Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Sioux County journal. (Harrison, Nebraska) 1888-1899 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 22, 1895)
J.Vn W II r L. r m
DAVID MARLE'S STORY. I
I NEVER qrarreled with my broth
er John until we came to settle up
busluess In the year of 1S(5. We
bad been partners teu ynm, evor since,
we bad been Wmi, Indeed, but some
changes made It at length advlsuble
that we should separate. Ho hud made
his fortune and wanted to return EusL
I, also, was able to live with less care.,
and so we sold every acre of our land
ed property, and were settling up the
books, when there arose dlssuiisluii.
John wi married and hud had a family
to support, while I was unmarried.
HU expenses had been three times as
much as mine. Moreover, I bud taken
the burden of the labor and responsi
bility this having been tacitly agreed
upon, I being the youngest man. While
be had lived comfortably with his wife
and children among the farms, with
horse, men and money at his band,
and absolute control of the farming
Interests, I had been beating about
over the country, from the Denver to
the Florida glades, buying and selling
land, timber and stock living anyhow,
ami sacrificing all personal comfort to
our mutual advantage. It la rough
traveling In the West Twice I bad
warn the Missouri when every stroke
endangered my life; once I bad been
captured by hostile Indiana, and es
caped by strategy. I was overtaken
by a prairie Are and nearly burned
to death, when taking up claims In
Nebraska, and my periods of weari
ness and discouragement were Inde
scribable. I grew gaunt, and pale, and
hard, making money, while John waied
fat and merry. I had all the hard
ships, and I bad decided I ought to
have more than half the profits, taking
everything Into consideration. John
refused this; and It was true, as be
aald, that this had not been the con
tract "John Marie," said L, "look at the
difference between us. All the trouble
you have bad In getting this money Is
to take It from my hand. Tou hare
never lost a night's sleep In getting It;
you have had full sway in making
these farms as profitable as you please,
and when you have made a miscalcu
lation In a tenant or a crop, I have nev
er blamed you. You have bad a com
fortable roof over your head, while I
bave languished with yellow fever In
the Houth and sickened with ague from
exposure In the West. Two-thirds of
this money Is Justly mine. You have
spent more than I, and you have a right
only to one hundred thousand dol
lars." "I will have one hundred and fifty,"
he said, doggedly.
"You never shall!" I answered.
I had the books. They were In the
office of a life Insurance company, for
whom I wad agcut This business had
been privately my own. I had worked
It In with other pursuits and It paid
me well. I had dealt In It only for the
last year, but during that time I pur
chased for myself, out of Its profits, a
fine library, and had made several
valuable presents to a favorite old
maid sister, living In the East. These
expenses were In the books of the. firm
four hundred dollars for books, fifty
for maps, seventy for a set of furs for
Margaret, and forty for an easy-chair
for her. I knew I must take these off
the books before John saw them, or he
would claim that they had been paid
for out of the general fund. As I have
said, they were In my private room of
the Insurance company's building. In
8t Joseph. When 1 left my brother's
house In Kansas I started directly for
this point; but at Atchison a dispatch
met me requiring me to wait there un
til I received further directions from
the directors of the Phoenix. I saw no
actual danger In waiting, and so re
mained In the city nearly a week. I
received some policies then to be car
ried Into the country. As soon as they
were delivered to the specified parties
I returned to 8t Joseph.
I hurried to the office; somehow, I
felt as If something was wrong. As I
unlocked the Inner door Major Hawley
looked up from bla newspaper and
"By the way, Marie, your brother
came yesterday and got some books
from your desk."
"Home books!" I aald. And I felt
myself growing pale.
"Yea. Ledger, you know, I knew
he was your partner, and so I let him
take them. Nothing wrong, la there,
"No," t aald, and went Into my office
and abut the door. My first movement
was to open my desk hurriedly. Yea,
they were gone. John bad the books.
I denounced htm for a villain.
After a white I grow cooler. I was
very much surprised at what ha had
doM. It was not Ilk him. It was
plain that 1m thought 1 meant to cheat
him lo iosss way.
