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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 26, 1907)
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By KATHERINE CECIL THURSTON,
Author of "The Circle," Etc
Copyrltfht. 1005, 1004. by Harper I Drothen
In other dlroe-
f"Vl FEW minutes before the our-
I tn'u ll'" 0M (1u t-'1-'"11'' ut-'1 (,r
" "Other Men's Shoos" Lodor
I ' rose from liis se:iL and made
liis apologies to Lillian.
Al any oilier moment he might linve
pondered over her maimer of accept
ing them the easy indifference with
which she let him go. Hut vastly
Keener issues wore claiming his atten
tion, issues whoso results wore wide
lie left Uio theater and, refusing the
overtures of cabmen, set himself to
wall; to Chilcote's house. Ills face
was hard and emotionless as he hur
ried forward, hut (lie chaos in his mind
found expression In the uneveiniess of
his pace. To a strong man the con
fronting of dilllculties Is never alarm
ing and Is often fraught with Inspira
tion, but this applies essentially to the
difficulties evolved through the weak
ness, the folly or the force of another;
when they arise from within the mat
ter Is of another character. It is in
presence of his own soul, and In that
presence al.me, that a man may truly
As Loder walked onward, treading
the whole familiar length of traffic
tilled street, he realized for the tlrst
time that he was standing before that
solemn tribunal that the hour had
come when he must answer to himself
for himself. The longer and deeper an
oblivion the more painful the awaken
ing, for mouths the song of self had
beaten about his ears, deadening all
other Bounds; now abruptly that song
had ceased, not considerately, not lin
gering!', but with a suddenness that
made the succeeding silence very ter
rible. He walked onward, keeping ids di
rection uuseelngly. lie was passing
through the lire as surely as though
actual Humes rose about bis feet, and
whatever the result, whatever the fiber
of the man who emerged from the or
deal. lliCutloliii Loder w.ho had hewn
bis way through the past weeks would
exist no more. The triumphant egotist,
the strong man who by his own
.strength had kept his eye-? upon one
point, refusing to see
tions, had ceased to be.
Keen though It was.
of tills crisis in his life had come with
characteristic slowness. When Lillian
Aslrupp had given her dictum, when
the music of the orchestra had ceased
and the curtain risen on the second act
of the play, nothing lint a sense of
stupefaction had filled his mind. In
that moment the great song was si
lenced, not by any portentous episode,
not by any incident that could have
lent dignity to its end, but. with the
full measure of life's irony, by a trivial
social commonplace. In the tlrst sen-t-ntion
of blank loss his faculties had
been numbed. In the quarter of an
bour that followed the rise of the cur
Tain lie had sat staring at the stage,
seeing nothing, hearing nothing, nil"'!
with the enormity of the void that sud
denly surrounded him. Then from
habit, from constitutional tendency, he
had begun slowly nnd perseveringiy
to draw tlrst one thread and then an
other from the tangle of his thoughts,
to forge with doubt and difllculty the
flinln that was to draw lilin toward the
It was upon this same Incomplete
and yet tenacious chain thnt his mind
worked as he traversed the familiar
Nt roots and at last gained the house he
hud so easily learned to call home.
As he Inserted the latchkey and felt
It move smoothly in the lock a momen
tary revolt against his own Judgment,
Tils own censorship, swung him sharply
toward reaction. But It Is only the
blind who can walk without n tremor
on me edge or an abyss, and there was
no longer a bandage across his eyes.
The reaction flared up like a strip of
lighted paper; then, like a strip of
lighted paper, It dropped back to ashes.
Ho pushed the door open and slowly
crossed the hall.
The mounting of a staircase is often
he Index to a man's state of mind. As
Loder ascended the stairs of Chileote's
house his shoulders lacked their stiff
ness, his head was no longer erect. lie
moved as though his foot were weight
ed. Ho had ceased to be the man of
achievement whoso smallest opinion
impels consideration. In the privacy
of Holltudo he was the mere human tlot
wini to which ho had onco compared
himself the flotsam that, dreaming It
has found a harbor, wakes to And itself
Hie prey of tho Incoming tide.
