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About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (June 27, 1916)
THE SEMI.WEEKLY TRIBUNE, NORTH PLATTE. NEBRASKA.
a wvel or new yoric ure
rDEX BEACrt t T
iixu5imrio5 4 r PARKER.
Pster Knight, defeated for political of
fice In hi town, decides to venture New
York In order Unit the family fortune
might benefit by the expected rln of his
charming daughter, IjorcleL A well
known critic Interviews Lorrtel Knight,
now stage beauty with Bergman's rtcvue,
for a special article. Her coin-hunting
mother outllncu Ivorelel'n ambitions, but
Hlo.isnn, the press agent, later ndds his
Information. Ixjrolol attends Millionaire
Mammon's gorgeous entertainment. She
meets Merkle, a wealthy dyspeptic Hob
Whnrtnn romps uninvited. Lorelei dis
covers a blackmail plot against Hnrnmon
;Kmau dioi ngninsi unmmmi
In which her brother Is Involved. Merkle
and Lorelei havo an auto wreck. Tlie
blackmailers besmirch her good name.
Do you believe that a young
girl, Just out of her teens, Is
Justified In leaving home and
casting off her psrents if they
Intrigue to get hfr married to
any man, no matter how much '
of a rounder he Is, If only he has ;
wealth to support .hem7
CHAPTER VIII. -Continued.
Looking back upon 'nst night's home
ward ride, she wan wholly at n loss.
In view of Jlrn'H words and of what
flho had gathered ni the theater she
had felt sure of LllaV complete knowl
edge of tho blnekmnll plot, but Ham
jnon'o unwavering filth In the girl and
Lllas' own story of her relHtlotiH with
Max Melcher had e.wakeiied a doubt.
What concerned hrr far more than the
moral complexion nt the Unison waH
Ivir brothcr'B connection with the tin
Iinvful Hchcmc of extortion. Jim, sho
w, had gone wrong with a von
pen nee, and the consequences to him
troubled her, for In spite of nil that he
might be or do she cherished a sisterly
affection for him. Family ties were
very real and very strong to her
strong enough to keep her loyal to her
kin oven nfter tho demoralizing change
In her whole mode of life. The firm
est. In fact, the only bond (hat she had
ever known, was that of blood; obedi
ence, faithfulness and affection had
beon born In her, and she never
thought to question their sacredness.
Idling down Fifth avenue, she found
hersolf In front of a fashionable de
partment store. A knot of curious
people were gaping at n unique auto
mobile which stood In tho line ve
hicles nlong the curb, nnd she paused
to look, The cqulpngo was snow white
In color; (he chauffeur and a stiff
backed footman were In blood red with
whl to facings on their livery. A tiny
mop of n Inpdog, Imprisoned within
tho closed body of the car, was barking
frcnzlcdly at tho throng. Across (he
doors, In gold letters an Inch high, -as
the name "Adoreo Demorest."
As sho entered the store T.orelel re
flected with some disgust that no vis
iting rajah, no barbaric potentate
no one, In fact, except a self-advertised
musical comedy queen would so fla
grantly defy good taste as to ride In
such a vehicle.
She was engaged In her final pur
chase when a dazzling creature In red
and whlto descended upon her with ex
clamations of surprise and delight. It
was Mademoiselle Demorest herself,
lnd her greeting was so effusive that
the Htream of shoppers lmltcd In the
Aisle. Sho carried the mnto to the ex
cltalrle poodlo that dolled tho curiosity
"Miss Knight! I'm so glad to see
you again," sho burbled. "How sweet
you lookl I hoped we'd meet again;
Imt where havo you been? Have you
finished your shopping? Then do come
nnd help me match some rose du
i Lorelei felt herself flushing unconi-
'ortably under the stares of the on
ookors, nnd, glnd to escape, she
.moved nwny beside the undisturbed
puuso of all the furore.
Miss Demorest seemed genuinely de
lighted at this encounter. She clung
to her companion, chattering vivacious
ly; then, wlren the rose du Harry had
'teen matched, she suggested tea.
1 "We'll run right over to the Wal
vlorf uiy car Is outside." Hut I.orelel
ileellncd, explaining lamely that she
did not enre for public places.
