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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 15, 1907)
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By KATHERINE CECIL THURSTON,
Author of "The Circle," Etc.
name implies, "AMERICAN BEAUTY CORSET," Kalamazoo Corset
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Copyright. 1905. 1004, by Harper C Brothers
r jj .l
In llio five days of banishment just
lhod through Hie need for a readjust
ment of Ills position with regard to
liw had come to liliu forcibly. The
memory of the night when weakness
anil ho liml been at perilously close
quarters had returned to him persist
ently ami uncomfortably, spoiling; tlie
ivniemltranee of his trlinsiph. It had
been well enough hi smother tho
thought of tbat night In days of work.
But had the Ignoring of it blotted out
the weakness? Had II not rather
thrown It Into bolder relief? A man
strong in his own strength does not
turn his back upon temptation. lie
f ices and quells It. In tlie solitary days
In Clifford's Inn. In tlie solitary night
hours spent in tramping tlie city
streets, tills hud been the conviction
that had recurred again and again, tills
(ho problem to which, after much con
federation, lie had found a solution, sat
Isfact av at least to himself. When
Jiext Chilcoto called him It was nota
ble that he bad used tlie word "when"
and not "if." When next Chilcoto called
him he would make a new departure. He
would no longer avoid I've. Ho would
fiuceertsfully prove to himself that one
iuu'ivst and one alone tilled his inlnd
ho pursuance of Clillcote's political
career. So does man satisfactorily con
vince himself against himself. He had
this intention fully in mind as he came
"Well." he said slowly, "has it been
very hard to have faith these last live
days?" It was not precisely tlie tone
he had meant to adopt, but one must
live turned at his words. I lor eyes
vrere brimming with life, her cheeks
.sUll touched to a deep, soft color by
the keenness of the wintry air.
"N'o," she answered, with a shy, re
sponsive touch of coiilldence. "I seem
ed to keep on believing. You know
converts make the best devotees." She
laughed with slight embarrassment
ind glanced up at him. Something in
the blue of her eyes reminded him mi--expect
edly of spring skies full of youth
Ho moved abruptly and .crossed the
room toward the window. "live." he
said, without looking around, "I want
lie heard the faint rustling of her
dress as she turned toward him, and
ho knew that ho had struck tho right
chord. AH true women respond to an
.appeal for aid as steel answers to the
magnet. Ho could feel her expectancy
In the silence.
"You know wo all know that the
present moment Is very vital. That It's
Impossible to deny the crisis in the air.
'Fc," he said, "I want your help."
Nobody fools It more than I do. No
liody is more exorbitantly keen to have
n share, a part, when tho real light
comes" Ho stopped; then he turned
slowly and their oyes mot. "If a innu
is to succeed in such a desire," he went
on deliberately, "ho must exclude all
ethers. Ho must have one purpose,
one Interest, one thought. Ho must for
get that" ,
Kvo lifted her head quickly "that
heUias a wife," she finished gently. "I
tli I nk I understand."
There was no annoyance In her face
or voice, no suggestion of selfishness
or of hurt vanity. She had read his
meaning with disconcerting clearness
and responded with disconcerting gen
i ? Mmhm fwmm Mm
erosity. A sudden and very human dis
satisfaction with his readjustment
scheme fell upon I.oder. Opposition Is
the whip to action; a too ready acqui
escence the slackened rein.
"Did I say that?" he asked quickly.
Tlie tone was almost Clillcote's.
Siie glanced up; then a sudden, in
comprehensible smile lighted up her
"You didn't say, but you thought,"
she answered gravely. "Thoughts are
(ho same as words to a woman. That's
why we are so unreasonable." Again
she smiled. Some idea, battling and in
comprehensible to I.oder, was stirring
in Iil-T mind.
Conscious of (lie Impression, he mov
ed still nearer. "You jump to conclu
sions," lie said abruptly. "What 1
meant to imply"
"was precisely what I've under
stood." Again she finished his sen
tence. Then she laughed softly. "I low
very wl-e, but how very, xvy foolish
men are! You come to the conclusion
th.it because a woman is-is interested
in you she Is going to hamper you in
some direction, and after Inllulle pains
you summon all your tact ami you set
about saving the situation." There was
interest, even a touch of amusement,
In her tone; her eyes were still llxed
upon his hi an ludcllnahlc glance. "You
think you are being very diplomatic,"
she went on quietly, "but In reality
you are being very transparent. Tho
woman reads the whole of your mean
ing hi your very flrst sentence -if she
hasn't known it beforo you began to
Again I.oder made an interruption,
but again she checked him.