He paused at the head of tho stairs to
rally Ills resolutions. Then, still walk
ing heavily, he passed down tho corri
dor to Evo's room. It was suggestive
of his character Umt, having mndo his
decision, he did not dally over lis per
formance. Without waiting to knock,
lie turned the handle and walked into
It looked precisely as It always look
ed, but to Loder the rich, subdued col
orlng of books and llowois the whole I
air of culture and repose that the place I
conveyed seemed to hold a deeper
meaning than before, and it was on the
instant that his eyes, crossing the In
animate objects, rested on their owner
that the true force of his position, the
enormity of the task before him, made .
itself plain. Realization came to him
with vivid, overwhelming force, and It
must be accounted to his credit in the
summing of Ids qualities that then. In
thai moment of trial, the thought of re
treat, the thought of yielding, did not
Eve was standing by the mantel
piece. She wore a beautiful gown, a
l)t!g string of diamonds was twisted
ab tut her neck, and her soft, black
hair was coiled high after a foreign
fashion and held In place by a large
diamond comb. As he entered she turn
ed hastily, almost nervously, and look
ed at him with I fie rapid, searching
glance he had learned to expect from .
her. Then almost directly her cxpres- ,
iilon changed to one of quick concern. I
Willi a faint exclamation of alarm she
"What Ii.is happened?'' she said.
"You look like a ghost."
Loder made no answer. Moving Into
the room, he paused by the oak table
that stood between the fireplace and
They made an unconscious tableau
as they stood there he with his hard,
set face, she with her heightened col
or, her Inexplicably bright eyes. They
stood completely silent for a space
a space that for Loder held no sugges
tion of time. Then, finding the tension
unbearable, Kvo spoke again.
"Has anything happened V" she ask
ed. "Is anything wrong':"
Had he been less engrossed the In
tensity of her concern might have
struck him, but in a mind so harassed
as his there was only room for one
consideration the consideration of
himself. The sense of her question
reached him, but Us significance left
"Is nil tiling wrong?" she reiterated
for the second time.
I'.y an effort lie raised his eyes. No
man, lie thought, since (lie beginning
of the world avos ever set a task so
cruel as his. Painfully anil slowly hK
"Everything in the world is wrong."
he said in a slow, hard voice.
live said nothing, but her color sud
Again Loder was unobservant, but
with tho dovged resolution that mark
jiil hhn he forced himself to his task.
"You despise lies," he said at last.
"Tell me what you would think of a
man whoso whole life was one elab
orated lie." The words were slightly
exaggerated, but their utterance, their
painfully brusque sincerity, precluded
all suggestion of effect. Resolutely
holding her gaze, ho repented his ques
tion. "Tell me! Answer me! I want to
Eve's attitude was dllllcult to read.
She stood twisting the striqg of dia
monds between her lingers.
"Tell me!" ho said again.
She continued to look at him for a
moment; then, ns If some fresh Im
pulse moved her, she turned away
from him toward the fire.
"I cannot," she said. "Wo I 1
could not set myself to Judge any
Loder hold himself rigidly In hand.
"Eve," ho said quietly, "I was at
the Arcadian tonight. The play was
'Other Men's Shoes.' I suppose you've
road the book 'Other Men's Shoes?' "
She was loaning on the mantelpiece,
and her face was Invisible to him.
"Yes, I have read it," she said without
"It Is tho story of nn extraordinary
likeness between two men. Do you be
lieve such a likeness possible? Do you
think such a thing could exist?" no
spoko with difllculty. Ills brain nnd
tongue both felt numb.
Evo let tho diamond chain slip from
her fingers. "os," sho said nervously.
"Yes, I do believe It. Such things have
Lodor caught at tho words. "You're
quite right," he said quickly. "You'ro
qulto right. Tho thing Is possible. I've
proved It. I know a man so like mo
that you, oven you, could not toll us
Evo was silent, still averting hor
In dlro difllculty ho labored on.
Spring Dry Goods
We arc showing a full line of Spring and Summer Dress
Goods of ihc latest patterns.
Plaids and Figured Goods, 2. inches wide, at.. 12k
Plaids and Figured Gooils, 32 inches wide, at.-. 25c
Mohairs, from 30c to S1.00
All wool Plaids, 36 inches wide 50c, 60c
Phantom Mohairs 60c
Nippon Checks in Silks at 25c
Guaranteed Taffeta Silk, 36 in. wide $1.00
Guaranteed Taffeta Silk, 36 in. wide 1.25
Peau de Soie, 36 inches wide 1.50
Japanese Silk, 27 inches wide 50
A line line of M.irceline and La Sirene Silks, Or
gandies. Dotted and India Swisses, etc., 15 to 60c.
26 in. Percales 7c
32 in. Percales 10c
36 in. Percales 12k-
( linghams 7 to 1 2Ac
Madras 15 to iSc
We have a jfull line of
Ladies' Muslin Underwear.
Turnover 7 to 50c
Stock Collars 15 to 60c
tkfiWil ' B 4v'J'i
W f'j I 'I
wWl pi I
Infants' Long Dresses at
to 5 1.00.