Nor tit I Indtaod to troat Ma. I
did not belief e that he would make
charges against me on the books, but I
knew he would reckon that five hun
dred and sixty against me on the gen
eral account, nor believe my story that
these outlays were never made with
his money, or moneys on which be had
a claim. Nothlug burns up confidence
like the love of gold. John and 1 had
never before bad a word of difficulty
or a hurd thought, and now here we
were, ready to call each other thieves
and 11b rs.
In the first place, I felt Insulted by
his suspicion. 1 meant no Injustice; I
merely wanted what I considered my
right what I thought I had well earn
ed. Then this movement of his, which
bad the look of outwitting me, I men
tally anathematized. It was a mean,
sly thing to do.
Of course he would transfer the ac
counts to bis own possession and re
turn me the books. There were five
of them. If he had worked all the
night before, he could not have thor
oughly examined more than one. This
private account of mine waa entered
on the latest. So the thought came to
me. Anally, to regain Immediate pos
session of this one at least.
It was not the mere five hundred and
odd dollars I cared for the lose of; It
was the right which this gave John to
Infer that I apent more than I acknowl
edged, and that my personal expendl
t tires were not so Inferior to hie that I
could claim more tho,u half the contest
ed profits; and more. It was the disa
greeable Idea of being defeated.
That Vfi-y night I atarted for Marle
Tllle, I arrived the next day. I went
sTalght to John's house. He received
me alone, bis face set In unusual lines,
and his eye meeting mine burnlngly.
"John Marie," aald I, "you have done
a mean thing. You have Insulted me."
"You refer to my taking the books In
which our accounts bave been kept?"
be said, quietly.
"I bad a right to see them If I wish
ed." he said.
"But you had no right to come like a
thief In the dark and take them, until
I told you they were prepared for you
"What preparation did they need?"
said be with a sneer.
This was too much. Before I knew
what I was doing I struck him. He
was a large man, but be reeled and
clutched at the piano to save himself
from falling. Ills aim missed and he
grasped only the rich crimson cloth,
and he dragged It with him as he
dropped Into a seat He was very pale.
I was almost ready to beg his forgive
ness when he looked at me with such
a gaze of hatred that I turned Instead
and walked out of the room, kicking
an etnbroldered stool out of my way
as I went
This Interview had not been satis
factory, and I was at a loss what to do
next An amicable settlement of the
matter was now out of the question.
I was Hissing the hoti.se that even
ing when I saw the family ciirrliige.
containing my brother, his wife and
bis four children, drive away from the
gate. I decided Instantly thut they
were going to evening meeting In the
town two miles distant. Then the
house was left alone, comparatively
and the books were they there?
Could I not enter, find them, and take
possession of them as unceremonious
ly as John had done?
It was growing dark. There was no
light In the front of the bouse, but I
saw one gleaming from one of the low
er ones at tbo back. It waa the family
sitting-room. I approached It and
It was a large, comfortable apart
ment with a fire upon the hearth; and
before the Are sat a young lady rock
ing an Infant ,
Tho child was probably the last-comer,
the little nameless one I had not be
fore seen, and which John wrote me a
month before was to be called David,
If I approved. But who was Its
nurse? this sweet-faced girl who han
dled It so dexterously, feeding It from
a silver porringer, and then laying It
over her shoulder and patting Its back
with her pretty, ringed band, to make
It go to sleep, aa she rocked back and
forth before the dancing blaze? I
could sec the gloss on her braided hair,
and the glittering buckle upon her little
The child seemed uneasy. It walled,
and she rose and walked the floor with
It soothing It In a low, cooing tone of
endearment now and then singing a
lullaby. At laat It waa asleep, with lU
bit of a face bidden In ber neck, and
aba tat down again before tbo Are. I
stood and watched her; Indeed, I had
forgotten all ekes.
She had aoft brown eyea; 1 doo't
know toy other word to tree; thoy worn
tender and quiet She looked quite
happy In a silent wsy. As she swayed
back snd forth, the lamplight snd then
the firelight touched her forehead, snd
cheek, and sweet mouth, and white
neck, with their different tinting the
firelight making her rosy and radiant,
the lamplight showing the lovely fait
In a paler guise. I thought. "What If
this were my home? What If that was
the darling wife I had longed for all
these years, and that my child? What
If i might move now, and she would
turn her head and listen for my step?"
