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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 19, 1907)
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By KATHERINE CECIL THURSTON,
Author of "The Circle," Etc.
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Copyritfht, 1005. 1004. by llorper t Brother
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J li '
ODKB'S frame of mind ns hi'
left 'ii.tii;;iu gardens wan pe
culiar, (luce more lit1 was liv
ing hi the pro- iMit the force-
exhilarating present, and t lie
braced hint. rpitii 0110
Jiuiiit hK liiiml was snllslic.l.
Astrupp had found the telegram, and
it remained to lilm to rondci' her llnd
valueless. I low he proposed to 1j
this, how ho proposed to come out tri
iitnphaut iti face of such a situation,
was a matter thai as yet was shape
less in his in In (1 ; liovonhchM.s the dan
ger, tin- son-e of impending eonlliet.
lied a savor of life alter the inaction
of tlio day and night Just passed. Clti!
"ite hi his weakness and his entangle
inetit had turned to him, and he In his
Mrongth and capacity had responded
to the appeal.
His step was Hnn and his bearing as
Mired as ho turned into (irosvoiior
Mpiare and walked toward the familiar
The habit of self deceit Is as Insidi
ous and tenacious as any vice. For one
moment on the nighl of his ureal
f'ech as he leaned out of Chllcutc'ti
carriage and met Chllcote's eyes Loder
had seen himself and under the shock
of revelation had taken decisive action.
Hut in the hours subsequent to that
action the plausible, inner voice had
whispered unceasingly, soothing Ids
wounded self esteem, rebuilding stone
by stone the temple of Ids egotism, un
til at last when Chllcote, panic stricken
at his own action, had burst into his
rooms ready to plead or to coerce he
had found no need for either coercion
or entreaty, lly a power more subtle
and effective than any at ids command
I.oder had been prepared for Ids com
ingunconsciously ready with an ac
quiescence before his appeal had boon
made. It was tlio fruit of this prepara
tion, the inevitable outcome of it, that
strengthened his step and steadied his
hand ns lie mounted the steps and
opened tlio hall door of Chllcote's house
on that eventful afternoon.
The dignity, the air of quiet solidity,
impressed him as it never failed to do,
as he crossed the large hall and ascend
ed the stairs the same stairs that he
had passed down almost as an outcast
not so many hours before, lie was fill
ed with tlio sense of things regained.
TV-llof In his own star lifted him, as It
had done a hundred times before in
ihose same surroundings.
lie quickened his steps as the sensa
tion came to him. Then, reaching the
head of tlio stairs, he turned directly
toward Kve's sitting room and. gaining
the door, knocked. The strength of his
oagerness, the quick beating of his
lMdse as he waited for a response, sur
prised him. lie had told himself many
times that his passion, however strong,
would never again conquer as it had
done two nights ago, and the fact that
ho had come thus candidly to Kve's
room was to his mind a proof that
temptation could bo dared. Neverthe
less there was something disconcerting
to a strong man In this merely physical
perturbation, and when Kve's voice
came to him, giving permission to en
ter, he paused for an Instant to steady
himself. Then, with sudden decision,
ho opened the door and walked Into
Tlio blinds were partly drawn, there
vnih a scent of violets In the air, and a
Arc. glowed warmly In the grate. lie
noted these things carefully, telling
himself that a man should always be
nlertly sensible of his surroundings.
Then nil at once the nice balancing of
letall suddenly gave way. no forgot
everything but tho onoclrcumstnucetlint
Kvo was standing in the window, her
hack to the light, her face toward him.
With his pulses beating faster and an
unsteady sensation In his brain, he mov
od forward, holding out his liinul.
"Eve" he said below his breath.
Hut Eve remained motionless. As he
came into the room she had glanced at
him a glance of quick, searching ques
tion, then with equal suddenness she
had averted her eyes. As ho drew close
to her now she remained immovable.
"Eve" he said again. "I wanted to
seo you I wanted to explain about yes
terday and about this morning." Ho
paused, suddenly disturbed. The full
remembrance of the scene In the
brougham had surged up at sight of
her had risen a tierce, unquenchable
recollection. "Kvo" ho began again
In n new, abrupt tone.
And then it was that Evo showed
herself In n fresh light. From his en
franco into tho room she had stayed
motionless, savo for her first glance of
acute Inquiry, but now her demeanor
changed. For almost tho first time In
Loder's knpjvvlpilgo ofher thp vitality
and force fhaf he had vaguely appro
headed below her quiet, serene ete
rlor sprang up like a ilauio within
whose r.Mllus thing-; are illuminated
With a quick gesture, she turned to
ward him, her warm color deepening,
her eyes suddenly alight.
