Wild Oranges

1
John Woolfolk's loss of his
young bride turned him 
against the world. He
dreaded to be ensnared
again by love, lest the cup
of happiness once more
be dashed from his lips -

2
- and for three years
he had found a haven
of solitude upon the
vast wastes of the sea.

	- Frank Mayo.

3
Paul Halvard, cook
and sailor, was his
only companion.

	- Ford Sterling.

4
An unfrequented inlet
on the Georgia coast,
guarded by a treacherous 
         bar.

5
"How about a nice little 
  stack of wheats - ?"

6
Thrust unwillingly into the horror
of the Civil War, Litchfield
Stope had been stricken with 
the curse of Fear, and the
obsession had descended upon
his granddaughter Millie.

	- Nigel de Brulier.
	- Virginia Valli.

7
From across the still water
 came the languorous
 perfume of oleanders
 and orange blossoms.

8
Wild Oranges - at first
surprisingly bitter, but
after a moment pungent
and zestful with a never-
to-be-forgotten flavor.

9
"What - what do you want?"

10
"I came ashore to arrange 
 for a supply of water - but
 I've stolen your oranges."

11
"We have plenty of both -
     help yourself."

12
Into the lives of the
defenseless Stopes, Nicholas,
part man and part child,
had forced himself.

	- Charles A. Post.

13
"My initials - my name
  is John Woolfolk."

14
"Mine is Stope - Millie
  Stope. I'm glad to 
      know you."

15
There was an irresistible
lure about the place, which
savored of another of
Life's intriguing traps.

16
Morning had never 
been so beautiful
 to Millie Stope.

17
"Gimme a kiss, Millie."

18
"Gimme a kiss, or I'll
 put you in the swamp!"

19
"Maybe you came for a
 supply of water - maybe
 something else. Get off
      our place!"

20
The incident aroused
     Woolfolk.

21
"I came about a water
 cask of mine that your
      man broke."

22
"I'd like to see him."

23
"You're the man who
 broke my water cask."

24
"It was full of our
       water."

25
"I warn you - let my
 man and my property
       alone!"

26
"Then leave our property
 alone - and stay away
   from Millie too!"

27
"I'll not argue with you.
 Just remember - hands
         off!"

28
"Don't get me started,
    I tell you!"

29
"You can start any
  time you like."

30
"Don't get me started,
 I tell you! Don't get
      me started!"

31
"I've been thinking a
 lot about you since last
 night. Where did you
     come from?"

32
"Boston's my home. Have
 you ever been there?"

33
"I was born in that house,
   and I've never been
        anywhere."

34
"But I've traveled a
 lot - on maps I found
 in grandfather's old
 books. Japan, Hawaii, 
    India, Spain -"

35
"You remind me of the cast-
 iron dog that used to stand
 on our lawn. I talked to
 it by the hour, but it just
 rusted away - cold and
 indifferent to the last."

36
"I suppose you'll be
    going soon?"

37
"Yes, tomorrow - at
     daybreak."

38
But long after sunup the
little craft was still at 
anchor, with no evidence
   of a contemplated 
       departure.

39
"If there's still time,
 I want to return your
         call."

40
"Why, it couldn't be
 neater if you were
 two nice old ladies."

41
"There's a fair wind
  for a sail, sir."

42
"Please, it would be
   so wonderful!"

43
"I wonder if you know
 what it means to me -
 buried here in this
     wilderness?"

44
For an hour the freedom
of the open sea thundered
  a challenge to her
    captive soul.

45
"Free! At last -
     free!"

46
"It's all so big -
 so terrifying!"

47
"Why are you so
 afraid of things?"

48
"Heredity - a curse
 which descended from
 my grandfather to my
 father - and to me."

49
"It's unjust to be
 condemned to die in
 a swamp, with all one's
 instinct in the sky."

50
"It's so wonderful to
 have such freedom!
 You are to be envied."

51
"Hardly. The only thing
 I valued in life was
 taken from me in an
 instant - my wife."

52
"It gave me a freedom
 I did not want, and
 left me a lonely, aimless
      wanderer."

53
"Who is that fellow?
 Why do you fear him?"

54
"I can't tell you -
 I'm afraid - take me
   back, please!"

55
Mystery - the insidious 
scents of earth - the
veiled lure of sex -
Life's traps were set with 
just such treacheries! -

56
- The least surrender
would bind him with a
multitude of attachments -
    he must escape!

57
"Get under way at
      once."

58
"I'm crazy about you,
 Millie. Please marry
 me. I've always wanted
   to live right -"

59
"How dare you speak
 to me like that! You
   must leave here
      tomorrow."

60
"Don't say that, Millie -
 please don't get me
      started."

61
"Please be nice to me,
 Millie - something
 terrible will happen
    if you're not."

62
Once more life had
 been left behind.
 Ahead lay solitude -
   and freedom! 

63
"Take the wheel - 
 we're going back."

64
A stiff wind blowing up
the coast had made it
dangerous for Woolfolk's
boat to cross the bar
until late next morning.

65
"I was afraid you
 had gone - forever."

66
"I had to come back -
 I couldn't go away
    without you."

67
"Millie, I love you!" 

68
"Don't you feel any
 response at all in your
 heart - the slightest return
   for my longing?"

69
"If we could only
 get away from here -"

70
"You shall go away
 with me tonight."

71
"I'll deal with
 Nicholas now!"

72
"No, no! He would
  kill us both!"

73
"Last night he said,
 unless I sent you
 away, he would get
 you - and me too!"

74
"He said if I ran away,
 he'd kill grandfather!"

75
"Tell him I've promised to
 leave tonight. Then at
 eight o'clock you and
 your grandfather come to
 the wharf. I'll be waiting."

76
"I've warned you what'll
 happen if you try to
        leave."

77
"If anything happens to
 me, the boat and a sum
 of money belong to you.
 Everything else that I
 own will go to Miss Stope."

78
"Extinguish all lights -
 let's get out of here
      at once!"

79
"We're drawing three feet
 of water, sir - there's
 hardly more than that
 on the bar tonight."

80
"We'll never make it,
 sir - it'll be suicide
 to try to cross that
 bar in this blow!"

81
"Cut loose the anchor -
   raise the jib!"

82
"Mark the breakers -
 fetch her between!"

83
"Five!"

84
"Four!"

85
"Three and a half!"

86
"Three and a quarter!"

87
"Four!"

88
"Five! We're clear!"

89
"Free! At last, free!
 I'm not afraid now."

90
Life is so dreadfully in 
the dark. There are maps 
to guide us to strange 
places, but none for souls.
John Woolfolk had entrusted 
   his soul to Millie.


The
End


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