The thought made me tremble. I
retreated to the road, and walked back
and forth there, trying to think to some
Iiurixwe. Or course I could not enter
the house, though it would probably
not be difficult to do so. I might get
the books with little difficulty, for that
young girl was piobably all the person
under the roof; but somehow I did
not want them; the current of my
mind hud changed. I walked half a
mile down the starlit roud and came
bark. Once more I went to the win
dow. The child was awake and cryl"K
Khe was walking the floor with It
again. I forgot to be cautious, she was
so unconscious, and quite leaned ou
the stone sill as I stood. Turuing In
her walk, she happened to glance tow
ard the window, saw my face as the
light fell upon It. and, uttering a scream
of terror, fell to the floor.
I rushed to the door; It gave way to
my hand, and I went In and raised
her. She was quite senseless, but she
still cliuqied the child, who screamed
frightfully. I laid It In Its cnidle and
tried to revive her. She scarcely seem
ed to breathe before she broke Into
"Don't ciy, don't cry!" I said, awk
wardly. "I did not mean to frighten
you. Look up! I am David Marie.
You must bave beard of me. I meant
no harm In the world. I was only
looking at you because you looked so
She did not seem to see the ludicrous
ness of this explanation. Khe caught
her breath and looked at me with di
lated eyea and the utmost anxiety for
"You are Uncle John's brother?"
"Yea." And then I knew who she
was Aurella May, a favorite niece of
my brother's wife, whom I bad never
"I waa very foolish to be so fright
ened," she said at last; "but you looked
like a f boat"
"Shall you tell them?" aaked I.
"Uncle John and Aunt Susan? No;
and don't you," abe aald, with a blush
She had taken the poor baby from
the cradle, and, aa It soon hushed Jta
cries, we concluded that It waa not
hurt Before the family returned,
Aurella bad regained ber natural col
or and eompoaure, and I had reason to
be thankful that It waa so,
John started when be saw me, and
looked bewildered when I arose and
offered him my hand; but he took It,
and bade me alt down again, cordially.
Perhaps some good word which he had
heard In the bouse of Ood had softened
him; certainly the pure face of that
girl had changed my heart We sat
together, a pleasant party, that even
lng, and the next day John and I en
tered Into calm discussion of our busi
ness, lie waa Anally willing and even
anxious to give me two-thirds of the
money, but I would not accept It
"No, no, John," said I, "we will di
vide evenly, and, If you want to do
anything more for me, Just try to make )
Aurella think that I'm not a monster."
"Aurella?" repeated John. "Why,
she don't know that there has been a
word of trouble, and doesn't dream of
such a thing. If you want her, go In
and win; the coast Is clear, and may
God bless you!"
I wa not much used to wmnen, but
she liked me, and Anally I got her. It
frightens me to think how wretched 1
should have been If I hadn't I have
only to add that she Is Just as good as
I thought she was when I first saw
her through the window; and If (Jod
prospers us, I may, before another
year, see her rocking a baby that Is
mine, the firelight and the lamplight
again on ber sweet face. Pennsylva
An Editor's Correspondence.
Editors especially know bow heavily
the tux bears upon one's strength and
ln .-rll..r .lv.i whn il, o ,.H
.9 u.,.t,i.n.a .i....ici,.,i.wi
goou ueai 01 circumiocuuoii, me writ-
UJK 01 it leiwi uji uj iv-u i luiiiinimjii:
task. N. P. Willis, the poet, and one
of the founders of this paixT, abridged
this task by Inclosing In his hurry-
ifinnh letters the following nrinted ex-
planatlon of their brevity: "Men In this
, . , , . , , ...
lanu 01 uever-iei-up are ever mueii wuu
laoor in as many miiereiu ways as
there are vocations by which they get
a living; but to an editor the last ounce
which breaks the camel's back Is the
..riiin r.riv. h.ttr Vn t-imf
i.i. ,i,..t,.,wt k ,..! r.r
'. . " . ' .
tne luxury 01 wnung lor one reader
ton tne contrary, me vaiue 01 u is eu -
hanced by rarity); but he looks upon It
as the leg-weary postman looks upon
the liiinrv of an evenlntr walk. Now.!