"I understand." she said "I under
stand. Don't try t evplain. Can't
you see that It's enough to to seo you
as you are"
I .oiler was surprised. Itememheriuu
their last passionate scene and the
damper Chllcote's subsequent presence
iniM inevitably have cast upon It, he
hail expected to he doubtfully received,
but i he reality or the reception left him
hi wiUercd. Kve's manner was n-l
that of the 111 used wife. It who
ineiiee. its note of desire ami deprecia
tion, were more suggestive of his own
irdent seizing of the present as distin
guished from past. or future. With an
o.'.d sense of confusion lie turned to her
"Then ! nui forgiven V" lie said. And
un'oii4clousl. as he moved nearer ho
touched her arm.
At Ids touch siie started. All the
yielding sweetness, all the submission.
Ilia t had marked her two nights ago
was gone. In its place she was pos
sessed by a curious excitement that
stirred while it perplexed.
l.oder, moved by the sensation, took
another step forward. "Then I am
forgiven V" lie repeated more softly.
Her face was averted as lie spoke,
but he felt her arm quiver, and when
at last she lifted her head their eyes
met. Neither spoke, but in an Instant
Loder's arms were around her.
For a long silent space they stood
holding each other closely. Then, with
a sharp movement. Evo freed herself.
Her color was still high, her eyes still
peculiarly bright, but the bunch of vio
lets she had worn In her belt had fallen
to the ground.
"John." she said quickly, but on tho
word her breath caught. With a touch
of nervousness she stooped to pick up
l.oder noticed both voice and gesture.
"What Is It?" he said. "What were
you going to say?"
But she made no answer. For a sec
ond longer she .searched for the violets,
then as ho bent to assist her she stood
up quickly and laughed a short, em
"How absurd and nervous 1 anil" she
exclaimed. "Like a schoolgirl Instead
"Then 1 am fovylvcn T" he said.
of a woman of twenty-four. You must
, help me to be sensible." Her cheeks
still burned, her manner was still ex
cited, like one who holds nn emotion
or an impulse at bay.
Loder looked at her uncertainly.
"Kvo" ho began afresh with his odd,
characteristic perscverauce, hut alio
Instantly checked him. There was a
; finality, a faint suggestion of fear, in
I "Don't!" she said. "Don't! I don't
want explanations. I want to lo en
Joy tho moment without having things
analyzed or smoothed uway. Can't you
understand? Can't you see that I'm
wonderfully, terribly happy to to have
you as you are!" Again her voice
broke a break that might have been
a laugh or a sob.
1 Tho sound was an emotional crisis,
as such a Bound Invariably Is. It ar
rested and steadied her. For a mo
ment she stood absolutely still, then
with something very closely resembling
her old rcposo of manner she stooped
again and quietly picked up tho flow
ersstlll .lying at her feet.
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32 in. Percales 10c
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"Now,"" she said quietly, "1 must say
what I've wanted to say all along.
How does It feel to be a great man?"
Her manner was controlled, she looked
at him evenly and directly; savo for
the faint vibration In her voice there
was nothing to Indicate tho tumult of a
But l.oder was still uncertain. He
caught her hand, his eyes searching
"But Kvo" ho began.
Then Kvo played the last card in her
mysterious game. Laughing quickly
and nervously, she freed her hand and
laid It over his mouth.
"No!" she said. "Not one word! All
this past fortnight has belonged to
you; now It's my turn. Today Is mine."
ND so, once again, tho woman
conquered. Whatever Kve's in
tentions were, whatever she
wished to evade or ward off,
she was successful in gaining her end.
For more than two hours she kept Lo
der at her side. There may have been
momenta In those two hours when the
tension was high, when the efforts she
made to Interest and hold him wcro
somewhat strained. But If this was so
It escaped the notice of the one person
concerned, for It was long after tea
had been served, long after Kvo had
offered to do penance for her monopoly
of him by driving him to Chllcote's
club, that Loder realized with any de
gree of distinctness that It was she and
not he who had taken the lead In their '
interview; that It was sho and not ho I
who had bridged the dlfllcult sllencoH '
and given a fresh direction to danger- j
ous channels of talk. It was long bo- '
fore ho recognized this, but it was still
longer before ho realized the far inore.i
potent fact that without any coldness, i
without any lessening of the puhtle
consideration she always showed him,
she had given him no further opportu
nity of making love.