' Tho danger's expression and tone
changed abruptly. "I supposed you
were like all the othere."
"Well, I'm not, When I'm nway
from the theater I try .to forget It.
5 hate the business."
Tho reply, which enme with sincere
feeling, widened Lorelei's eyes with
"ngre, too," said Adoree Demorest,
quietly. "Hut I'm not allowed to for
get It. Our first meeting iniulo mo
think you were out with bnnners. I
was hired on that occasion to be
naughty, What do you say to some
renl tea at my house? Just you and
Lorolel's heart snnk nt the thought
or that gaudy machine outside, but
there was an honest appeal In the
HpeuUer's eyes, and, moreover, the
memory of her obligation rose to pre
vent her from appearing ungrateful.
I'd be delighted," she falsified, and,
gurgling with appreciation, Miss Dem
orest hurried her toward the nearest
xlt. In the street, however, Adoreo
paused, nnd her next words showed
that sho was not wanting In womnuly
"I Hhun't Inflict you with a ride In
that circus wagon. It'fi nil right for
me, but you'ro one of tlio decent kind.
If you hnve a reputation It won't do
to parade It In it show en no. We'll take
a taxi." Lorelei's relief must have
been obvious, for Adoree sped Hwlftly
to the corner, then wan back ngnln
without the dog. "If there's anything
more conspicuous than a blonde with
a white poodle," hIic explained, "It's
two blondes with two poodles." Then
,. , .. it ,.. ,i
" ": ;' "
slummed the door.
"You must think I'm very rude," her
"Nothing of the sort. I know Jtot
how you feel." Miss Demore.st'H smile
was a trifle strained. "Only I'm aw
fully lonesome, and I'll take care that
nobody sues us."
"Now I know I've been nasty." Lo
relei felt her embarrassment growing,
for this woman differed entirely from
what she had expected. Underneath
the dancer's extravagant theatrlcallsm
she appeared natural anil unaffected.
Adoree changed the current of tho
conversation by saying:
"I hope those bloodhounds get to
"How funny I" Lorelei was eying
the speaker with undisguised curiosity.
"You're not n Frenchwoman?"
"Agnes Smith Is the name. Decent
by descent, but an actress by adver
tising. Whnt's your game?"
"Um-m My noso Is straight; I don't
limp; so I'm an actress by force of fea
ture." llotli girls laughed unaffectedly.
"I like you," said the dancer. "Do
you mind If I get out of this cast-Iron
corset anil Into a kimono when we get
"Have you n spare one?"
"Dozens; but they're not very clean."
"That's lovely. Ami let's mako the
"Oh, L can't drink anything strong!
I'm nn awful counterfeit."
"I'm beginning to think so. I
wonder If I'm dreaming,"
The girls had much In common; they
chattered continuously through the
short ride, and when they alighted
from tho taxlcab they disputed over
the right to pay for It. When the
guest waH ushered Into Adoree's apart
ment she recolved another surprise,
for tho place was neither elaborate nor
showy. It consisted merely of two
large, comfortable rooms overlooking
a side street lined with monotonous
brownstone boarding houses.
A battered teakettle was set to boll
over an absurd alcohol stove that re
quired expert assistance to maintain
Its equilibrium. Adoreo Hung out of
her finery and donned a Japanese robe,
offering another to Lorelei. A plate
of limber crackers was unearthed
from somewhere, also the disreputable
remains of a box of inarshmallojvs;
"You Never Really Believed That King
8tufff Did YouT"
and these latter Mademoiselle Demo
rest toasted on a hatpin.
"You'ro tho most extraordinary per
son," her guest at length remarked.
"Aren't you going to show mo your
Jewels or anything like that?"
"You probably have better Jewels of
your own," carelessly replied Adoree;
then she voiced u very tame and wom
anly oath as a mnrshmallow dripped
Into tho flames, "Plcklesl I spoiled
"Hut thu cabochon rubles are real,"
"Sure. So Is the 'square too' who
brings 'em and takes 'em away; so Is
tho bond Unit covers 'etu. J.ordy, but
they are pretty!"