Infants' Long Skirts, 25 to
Infants' Short Dresses, 25
Infants' Short Skirts, at
White Silk Gloves at
Red Cloud, Mr. !
cm wmmmmD cemb mm
"Eve," he begun once more, "such a
likeness Is a serious thing a terrible j
danger, .a terrible temptation. Those
wlio have no experience of It cannot
possibly gauge Its pitfalls" - Again ho
paused, but again Die silent figure by
tho fireplace gave him no help.
"Eve," Mi exclaimed suddenly, "If ,
you only knew, If you only guessed
what I'm trying to say" The perplex
ity, the whole harassed suffering of his
mind showed in the words. Loder, the
strong, tlie resourceful, the self con
tained, was palpably, painfully at a
loss. There was almost a note of ap
peal in the vibration of his voice.
And Eve, standing by the fireplace,
heard and understood. In that moment
of comprehension all that had held her
silent, all the conflicting motives that
had forbidden speech, melted away be
fore the unconscious demand for help.
Quietly and yet quickly she turned, her
whole face transfigured by a light that
seemed to shlno from within -something
singularly soft and tender.
"There's no need to say anything,"
she said simply, "because 1 know."
It can. quietly, as most great reve
lations come. Her voice was low and
free from any excitement, hor face
beautiful In Its complete unconscious
ness of self. In that supreme moment
all her thought, all her sympathy, was
for the man and his suffering.
To Loder there was a space of In
credulity; then his brain slowly swung
to realization. "You know?" ho re
peated, blankly. "You know?"
Without answering, sho walked to a
cabinet that stood In the window, un
locked a drawer and drew out several
sheets of flimsy white paper, crumpled
In places alid closely covered with
writing. Without a word sho carried
them back and held them out.
He took them In silence, scanned
them, then looked up.
In a long, worthless pause tholr eyes
met. It was as If each looked speech
lessly Into the other's heart, seeing tho
passions, tho contradictions, tho short
comings, that went to tho making of
both. In that silence they drew closer
together than they could have dono
through a torrent of words. Thero
was no asking of forgiveness, no elab
orate confession, on either side. In tho
deep, eloquent pause they mutually
saw nnd mutually understood.
"When I came Into tho morning room
today," Eesa!d at Inst, "and saw Lil
lian Astrupp reading that telegram
nothing could have seemed farther
from nn.' than the thoutdit that I should
follow her example. It was not until
afterward not until -he came Into the
room until I saw that you, as I be
lieved, had fallen back again from
what I respected to what I-despised
that I knew how human I really was.
As I watched them laugh and talk I
felt suddenly that I was alone again
terribly alone. I I think I believe I i
was Jealous In that moment" She
"Eve!" he exclaimed.
I Sut. she broke In quickly on the
word. "I felt different In that moment.
I didn't care about honor or things like
honor. After they had gone it seemed
to me that I had missed something
something that they possessed. Oh,
you don't know what a woman feels
when she Is Jealous!" Again sho
paused. "It was then that the tele
gram and the thought of Lillian's
amused smllo as she had read It camo
to my infnif. Feeling as I did -acting
on what I felt I crossed to the bureau
and picked It up. In one second I had
seen enough to make It Impossible to
draw back. Oh, It may have been dis
honorable, it may have been mean, but
1 wonder If any woman In the world
would have done otherwise! I crum
pled up the papers Just as they were
and carried them to my own room."
From the first to the last word of
Eve's story I.oder's eyes never left her
face. Instantly she had finished his
voice broke forth In Irrepressible ques
tion. In that wonderful space of
time lie had learned many tilings. AH
Ids deductions, all his apprehensions,
had been scattered and disproved. IIo
had seen tho true meaning of Lillian
Astrupp's amused indifference tho In
difference of a variable, flippant na
ture that, robbed of any real weapon
for mischief, soon tires of a gamo that
promises to be too arduous. IIo saw
all this and understood It with a
rapidity born of tho moment; never
theless, when Eve ceased to speak tho
question that broke from him was not
connected with this great discovery
was not oven suggestive of It. It
was something qulto immaterial to
any real Issue, but something that
overshadowed every consideration In
"Eve," he said, "tell mo your first
thought your first thought after tho
shock and tho surprise when you ro
There wns a fresh pause, but ono
Df very short duration; then Eve mot
flls glance fearlessly and frankly. Tho
same prldo end dignity, tho same In
describable tenderness thnt had re
sponded to his first appeal, shouo in
"My first thought was a great thank
fulness," she said simply. "A thank
fulness that you that no man could
over understand." -
"V'icrc'a 710 need to say anythinu," she
R sho finished speaking Evo did
not lower her eyes. To her
there was no suggestion of
shnzne In her thoughts or hor
words, but to Loder, watching and lis
toning, there wns a perilous moaning
contained In both,
(0ntinud on Pnb rilx.)
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