"No," she said, still smiling. "You
should never attempt such a task.
Shall I tell you why?"
ire stood silent, puzzled and Inter
ested. "Because," she said quickly, "when a
woman really Is Interested, the man's
career ranks Inllnltely higher In her
eyes than any personal desire for
For a moment their eyes met; then
abruptly Loder looked away. She had
gauged his intentions Incorrectly, yet
with disconcerting Insight. Again the
suggestion of an unusual personality
below the serenity of her maimer re
curred to his imagination.
With nn Impulse altogether foreign
to him ho lifted his head and again
met her glance. Then at last he spoke,
but only two words. "I'orglvo me!" ho
said, with simple, direct sincerity.
FTVAl his Interview with Eva,
Loder retired to tlie study and
spent tho remaining hours of
tho day and tho whole span of
tho evening In work. At 1 o'clock, still
feeling fresli In mind and body, lie dis
missed Greening and passed into Clill
cote's bedroom. The Interview with
Kvo, though widely different from the
one he had anticipated, had left him
stimulated and alert. In the hours that
followed It there had been an added
anxiety to put his mind into harness,
an added gratification in dialing It
answer to the rein.
A pleasant seme of retrospection
settled upon hi in as he slowly un
dressed, and a pleasant sense of inter
est touched him as, crossing to tho
dressing table, he caught sight of Clill
cote's engagement book, taken with
other things from the suit ho had
changed at dinner time and carefully
laid aside by Hcnwick.
Ho picked It up nnd slowly turned
tho pages. It always held tho sugges
tion of n lottery, this dipping Into an
other man's engagements and drawing
a prlzo or a blank. It was a sensa
tion that even custom had not dulled.
At flrst he turned the pages slowly,
then by degrees his lingers quickened.
Beyond the fact that this present
evening was freo he know nothing of
his promised movements. Tho abrupt
ness of Clillcote's arrival at Clifford's
inn in tho afternoon had left no time
j for superfluous questions. Ho sklra
, mod the writing with n touch of Inter
ested haste, then all at onco he paused
"Big enough for n tombstone!" ho
said below his breath as his eyes rest
ed on a largo blue cross. Then he
smiled agalu and held tho book to tho
"Diuo 3.1 Cadognn gardens, 8 o'c.
Talk with L.," ho read, still speaking
softly to himself.
lie stood for a moment pondering on
tho entry, then once more his glance
reverted to tho cross.
"Evidently meant It to bo scon," ho
mused. "But why tho douce Isn't ho
more explicit?" As ho spoke a look of
comprehension suddenly crossed his
face and tho puzzled frown between
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his eyelirows cleared way.
With a feeling of satisfaction he re
membered Lakeley's frequent and
pressing suggestion that he should dine
with him at Cadognn gardens and dls
cus tho political outlook.
Lakeley must have written during
his absence, and Chilcoto, having mark
ed tho engagement, felt no further re
sponsibility. The Invitation could
scarcely have been verbal, as Chllcole,
he know, had lain very low In tho Ave
days of his return home.
So he argued as he stood with the
book still open lu his hands, the blue
cross staring Imperatively from the
white paper. And from the argument
! rose thoughts and suggestions that
seethed In his mind long after tho lights
had been switched off, long after the
lire had died down, and lie had been
left wrapped In darkness In the great
And so It came about that ho took
his second false step. Once during the
press of the next morning's work It
crossed his mind to verify his convic
tions by a glance nt tho directory, but
for once the strong wish that evolves
a thought conquered his caution. Ills
work was absorbing; the need of veri
fication seemed very small. He let tho
At 7 o'clock ho dressed carefully, nis
mind was full of Lakeley nnd of the
possibilities the night might hold; for
more than once before tho weight of
tho St. George's Gazette, with Lakeley
at Its back, had turned the political
scales. To bo marked by hhn as a
coming man was at any time a favora
alilo portent; to bo singled out by him
nt the present juncturo was momen
tous. A thrill of expectancy, almost
excitement, passed through hhn as ho
surveyed his appearance preparatory
to leaving the house.