"Then the king didn't give them to
"My dear, I never suw n king out-
hldo of n pinochle deck. If I lost one
of those rubles (ho Maiden Lane Shy
lock who owns them would tear
enough curled hair out of his beard to
fill a mattress. You never really be
lieved that king stuff, did you?"
"I had no Idea It worked so well."
Again Miss Demorest smiled crookedly.
"No wonder you didn't want to go to
the Waldorf with me; I wonder you
consented to come here."
"Your advance work Is great "
"I knew the public swallowed It; but
I supposed the profession knew press
stuff when they saw It. I snug and
danced for ten years In this country
and never got better time than the
schuetzen parks nnd nlrdomes. I wns
Agnes Smith then. Somehow I got the
price of a ticket to England, and I
pulled the alrdomc stuff that had
scored In Little Hock and Michigan
City, nnd it got by somehow. My
mother was n Canuck, so I knew some
French, and eventually I reached the
continent. There I met the Old Nick.
You may think the devil Is what he-
looks like on the 1mm cans; but, In
reality he's a little, fat. bald man with
a tenor voice, nnd he eats cloves. Ills
name Is Aubrey Lane. lie was In
Paris selling patent garters nt the time.
He saw me work at a cabaret nnd told
me I was good, but not good enough.
I'd known that for years, so he didn't
hurt my feelings. He confessed that
ho was tired of working and Intended
to have mo iimke a lot of money for
him, but warned me that ho had ex
pensive tastes and I'd have to pay well
for the privilege. Ho was right; I did.
Hnt here I am In electric lights on
Broadway while he Is exercising a
wheeled chair at Atlantic City."
"He's your manager?"
"He's that very little thing. He of
fered,to mako me n star If I'd allow him
to hitch his chariot to me on n share
of tho gross. There was one trilling sac
rifice I had to make In the nature of
my personal reputation so he told me.
He began by tying a can to tho 'Agnes
Smith,' and handed me 'Adoree Demo
rest' Instead; then ho went to work,
no really did work, too, although It
nearly killed him, anil he's never done
anything since. The king fable Is n
Joke on tho other side, but New York
swallowed It clear up to the sinker,
nnd Aubrey gaffed the Palace Garden
management for a threo years' .con
tract. Of course, my advertised sal
ary Is phony, Just like the rubles and
the wrecked throne nnd that glided
bandwagon with the poodles nnd the
stuffed supers on the box. Aubrey
owns thorn nil except the rubles, which
he rents. I'm billed as the most no
torious woman In America, and the
shred of reputation I have loft
wouldn't make a necktie for a gnat,
whereas In reality I love mnrshmnl-
lows and tea much more than men
Hut I'm a star, at the head of my own
company, and playing to sidewalk
prices. Do you think It was a good
Lorelei had listened with breathless
Interest. Now she burst out Impul
"You poor dear."
Miss Smith smiled, but her eyes
"Sometimes I cry when I think
about it. I cry a good deal," said
she. "I didn't realize until too late
what It meant, but, you see, I was
tired of working, tired of ambition.
nnd I wanted to come home. Thank
God, I havo no people! I save all the
money I can, nnd when I got enough
I'm going to take Agnes Smith otit
of the moth-balls, dust her off tenderly,
nnd go to raising ducks."
"Ducks? What do you mean?"
"What I say. That has always been
"Whv not quit now?"
"What's the use? I'm half way
through the swamp; the mud Is as deep
behind as It is In front. Hut I'm
deathly afraid nil the time I'll bo
found out I'd rather be notorious
than ridiculous. Of course, Aubrey
sees to that."
"Are you fond of him?" '
Adoreo turned up her nose. "He's
a little pink rabbit. I don't like any
man, nnd I never hnve. There's only
one I'd really care to meet; his namo
Is Campbell Pope."
"The critic. He Is nice."
"The benst. Did you read what he
said about mo? I'll never rest until I
havo a lock of his hair that I've
plucked myself. I'd love to have his
whole scalp with, say, one car at
tached hanging on my bureau where
I could see It every morning when I
wnko up. Somehow I don't seem to
ml lid the press stuff that Aubrey puts
out, but Pope actually believes what
ho wrote. And other people will be
Hove It, too. I I Gosh! I'm going
to cry agnln."
