Forbidden Fruit can be found in

Breezy Stories, January, 1919


By Octavus Roy Cohen

THE chap who first proclaimed the impossibility of forecasting, with any degree of accuracy, a woman's next move wasn't much of a prognosticator. He was away off on his deductive theory, and simply because it sounded like a mellow mouthful, he's corraled quite an army of followers who let the words roll wisely from their tongues and let it go at that.

As a matter of fact it's a lead-pipe cinch to tell what a woman is going to do. Start with a given set of circumstances, follow developments to their logical conclusion, discard that conclusion in favor of the one diametrically opposite—and there's your answer.

With a man it's different. There isn't any set rule to follow, whether it be simple or complex; and so of course it's men who spring the real surprises. Take the case of Norvel Ferguson, for in- stance. I've known Norvel since we were both kids in knee pants. I've been able to read his thoughts, or nearly so, since we broke into the celebrity class at the mutual age of eight by building a bonfire under the village school, thereby earning a vacation and the gratitude of the rest of the student body. I knew him through high school and roomed with him at college. It was only in his amours that he put one across on my prophesying powers.

I hardly think the man can be blamed for that, though; he's too confoundedly attractive to women. Let him whistle and they come flocking. And he has a habit of whistling. That is, he had until he first married and settled down.

You know how it is with these amateur Lotharios when they get bitten by the love-bug. The virus runs through their system in record time and then it's all over but the Mendelssohn. Norvel wasn't any exception to the hidebound rule.

He'd been a wild one all right, all right. And who wouldn't, with six-foot-one of handsome looks and iron sinew, a blarneyish tongue and a don't-give-a-hoot manner? In addition to all that he had money which he knew how to spend and motor cars whic...

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