Passing downstairs, ho moved at
onco to the hall door; but almost an
his hand touched It ho halted, attracted
by a movement on tho landing above
him. Turning, ho saw Kvo.
She was standing quite still, looking
down upon him as sho had looked onco
I before. As their oyes mot sho changed
her position hastily.
"You are going out?" sho asked. And
It struck Loder quickly that there was
a suggestion, n shadow of disappoint
ment In tho tono of her voice. Moved
by tho Impression, ho responded with
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"Yes," he said. "I'm dining out
dining with Lakeley."
She watched him intently while he
spoke: then, as the meaning of his
words reached her her whole face
"Willi Mr. Lakeley?" she said. "Oh,
I'm glad very glad. It Is quite quite
another step." She smiled with a warm,
Impulsive touch of sympathy.
Loder, looking up at her, felt his
senses stir. At sound of her words his
secret craving for success quickened to
stronger life. The man whoso sole in
centive lies within may go forward
coldly and successfully; but tlie man
who grasps a double Inspiration, who,
oven unconsciously, Is Impelled by an
other force, has a stronger Impetus for
attack, a surer, more vital hewing
power. Still watching her, he answer
"Yes," he said slowly, "a long step."
And, with a smile of farewell, ho turn
ed, opened the door and passed Into the
Tho thrill of that 0110 moment was
still warm an ho reached Cndogan gar
dens and mounted the steps of No. .'13
so vitally warm that ho paused for nn
Instant before pressing tho electric
bell. Then at last, domlnnted by antici
pation, he turned and raised his hand.
The action was abrupt, and It was
only as his lingers pressed tho bell that
11 certain unexpectedness, a certain
want of suitability lu the aspect of tho
house, struck hhn. Tho door was white;
this handle nnd knocker wore of mass
ive silver. Tho flrst seemed a disap
pointing Index of Lakeley's private
taste, the second a ridiculous tempta
tion to needy humanity. He looked
again at the number of the house, but
it stared back at him convincingly.
Then tho door opened.
So keen was Ills sense of unfitness
that, still trying to fuse his Impression
of Lakeley with the idea of silver door
fittings, ho stepped into tho hall with
out the usual preliminary question.
Suddenly realizing tho necessity, ho
turned to the servant, but tho man fore
'Will you come Into tho white room,
sir? And may I take your coat?"
Tho smooth certainty of tho man's
manner surprised him. It held another
savor of disappointment, seeming as
little lu keeping with tho keen, busi
nesslike Lakeley as did the lipase Still
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Pillow CiiMt Lace, 2 in., at
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struggling with hfs Impression, ho al
lowed himself to bo relieved of his hat
and coat and hi silence ushered up tho
As tho last step was reached It camo
to him agalu to mention his host's
name, but simultaneously with tho sug
gestion tho servant stepped forward
with a quick, silent movement and
threw open a door.
"Mr. Chllcote!" ho announced In a
subdued, discreet voice.
Loder's first Impression was of a
room that seemed unusually luxurious,
soft and shadowed. Then nil Impres
sion of Inanimato things left him sud
denly. For (ho fraction of a second ho stood
In tho doorway, while the room seemed
emptied of everything except a figure
that rose slowly from a couch beforo
tho (lie at sound of Clillcote's name.
Then, with a calmness that to himself
seemed Incredible, ho moved forward
Into tho room.
Ho might, of course, have beaten a
rotreat and obviated many tilings, but
life is full of might have boons, and re
treat nover presents Itself agreeably to
a strong man. Ills Impulse was to face
tho difficulty, and ho acted on tho Im
pulse. Lillian had risen slowly, nnd as ho
ucarcd her sho held out her hand.
"Jack," she exclaimed softly, "how
sweet of you to remember!"
The voice and words came to hlra
with great distinctness, nnd as they
camo one uncertainty passed forever
from his mind tho question as to
what relation sho and Chllcote held to
each other. With the realization camo
the thought of Eve, and In tho midst
of his own difficulty his face hardened.
Lillian Ignored the coldness. Taking
his hand, she smiled. "You're unusual
ly punctual," sho said. "But your
hands nre cold. Come closer to tho
Loder was not sensible that his
hands were cold, but ho suffered him
self to ho drawn forward.
Ono end of tho couch was In fire
light, tho othor In shadow. By a for
tunate arrangement of cliauco Lillian
selected the brighter end for herself
and offered tho other to her guest.
(Continuod on Pao Six.)
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