Lorelei nodded In perfect sympathy
she did not laugh. "I haven't any girl
chum; let's be friends," said she.
Adoree had been nibbling ut marsh
mallows as she talked; as sho wiped
her eyes now sho left a smear of pow
dered sugar on her cheok.
"I'd love to I'm simply bursting to
confide In somebody but we couldn't
go around together."
"Why? I don't care what people
"You can't afford to bo reckless
We'ro each playing our own game and
chasing tho dollar In our own way
Tho men you met would mako life uu
"The Iron Trail""
The Silver Horde" Etc.
bearable for you If they knew wo were
pals. Aubrey was right: n girl must
either be mighty good or mighty bad
In this business or make people think
she Is, which amounts to the same
thing. You have had easy going be
cause you're known to be straight; but
If you ever get Into the papers watch
what will happen. You'll have to tight.
You wouldn't like that kind of lighting,
"What Is This?"
either, and I'm not sum you could
As Lorelei walked homeward that
nfternoon she felt an unaccustomed
warmth In her breast, and realized that
she, too, had been very lonely In the
city. The certainty that she had made
a friend gladdened her heart. She
looked forward with a thrill to the
morrow when she could see Adoree
During her absence Jim had returned
and departed; but a note was waiting
for her. It had been brought by a mes
senger, and read:
"Things look bad. I'm afraid we'll
be, Implicated, too. Better see your
brother quickly. M."
Lorelei was not a little mystified by
Morkle's cryptic message, for sho
could Imagine no possible way In
which she or the writer hUnself could
be connected discreditably with Jar
vis Hamnion's nffalr. She gained some
light, however, when that evening she
read the note to Lllas.
"Why, they're going to blackmail
Merkle, too," Lllas exclaimed. "Well,
they'd be foolish to let him oil',
"So they think he'll pay to keep his
liame out of the papers?"
"Exactly. And ho will for your
"L won't let him."
Lllas was surprised. "Why? He's
rich. He wouldn't miss a few thou
"You wouldn't nllow Mr. Hammon
to be robbed, would you?"
"Oh, wouldn't I? If he didn't care
enough for me to protect me from
ncnndal I'd want to know It."
"Lllas, you puzzle me," confessed
Lorelei doubtfully. "You say tilings
that make me think you don't care
for him at all; then again you seem
to be crazy about him. now do you
feel? How far would you go with
Lllas laughed airily. "Perhaps I'd
go farther with him than for him. Ho
asked me to marry him If his wife
gets a divorce; and I ngreed. Now that
he has come to the point, I'm sorry
things happened just as they did. A
woman must look out for herself no
man will ever help her. It's worth
some notoriety to become Sirs. Jurvls
Something In the speaker's words
rang false; but just what that some
thing was, Lorelei could not decide.
"Then you'd like to see tho story
made public?" she queried.
"I dare sny If I loved a man I'd
want him at any price, but I hope I'm
not going to be dragged Into this mat
"My dear, you have a family; they
enn make Merkle do the right thing
by you. He could 1)0 made to pay, at
least, and you'll be sorry If you don't
get something out of him. Just watt
and sco what a difference the story
makes with your other men friends."
Durlug tho ensuing performance Lo
relei pondered her friend's disquieting
prophecy; yet she could see no reason
for grave apprehension. Publicity of
tho kind threatened would, of, course,
bo disagreeable; but how It could seri
ously affect her was not apparent.
Later in the evening Hobert Whar
ton appeared, as usual, and so resent
ful was ho nt the deceptions previously
practiced upon him that Lorelei with
dltllculty escaped a scene. At last ho
planted himself In tho hallway, where
lie remained throughout the perform
ancea gloomy, watchful llgure. Lo
relei came down boldly, dressed for
tho street, and, since she could not pass
the besieger, crossed under the stage,
made her way Into the orchestra pit,
nnd mnnaged to leave the theater by
the front door.