here la vour letter to answer. Either a
cheerful and appropriate letter to you
or an article for my paper would bo
as much of a morning's pen-work as
would be agreeable; but both together
would dwindle the latter of the two In
to flat-footed plodding. In choosing
between those which to neglect, you
see, of course, that It Is a choice be
tween minding my business and writ
ing to you; and you will forgive me,
therefore, If In the least words possible
I Jot down what must be aald, and
tmal tn hfa nHntJut fnlanftttnn to ht.
plain my brevity "-New York Home me In a visit to the dentist with poor little
' ' ( Bea, and we are to ransack Cretner s for
journal. somv reward to encourage her drooping
Oharlea-What makes you look no 'PWU But, about four, yon will find ns
glam. H.rryT Harry-ldaud SweeUer
has thrown mo over. Charles Oh, I joo.ntght."
wouldn't mind that; a woman norst, -t j0 think yon are looking so 111,
hit where she dmmm to when sbs .Nora," said Mrs. L'Eet range, when be
throws. Boston 'Transcript
f-X. ' Vik r 7TV.VT
CHAPTER XII. (Continued.)
Still the wealthy widow held on sur
prisingly, but sfter this second attark. re
covery was very glow, and the doctors
complained of want of vitality.
All this t me. in Kray t-wgy ixuuon.
Marsden's wooing pnsered. and Nora
grew quite accustomed to His aaiiy pres
ence. 11.. u'flu himju If cautious and self-re
strained. He took care not again lo siar-
le hnr bv such a uassionate outburst as
had disturbed her on the day she hud ac-1
pted him. He watched with infinite;
care ana tner nis opuonuuu ...........
a caress, and flattered himself he was
daily advancing in her affection, and be
coming more necessary, yet there came at
intervals torturing spasms of doulit. when
it was borne in upon him that he was ouly
liked, endured and slightly feared; su.h
moments made him savage, exacting, un
reasonable. He strove bard to resist
these moods, knowing well how much of
what he had built up with infinite care
Through all, Nora was so sweet, so pa
tient, so compliant, that he grew more pas-
ionately fond of her day by day, even
while he lomted for her to show hiiu some
caprices, some little tyrannies indicative
of pleasure in her sense of power over
him. She did not love him yet not yei
but she would he true to him, and love
him, and love would come.
On one point Nora was steady; sne
would not marry till she had attained her
twenty-first year, and on this Marsden
was obliged to give way. As their mar
riage was not to take place immediately,
he was anxious It should not be talked
about There was no use in bringing s
storm of congratulations and questions
upon them before the time, but he prom
ised to speak to Lady Dorrington on the
subject as soon as he could Intrude on hei
duties to her sick guest.
"You ought to tell her before anyone
else, Clifford," urged Nora.
A fortnight had slipped away, and as
yet no whisper of Msrsden's engagement
had got abroad.
There was no one in town, and Mrs.
and Misa L'Estrsuge were scarcely
known In Msrsden's world.
, Mrs. L'Estrsnge was much and most
urtMblr occupied with her ltttle daugn
ter, and pleased with her surroundings.
makini- ouietlv the meanwniie prepsra
tions for the anticipated event and had
little time to notice how pale and thin
Nora had grown, that her face looked all
ves. that she started nervously it sua
denlr spoken to, and that her hands held
nothing very steadily. All seemed to
oromise fslr and well. In the midst of
this contentment Wlnton arrived from
Florence, irsver snd gaunter tnan ever,
It happened that the day he first called
Marsden hsd received from his sister an
earnest request to go to her at once, and
he bad started, intending to visit .ves
teigh on his wsy back. Mrs. L'Estrsnge
bad been a little puszled by Marsden's
wish to let Eveslelgh; she had no Idea that
retrenchment was so necessary to him.
Still, neither she nor her step-daughter
saw anything to object to In tne proposi
tion. Indeed, Nora thought she would
prefer traveling with him to settling down
in the country; she was moreover most
anxious that he should clesr his estate
and retrieve his fortunes.
It seemed to her, she knew not why,
fortunate that Clifford should have been
railed awav as Mark Wlnton came. She
longed to hear him talk with her step
mother, once just once in the old, quiet,
sensible way, without interruption. When
j Marsden was present she Vas never quite
at ease: she felt he was watching ner
that he was ever on the lookout for her
notice or her avoidance. She dreaded
slighting him, and feared the passionate
delight which any little show of kindness
on her Dart excited. To be still and tran-
nuil for an evening or two was very
charming; though she was distressed to
find what pleasure it gave her to hear
Winton's deep, somewhat harsh voice, to
listen even to his most trifling remarks.
