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MY FIRST VENUS.

kindness by giving back a few dollars after he had skinned a man of all he possessed.

Naturally the fact that I was working with her husband threw me more into Mrs. Mayhew's society: twice or so a week I had to spend the afternoon with her, and the constraint irked me. Kate, too, objected to my visits: she had too much pride to speak openly but one day she had seen me go in to Mrs. Mayhew's and I think divined the rest; for at first she was cold to me and drew away even from my kisses: "you've chilled me", she cried, "I don't think I shall ever love you again entirely." But when I got into her and really excited her, she suddenly kissed me fervently and her glorious eyes had heavy tears in them. "Why do you cry, dear?" I asked. "Because I cannot make you mine as I am all yours!" she cried. "Oh!" she went on, clutching me to her, "I think the pleasure is increased by the dreadful fear—and the hate—oh, love me and me only, love mine!" Of course, I promised fidelity; but I was surprised to feel that my desire for Kate, too, was beginning to cool.

The arrangement with the Mayhews came to an unexpected and untimely end. Mayhew now and then had a tussle with another gambler and after I had been with him about three months, a gambler from Denver had a great contest with him and afterwards proposed that they should join forces and Mayhew should come to Denver. "More money to be made there in a week", he declared, "than in Lawrence in a month." Finally he persuaded Mayhew, who was wise enough to say nothing to his wife till the whole arrangement was fixed. She raved but could do nothing save give in, and so we had to part. Mayhew gave me one hundred dollars as a bonus, and Lorna one unforgettable, astonishing afternoon which I must now try to describe.