She was waiting when Jim came
home, and followed him Into his room,
where they could talk without disturb
ing their father. Lorelei made her ac
cusation boldly, prepared for the usual
burst of nngcr, btit Jim listened pa
tiently until shs paused. . j
"I know you had to spill this, so I j
let you rave," said he. "Hut It's too
late; somebody has been nfter Ham
mon for n long time, nnd he's beon
got yes, nnd got good. Take n flash
nt the 'Chorus Girl's Bible." ne
tossed his sister a copy of a prominent
theatrical paper. "I waited until It
Lorelei gasped, for on tho front page
glared- black-typed headlines of the
Hammon scandnl. John Merkle's name
wns there, too, nnd, linked with It, her
"What Is this?" She ran her eye
swiftly down tho column.
"Sure. Meleher commenced suit
against Hammon this afternoon. Fifty
thousand dollars for alienation of Ll
las' affections. Joke, eh? no clulms
there was a common-law mnrrlage and
he'll get tho coin."
"Hut Mrs. Hammon?"
"Tho evidence Is 'In her hands al
ready dates, places, photographs, ev
erything. She'll win hw suit, too."
"Wore yon by any clianca working
for Mrs. Hn minor. V"
Divining his sister's prejudice, Jim
lied promptly and convincingly. "Why,
Mrs. Hammoiij of course. I had a
chance to turn a few dollars, and I
"Hut why did you drag mo In?
Couldn't you keep me out of It? This
Is dreadful." As she ran her eye over
the nrtlcle she snw that It was quite
In harmony with the general tone and
policy of the paper, which catered t,o
the Jaded throngs of tho Tenderloin.
Truth had been cunningly distorted;
flippancy, sensationalism and, a sala
cious double meaning ran through It
Whnt's dreadful about It?" Inquired
her brother. "That sort of advertising
does a show-girl good. You've got to
make people talk about you. sis, and
thls'll bring a gang of high rollers your
way. You've been so blamed proper
that nobody's Interested In you any
For a moment Lorelei scrutinized
her brother In silence, taken aback at
his outrageous philosophy. Jim had
changed greatly, she mused; not until
very lately had sho observed the full
measure of the change In him. He wns
no longer the country boy, the plny
mntc and confidant of her youth, but n
man, sophisticated, hard, secretive. He
had been thoroughly Manhattanlzed,
she perceived, and he wns as foreign
to her as a stranger. She shook her
"You're a strange brother," she said.
"I hardly know what to make of you.
lias the city killed every decent in
stinct In you, Jim?"
"Now, don't begin on the Old Home
stuff," he replied, testily. "Do you
really Intend to marry a bunch of
"That's the program. Isn't It? I've
been raised for that and nothing else."
"Well, ma can't put It over, so I
guess It's up to me." After a moment
he-added, "Would you nccept Merkle?"
Lorelei shivered. "Oh no! Not Mr.
"Humph! You ought to consider the
rest of us n little bit. Pn could be
cured, ma'd be happy. I could get on
my feet. How about Hob Wharton?"
"Let's not talk about It, please. Mr.
Wharton Is getting nasty, nnd I'm be
ginning to bo afraid of him."
"I'll bet you could land him "
"Please. I don't want to think
nbout It. I dnre sny I'll bring myself
to marry some rich man some day;
but Merkle Wharton " She shud
dered for a second time. "If Mr. j
Wharton is serious this scandal will
scare him off, or else he'll become
Just like tho others. I could ery. no
threatened me tonight; I don't know
how I'll manage to avoid him tomor
"Hin-m! He's coming that strong.
eh?" was Jim's Interested query; but
on hearing his sister's account of the
young millionaire's determined pursuit
he volunteered In his offhand way to
"I'll come for you myself, and we'll j
wnip over to a care ror supper.'
"You'll save me from blin," said Lo
relei, with a wan smile, "and I'll know
that you are In good company for one
evening at least."
"Don't lose any sleep over my hab
its," he told her. lightly.
As Jim and his mother breakfasted
together on the following morning ho
broached the subject of his recent con
versation with Lorelei.
"She's sore about the story," he
said. "We had a long talk last night."
"I know she would be, and I'm not
sure It was a good thing."
"We'll drag something out of It If
you do your part. Merkle will pay,
Don't mention money nothing but
marriage understand? Outraged
motherhood, ruined daughter, blasted
career that'o yours. I'll be the broth
er who's In the position of a father to
her. I can threaten, but you mustn't.