When when would he speak to Helen,
and nut another final barrier between
them? The all-absorbing topic of her
'OH engagement nan prevented any am-
mauversion on niium-iw-i,ii)inMri,
,p(iJn it Nora diu not like to broach
n was late, and Bea was beginning to
say good-night a process which usually
lasted some time when Wlnton appear-
ed. lie had only arrived mat evening,
n,d '"j for 'ntrudit,8 lae-
Beatrice, of course, greeted him rap
turouy an(j her departure to the realms
of leep wag postponed. When she had
disappeared, and they were quiet, Wlnton
looked round the room and said
"It is almost like being at Brookdaie
only I miss some of the furniture and
I "And the room is smaller," added Mrs
1 "Uave y0u been 111?" were his next
words, addressed to Nora, with an earnest
"No! Why do you ask? Do I look ill?'
"I think you do. London does not agree
"I have a slight cold, scarce worth men
tioniug, she returned.
Wiuton slowly withdrew his eyes from
her; and, after looking down for a minute
in silence, began to talk of Mrs. Hutb
ven and her illness, her relapse, and her
final recovery. Then he spoke of going
to see his uncle la Yorkshire; and they
glided easily from one subject to another.
On rising to say good-night he asked
Mrs. L'Estrange at what hour he should
find ber next dv.
"I don't think I shall be In much before
noon. I have a dreadful business before
Ji A . . IVvU
" WM0 'IV. !
no: it was only Mr. inton s
There is nothing really the matter
As soon as Mrs. L'Estrange with Bea
and her governess had departed, after an
early lum-heon, Nora took a book and a
comfortable corner of the sofa, deter
mined to think only of the story, which
was interesting and well told. She felt
unaccountably weary, and was not at all
surprised that Winton should have
thought her looking ill. What an ungrate
ful, unacrotintable creature she was! How
happy most girls would be, in her place!
Hut she was going to read, and not think
about herself. So, with an effort, she
fixed her attention on the page before her.
She had not read long, when the unexpect
ed announcement of "Mr. Winton" made
her heart stand still. Why why had he
come so early ? She started up in haste,
and went to meet him, reading in his ob
servant eyes the same questioning ex
pression which had struck her the evening
"I urn afraid Helen will not be in just
yet," said Nora, wirh a friendly smile.
'i, I know I sm rather early, but
f I don't interrupt you, I will wait" re
turned Winton. speaking more rapidly
than usual. He drew a chair near her
sofa, laying his hat on the floor, but still
holding his stick, with which he seemed
to trace the pattern of the carpet. "How
is your cold better?"
"Yes, thank you."
"When do you return to Brookdaie?"
"Our plans are very uncertain," return
ed Nora, coloring, for she knew it was
Marsden's wish they should remain in
town and have a very quiet wedding.
How she wished some one would tell
hiin she wss engaged to Clifford! There
us a pause while Nora sought in vain
for something to say.
Did Mrs. L'Estrange tell you I was
inclined to go off straight to India with
Colonel and Mrs. Homer?"
"Yes, she did."
"But I felt I could not go without trying
my luck In London. May I tell you why?"
"He Is going to confide in me, thought
"Certainly, Mr. Wlnton," she said very
kindly. "Perhaps I have some idea why
W inton looked at ber steadily, with sur
"You may have, though I doubt it."
Another pause, then with an evident effort
Wlnton began, growing more composed
and collected as he went on. "You may
think me a presumptuous ass, but I will
not lose the faintest chance for any false
pride. Miss L'Estrange, though we have
always been good friends, especially when
I first knew yon, I acknowledge you have
never given me any hope that you would
ever let me be more than a friend. And
lately I have imagined, or rather felt, that
you were changed in some way; perhaps
that ought to have been enough to silence
me, but, you see, when a man's future
hangs on 'Yes' or 'No,' it is hard to be
content with uncertainty, and there Is a
degree of sympathy between us on somo
subjects. In short, I cannot leave with
out asking If there Is any hope for me.
for," looking straight at her with sol
emnity, "I love you well."