Talking continuously, elated with the
tense of coialllct still to come, ho drovo I
with her to the club. Considering that
ftrlve In the light of after events, his
own frame of mind Invariably filled
him with Incredulity. In the eyes of
any sane man his position was not'
worth an hour's purchase, yet In tho J
blind solf confidence of the moment ho
would not liayo changed places with j
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Fralde himself. The great song of self
was sounding in his ears as he drove
through the crowded streets, conscious
of the cool, crisp air, of Kve's close
presence, of the numberless Inllnltesl
mal tilings thai went to make up the
value of life. Ii was this acknowledg
ment of personality that upheld him
the personality, the power that hail
carried him unswervingly through elev
en colorless years; that had Impelled
htm toward this new career when the
new career had first been opened to
him; that had hewn a way for htm in
this fresh existence against colossal
odds; the indomitable force that had
trampled out Chilcote's footmarks In
public life. In private life -In love. It
was a triumphant paean (hilt clamored
in his ears, something persistent and
prophetic, with an undernote of men
acethe cry of the human soul that has
dared to stand alone.
His glance was keen and bright as he
waited for a moment at the carriage
door and took Kve's hand before enter
ing tho club.
"You're dining out tonight?" he said.
Ills fingers, always tenacious and mas
terful, continued to hold hers. The
compunction that had driven him tem
porarily toward sacrifice had passed.
Ills pride, his confidence and with tlioni
his desire, had flowed hack In full
Kve, watching him attentively, paled
a little. "Yes," she said, "I'm dining
with tho Bramfells."
"What time will you got homo?" He
scarcely realized why ho put tho ques
tion. The song of self still sounded
triumphantly, and ho responded with
Ills eyes held hers, his fingers press
ed her hand; tho Intense mastery of his
will passed through her In a sudden
sense of fear. Her lips parted In depre
cation, but he, closely attentive of her
expression, spoke again quickly.
"When can I seo you?" he asked very
Again she was" about to speak. Sho
leaned forward, as if some thought
long suppressed trembled on her lips,
then her courage or her desire failed
her. She leaned back, letting her lushes
droop over her eyes. "I shall bo homo
at 11," sho said below her breath.
Lodor dined with Lakoley at Chll
cote's club, and so absorbing wero tho
political luterests of the hour the res
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Infants' Short Dresses, 25 to
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White Silk Gloves at
ignation of Sir Itobort Sefhorough, tho
king's summoning' of Fralde, tho prob
able features of the new ministry that
It was after 1) o'clock when at last ho
freed himself and drove to the Arca
; The sound of music came to him as
he entered the theater light, measured
music suggestive of tiny streams, toy
lambs and painted shepherdesses. It
sounded singularly inappropriate to his
mood as inappropriate as tho theater
Itself with Its gay gliding, Its pale
tones of pink and blue. It was tho set
ting of n different workl-a world of
laughter, light thoughts and shallow
Impulses, In which ho had no pnrt.
I It was tho Interval between the first
! and second acts. Tho box was In
, shadow, and Loder's first Impression
' was of voices and rustling skirts, bro
ken In upon by the murmur of fre
quent amused laughter. Later, as his
eyes grew accustomed to the light, ho
distinguished the occupants, two wo
men and a man. Tho man was speak
ing ns ho entered, and the story ho
was relating was evidently Interesting
from the faint exclamations of ques
tion and delight that puuetuatod it la
the listeners' higher, softer voices.
1 "Ah, hero comes tho legislator!" ex
' claimed Leonard Kalne, for It was ho
( who formed the malo element In tho
"The revolutionary, Lennle," Lillian
corrected softly. "Bramfell says ho
I has changed the whole face of things."
She laughed softly and meaningly as
I she closed her fan. "So good of you to
' come, Jack," she added. "Let mo In-
; troduce you to Miss Ksseltyu. I don't
think you two have met. This Is Mr.
Chllcote, Mary-tho great, now Mr.
I Chllcote." Again she laughed.
Loder bowed and moved to tho front
of tho box, nodding to Kalno as ho
"It's only for an hour," ho explained
to Lillian. "I have an appointment for
"Only an hour! Oh, how unklndt
How should I punish him, Lennio?"
Lillian looked round at Kalno with u
lingering, caressing glance.
Ho bent toward her In quick re
sponse and answered In a whisper.
(Continued on Pao Six.)
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