THE HOUSE BY THE LOCK
MRS. C. N. WILLIAMSON
"Hullo, old chap! Who would ever have thought of seeing you here to-night? What's brought you back to civilisation again?"
I turned suddenly, surprised by the sound of a familiar voice in my ear. It was the night of Christmas Eve, and I was just entering the lobby of the St. James's, the first time, as it happened, I had seen the inside of a theatre for two years.
For the fraction of a moment I could not remember where I had known the man who addressed me so jovially. My way of knocking about the world brought me into contact with so many people that it was difficult to sort my gallery of faces, and keep each one mentally ticketed. But after a second or two of staring 2 through that convenient medium, my monocle, I was able to place the man who had accosted me. He was a rich mining king from Colorado, by the name of Harvey Farnham, whom I had met in Denver, when I had been dawdling through America three or four years ago.
I pronounced his name with a certain self-satisfaction in having so readily recalled it, and we shook each other by the hand.
"What's brought me back to civilisation?" I echoed, lazily. "I really don't know–unless it was because I'd got tired of the other thing. Adventure–change–that's what I am in search of, my dear Farnham."