"Me!" exclaimed Nora, who had listened
in increasing amazement. "Are you sure
you mean me?"
"Who else could I mean?"
"Mr. Winton," rising to her feet in the
agony of that terrible moment, and white
even to her lips, "I have promised to
marry Clifford Marsden In February."
Winton also rose and stood before her,
a grim, dark expression gathering in his
"I never anticipated this" he broke off
abruptly. "Then I have only to apologize,
which I do most humbly, for having in
truded myself and my feelings on you. I
shall trouble you no more."
There was a moment's silence.
"I am grieved to grieve you," said Nora,
in a voice so low and trembling that she
scarce heard herself.
"I believe it you have a kind, true
heart. I was presumptuous in hoping to
wiu it. God grant Marsden may make
you happy! None can wish you all possi
ble prosperity more warmly thun I do.
Pray forget that I have momentarily dis
tressed you." He paused, and looked at
her intently. "Nora, you are faint? You
tremble, you can hardly stand."
He made a movement as if to catch and
"No, no!" she exclaimed. "You must go
you must leave me!"
"I must indeed," returned Winton. rie
took and gently kissed her hand, said soft
Iv, "I will never intrude on you again.
Good-by, dear, good-by!" seized his hat,
and was gone. Theu Nora Bunk upon the
sofa and buried her face in her hands, her
heart rilled with the blackest despair. If
he had come but three weeks, even a fort
night ago! What was to become of her?
Was there no escape? Could she bring
him no comfort? The pain in his voice
still vibrated on her ear. Even if she
could break with Clifford he, too, loved
her well, and she would not willingly
hurt him; but oh! how her heart ached
for Mark Winton! There was no music
in his voice, but what a ring of truth and
sincerity! His words were few and sim
ple compared to Clifford's eloquence; but
what earnestness they expressed! How
did she come to believe so implicitly In
Winton's attachment to Helen? Surely
Clifford Marsden, who knew both before
Helen was married, be ought to know the
Could Mark Winton have forsaken
Helen for her? No; that was impossible!
And various imporymt trifles, indicative
of his Interest in herself from the very
beginning of their acquaintance, recurred
to her painfully excited memory. Why
why did she allow herself to be so easily
misled? How did Clifford come to be so
deceived? Did he indeed believe what
he asserted? Was she not base, to sus
pect her affianced husband of trickery be
cause she wss miserable herself? And
if, as she believed only yesterday, Helen
was attached to Wlnton, the round of
wretchedness would be complete! Why
had she been so precipitate? Turn which
way she would, ehe was hemmed In by
the misery she bad caused others. How
waa she to bear ber life? She must let
Wlnton believe In ber Indifference to blm,
her lore for Maredea. After all, her doty
and consideration ought to be for the man
ah had prom lead to marry, when she
thotiKlit another was preferred by the
man she loved! Where run Id she turn fof
CHiiusel or comfort? None could grrs It
to ber. Her wisest, justest course, woCld
lie strictest silence as to Winton's idi
in? avowal. Then there would be no dia
turoance. Helen would remain on the
same friendly terms with Winton, per
haps he might learn to love ber. At any
rate, she had always heard that men
never suffered long from such disappoint
It was all. all too cruel! To think that
through a mistake so slight, so easy to
have avoided, she bad missed the road
that led to happiness happiness full, com
plete, soul-satisfying and made him she
loved so well suffer as bitterly as she did
It was an hour of intense, blackest de
spair, a night of anguish to which there
would be no succeeding dawn. To the sor
rows, as to the joys of youth there are
no to-morrows. In grief it indignantly
rejects the idea of consolation, of being
so heartless as to forget, while the sug
gestion of prudence in pleasure, lest dark
days may come, is resisted with scornful
certainty of permanent bliss. To Nora
the only possible mood that could succeed
her present suffering would be the numb
ness and indifference of mental death! In
the bitterness of her remorse for her own
hasty action, she wrung her bands, and
the splendid engagement-ring, which
Marsden had placed upon her hand in ad
dition to the signet he still wished her to
wear, fell to the ground unnoticed.
At leugth she tried to thiuk what she
had better do to hide herself from the
kindly inquiring eyes of her step-mother.