Goldberg will close for us."
"I don't see why we have to divide
with a lawyer, when It's our affair and
wo can handle It ourselves," his mother
"I tell you It's got to go through the
regular channels. This was Melcher's
Idea, and, since I'm In pn the Ham
mon money, Max Is entitled to his bit
or this. Gee! If she'd only told us
she was going can with Merkle we
might have framed something worth
while I don't mind telling you this is
h pretty weak case."
"Wouldn't ho marry her?"
"Not a chance. In the first place,
she wouldn't have him. Hob Wharton
Is the white hope."
"She hates him, too. Goodness
knows what we're going to do with
"I think she'll stand for Wharton If
we work her right; It's him or nobody.
She's getting harder to bandle every
day, though, and one of these times
she'll fall for some rummy. If she
over does lose her head she'll skid for
the ditch, and we can Mm ourselves
goodby. She'll be as easy to steer as
a wild boar by the tall. I guess you'ro
sorry now that you didn't listen to me
and let Max handle her before she got
"I wouldn't feel safe with any of
that crowd. I'd be terribly afraid."
Mrs. Knight shook her head dubiously.
"Sny! She's got you doing It, too.
Why, they don't take a chance. Gold
berg handles the legal end, and hi
brother Is In tho legislature. But that's
not nil: Melcher's partner In his gam
bling house is Inspector Snell. You
enn't bent that."
"Just the same, I'm frightened and
this Isn't honest. I wish sho would
listen to Robert Wharton."
James winked meaningly. "Leave
Hint to me. She's going to Proctor'a
with me tonight. Mnybe he'll Join us.
But mennwhllo we've got Merkle for
some quick money If we work him
right. I'm off for Goldy's office now.
I'll meet you at three."
When Jim appeared, dressed for the
street, ho gave a bit of parting advice:
"Better lay on the hysterics when
she wakes up. It'll make It easier for
Lorelei found her mother visibly up
set by the stuvy In the morning's
"You told me you only went to sup
per with that man," Sirs. Knight cried,
tragically. "Instead of that you two
were off In tho country together all
night. Here's the whole thing." She
brandished the paper dramatically.
"Well, I told you n fib. Hut there's
no harm done."
"Harm, Indeed? You're ruined. I
never read anything more disgraceful;
I daren't show It to Peter It would
kill him. Whnt ever possessed you,
nfter the way we've watched over you,
nfter tho enre we've taken of you?
"Why, mother! You're more Insult
ing than that newspaper. The career
of u show-girl Is something of a Joke."
Lorelei undertook to laugh, but the at
tempt failed rather dismally.
"Indeed. What will the other men
say? You had n character; nobody
could say a word against you until
now. Do you think any decent man
would marry a girl who did a thing
like this? Of course, I know you're a
good girl, but they don't, and they'll
believe absolutely the worst. You've
spoiled everything, ray dear; I'm com
pletely discouraged." Mrs. Knight be
gan to weep In a weak, heart-broken
manner, expecting Lorelei to melt, aa
usual; but. seeing something In her
daughter's expression that warned her
not to carry her reproaches too far, sho
broke out: "You're so hard, so unrea
sonable. Don't you see I'm frantic
with worry? You're all we hnve, nnd
hnd the thought of an Injury to your
prospects nearly kills me. You mis
understand everything I say. I wish
you wero safely married and out of
danger. I think I could die happy then.
"I Wish I Were Married and Out of
It means so much to all of us to have
you settled right nway. Peter Is fall
ing every day; Jim Is going to the dogs,
and I'm sick over it all."
"I wish I were married and out of
the way. You would all be fixed, at
least. 1 don't much care about my
self." Lorelei sighed In hopeless wear
iness of spirit, for variations of thla
scene had been common of late, nnd
they nlways filled her with the black
Does It occur to you that Ado
ree, "the most vicious woman on
the stage," will show what a
really fine character she Is by
getting Lorelei out of tho
clutches of her greedy, cold
blooded mother and away from
the rottenness of the young girl's
(TO HE CONTINUED.)
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