoicing, up with a great parade and ball), I saw more of her than ever before. It was during this time, in a letter, that she confessed that she loved me. Before this, however, seeing that I made no progress in any other way, being allowed no beyond an occasional stolen kiss, I had proposed to her and been accepted with a kind of formalism. I had had to ask her in the most definite way and be formally accepted as her affianced husband. Thereafter I my last cent to purchase a diamond ring at , secured through a friend on the Globe, and then indeed I felt myself set up in the world, as one who was to tread the conventional and peaceful ways of the majority.  
Yet in Spite of my profound infatuation I was still able to see beauty in other women and be moved by it. The chemical attractions and repulsions which draw us away from one and to another are beginning to be more clearly understood in these days and to undermine our more formal notions of stability and order, but even at that time this variation in myself might have taught me to look with suspicion on my own emotions. I think I did imagine that I was a scoundrel in harboring after other women, when I was so deeply involved with this one, but I told myself that I must be peculiarly in this way, that all men were not so, that I myself should and probably would hold myself in check eventually, etc.; all of which merely proves how disjointed and non-self-understanding can be the processes of the human mind. Not only do we fail to see ourselves as others see us but we have not the faintest conception of ourselves as we really are.
An incident which might have proved to me how shallow was the depth of my supposed feeling, and that it was nothing more than a strong sex-desire, was this: One night about twelve a telephone message to the Republic stated that on a branch extension of one of the car lines, about seven or eight miles from the city, a murder had just been committed. Three negroes entering a “Owl” car, which ran from the city terminus to a small village had shot and killed the conductor and fired on the motorman. A young girl who had been on board, the only passenger, had escaped by the front door and had not since been heard of—or so the telephone message stated. As I happened to be in the office at the time, the story was assigned to me.
By good luck I managed to catch a twelve o’clock theater car and arrived at the end of the line at twelve forty, where I learned that the body of the dead man had been transferred to his home at some point farther out, and that a posse of male residents of the region had already been organized and were now the police to search this country round for the negroes. When I asked about the girl who had been on board one of the men at the barn exclaimed: “Sure, she’s a wonder! You want to tell about her. She hunted up a house, borrowed a horse, and notified everybody along the route. She’s the one that first phoned the news.”
Here was a story indeed. Midnight, a murder, dark woods, lonely country. A girl flees from three murderous, drunken negroes, borrows a horse, and tells all the countryside. What more could a newspaper man want? I was all ears. Now if she were only good-looking!
I now realized that my first duty was not so much to see the body of the dead man and interview his wife, although that was an item not to be neglected, or the motorman who had escaped with his life, although he was here and told me all that had happened quite , but this girl, this heroine, who, they said, was no more than seventeen or eighteen.
The car in which the murder had been committed was here in the barn. The blood-stains of the victim were still to be seen on the floor. I took this car, which was now carrying a group of detectives, a doctor and some other officials, to the dead man’s house, or to the house of the girl, I forget which. When I arrived there I discovered that a large comfortable residence some little distance beyond the home of the dead man was the scene of all news and activity, for here it was that the body of the conductor had been carried, and from here the girl had taken a horse and ridden far and wide to call others to her aid. When I hurried up to the door she had returned and was holding a sort of levee. The large livingroom was crowded, and in the center, under the of a hanging lamp, was this , rather pretty, with her hair brushed straight back from her forehead, and her face alight with the of her recent experiences and actions. I drew near and surveyed her over the shoulders of the others as she talked, finally getting close enough to engage her in direct conversation, as was my duty. She was very simple in manner and speech—not quite the dashing heroine I had imagined yet attractive enough. For my benefit, and possibly for the dozenth time, she all that had befallen her from the time she boarded the car until she had leaped from the front step after the shot and hid in the wood, finding her way to this house eventually and borrowing a horse to notify others, because, for one thing, there was no telephone here, and for another there was no man at home at the time who could have gone for her. With a kind of naïf enthusiasm she explained to me that once ............
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