She conld think of nothing more original
than the inexhaustible excuse headache;
but it would not do to lie down in the safe
solitude of her own room. No; she dared
not so indulge herself. She would go out
and shop. There was plenty to do in that
way. She rang and called for the ever
ready Watson, and explained that she
thought the air would do her good, and
sallied forth leaving a message for Mrs.
L'Estrange to the effect that Winton had
called and could not come to tea.
It was dusk when she returned, feeling
utterly worn out
"My dear Nora," cried her stej-mother.
"here is a letter from Mr. Marsden. I
wonder what he would say If he know that
you had let the beautiful ring he gave
you drop, and had not taken the trouble
to pick it up?"
"Did I ?" with a bewildered look.
"Yes! Bea trod on It as she came in.
It is fortunate she is so light."
"Ah! my fraulein. It is not a good
omen!" cried the little German governess.
"Oh! we must not talk of omens! How
did Bea behave at the dentist's Helen?"
"Like a little heroine," cried Mrs. L'Es
trange, proudly, "and she has chosen a
proportionate reward a monstrous
Noah's ark. with the most accurately cor
rect animals ever made out of wood, and
fnr, and papier-mache. But Nora, were
you wise to go out?"
"Yes, quite. My head ached fearfully,
now It Is better."
"It may be; but you look wretched. I
do not know what Mr. Marsden will say
to me when he comes back. I wish you
would read his letter I am anxious to
hear what Lady Dorrington says."
"Nothing very pleasant, I fear," said
Nora, with a sigh.
"Why couldn't Mr. Winton come this
"Oh! he was obliged to go somewhere
else. I Imagine he Is going away to see his
(To be continued.)
He Was Cured of the Habit by a Simple
Among the outre characters of Ayr
more than 100 years ago there was none
so remarkable as a little oldish man
who was ordinarily called the "evil
Almighty." He had acquired this ter
rific sobriquet from an Inveterate habit
of swearing, or rather from that phrase
being his favorite oath. He was no or
dinary swearer, no mincer of dreadful
words, no clipper of the King's curses.
Being a man of violent passions, he had
a habit when provoked of shutting his
eyes and launching headlong Into a
torrent of blasphemy, ttuch as might, if
properly divided, have set up a whole
troop of modern swearers.
The custom of shutting his eyes seem
ed to be adopted by him aa a sort of
salve to his conscience. He seemed to
think that provided he did not ";i w'th
his eyes open" be did not sin at all; or
It was perhaps nothing but a habit.
Whatever might be the cause or pur
pose of the liabit It was once made the
means of playing off upon him a most
admirable hoax. Being one evenlug In
a tavern along with two neighboring
country gentlemen he was, according
to a concerted plon, played upon and
Irritated. Of course he soon shut hie
eyes, and commenced his usual tirade of
execration and blasphemy. As soon as
he was fairly afloat and his eyes were
observed to be hard shut his compan
ions put out the candles, so as to In
volve the room In utter darkness.
In the course of a quarter of an hour,
which was the common duration of his
paroxysms, he ceased to speak, and
opened his eyes, when what was bis
amazement to find himself In the dark.
"How now? Am I blind?" "Blind,"
exclaimed one of the company; "what
should make you blind?" "Why, I can
see nothing," answered the sinner.
"That Is your own fault," coolly ob
served his friend; "for my part I can
see well enough," and he drank a toast
as If nothing had happened. This con
vinced the blasphemer that he had
lost his sight, and to add to his horror
It struck him that Providence had In
flicted the blow as a punishment for his
nin1nIi.iKL uttMr Ai-lflMCt TTn1a 4kle ln
lUlUlt'i a 1'iv.; tv m J si.s7S IUIO IsJI"
presslon he began to rave and cry, and
he Anally fell Into praying, uttering
such expressions as made bis two com
panions ready to burst with retrained
When they thought they had punished
htm sufficiently, and began to fear lest
his mind be affected If tbey continued
the Joke any longer, one of them went
to the door and admitted the light The
old blasphemer waa overwhelmed with
shams at the exhibition ho bad neon
compelled to make, which had such an
effect that from that time forward ho
entirely abandoned bla abomlnahta
habit Kilmarnock Standard.
It to aald that good
then- musie, whlls bad
Powered by Open ONI