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Did She Fall?


Thorne Smith



ONE year later two small, untidy, and exceedingly incompetent-looking individuals alighted from the wrong train at the Swiss lake resort of Montreux. Many bags surrounded them, and at these they looked as if seeing them for the first time. The female member of this team proceeded to count the bags.

"I forget whether there were six or seven," she said.

"I never knew," replied Barney, then added cheerfully, "We've quite a lot at any rate."

After bumping into each other several times in their efforts to get started they finally managed to go in the same direction at the same time. One hour later they had reached the hotel that was only ten minutes' distance from their original point of departure. This was exceptionally good time for them. They considered themselves in luck.

At the hotel they at last induced someone to take them to the suite of rooms occupied by June and Daniel. Here they were warmly received. June had grown graver and more womanly. There was a suggestion of humility in her eyes and a world of under-standing. Even about Daniel there lingered traces of the tragedy through which he had passed.

Barney and Sally Brent sat down very close together and looked about them.

"It's nice here," said Sally. "Nicer than Paris."

"Yes," replied Barney. "She thinks we lost a bag."

"That's all right," said Daniel comfortingly. "We'll get that for you. I can't believe you're here."

"We are," replied Barney. "We eloped."

"And we're not married yet," added Sally, as though mentioning a fact of relatively minor importance.

"What !" exclaimed Daniel. "Not married. How's that?"

"Well, you see we were awfully busy," began Barney.

"And in New York we didn't know just how to go about it," Sally helped out.

"And by that time we'd gotten started," put in her teammate.

"Started?" demanded Daniel. "How do you mean, started?"

"Everything," replied Barney simply, and Sally nodded her head.

"Why didn't you get the captain to marry you on the way over ?" Daniel inquired.

"We didn't think of it for a couple of days, then it didn't seem to us as if it would be very nice," Barney explained.

Daniel turned to June for help. She had sunk to a couch and was laughing silently but desperately. Tears were running down her face.

"Well," said Daniel, turning back to the expectant pair. "We'll have to fix that up, too. And without further delay."

Barney's face brightened. "I kept telling Sally you'd see about everything when we got here," he said. "I never was any good about details."

"Do you call getting married a detail ?" asked Daniel.

"Sure," said Barney, "compared with all the rest of it."

"Where's Manning?"

"He'll be along later. Said he had some business to transact with a baroness or something."

"A nice lot, the three of you," observed Daniel.

"Yes," replied Barney. "The three of us are all right. Munson's in Paris. He sent you this." Daniel took the hastily written note and read:

To the both of you—

After your sneaking departure Betty and Tom became so indignant that they swore out two statements and gave them to the district attorney. They seemed sufficient to satisfy him, and so the case is officially closed. He attributes June's confession to an attempt to extricate Daniel from an unfortunate set of circumstances. I can do nothing to change his mind. The law is no longer interested in either one of you, but I am. Why not join me this winter in Egypt? We could do well there.


"I'll show this to you later," Daniel said to June. "Munson says everything is all right." He put the letter into his pocket and once more considered the pair. "I suppose you'd like a drink," he observed.

"Oh, yes," said Barney.

"Could I have some ice-cream ?" asked Sally. "Peach ice-cream, perhaps ?"

Daniel smiled and June looked somewhat shyly at Sally. "Do you want to come over here, Sally?" she asked.

Evidently Sally did. June took her in her arms. "Sure, kid," she said, "you can have all the ice-cream you want."

"I suppose you'd like to wash up a bit," Daniel suggested.

"Do we have to do that now ?" asked Barney.

"Oh, no," replied Daniel. "It's merely customary, that's all."

Sitting on the terrace overlooking the lake, the four of them did things about drinks and ices. Sally was extremely happy.

"I'll paint that brute of a mountain," declared Barney, waving a hand at the Dent du Midi.

"I guess it will be able to stand it," observed Daniel. "Everybody paints that."

"But not the way I'm going to paint it," said Barney. "When I've finished with that mountain it won't recognize itself."

"That," said Daniel, "is barely possible."

June's eyes were fixed on the mountain, but she was seeing High Point Rock. Barney's arrival had brought so many things back to mind. Then she smiled upon Sally Brent, who was whole-heartedly sucking a spoon.

"Do you think you'll like it here with us?" asked June.

"It's wonderful," said Sally. "We'll all stick together, June."

"And you two will damn well get married right off," put in Daniel.

"Sure," said Barney. "You fix us up."

Later, when Manning arrived, it was discovered that he had brought the baroness with him. She was charming. They were still transacting business, it seemed, the exact nature of which was never quite disclosed.


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