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The Summer Girl was a body of beauty, entirely surrounded by men. They all lounged on the sand; she wore a bloonwite bathing-suit, and the men wore plain blue.

The conversation had only one trend. They were trying to convince her of their eligibility, and she was trying to bang it into their heads that she would n't marry any of them, if every one of their numbered hairs were hung with a diamond.

Of course this was not a matter of bald, definite proposal and refusal. That had many times been done before with each one. But, all undismayed, they showed patience, perseverance, and pertinacity in whatever way offered at the moment.

There were four suitors present this morning, and in their rudimentary costumes, you could scarcely tell them apart.

But, as a matter of fact, one was a millionaire, one was a dandy, one was a genius, and one was a brute.

Naturally, the girl liked the brute best, but she had no intention of marrying him.

Well, they pressed their suits, if you know what I mean, subtly and blatantly, spasmodically and everlastingly, till the girl was nearly crazy.

At last, in desperation, she said: "I 'll tell you what! I 'll be a princess in a fairy-tale, and I 'll marry whichever one of you will answer truly a question I shall ask."

"Go on!" said the brute, scowling at her, while the others looked askance or something like that.

"I will marry whichever one of you," she said, beaming impartially upon the quartet, "can tell me truly whether the number of sands on the sea-shore is odd or even."

"Huh!" said the other three, but the genius looked at her earnestly.

"Will you promise that?" he asked in tense, thrilling accents.

"Yep," replied the girl, carelessly; "but of course you must prove your answer to be true."

"Oh, of course. And I 'll even do more than you 've asked. You know, there's more or less change in shifting sands, so I 'll tell you whether the number is odd or even at a given moment, and at another given moment. And I shall assure you beyond all doubt that I am telling you the truth. If I do this, will you marry me?"

"Yep," said the girl, humoring his bluff.

The genius sprinkled a few grains of sand on his blue-flannel, knee.

"Observe," he said quietly, "this is one moment." Then, with a sharp penknife, he divided a rather large, flat grain of sand into two grains. "It is now another moment. I assert positively that in one of those moments just passed the number was odd and the other moment it was even. Can you doubt or deny it?"

"But which was which?" asked the millionaire, pettishly.

"I did n't agree to tell which was which," said the genius. "Girl, you are mine!"

"I am yours," agreed the girl; "and I'm glad of it. With such diabolical ingenuity as that to help me, I feel sure I can manage to retain my position as president of our woman's club."

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.

The author died in 1942, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.