Custer County Republican. (Broken Bow, Neb.) 1882-1921, November 30, 1899, Image 2

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By Author of "Hetty/ ' Etc ,
CHAPTER XIV. ( Contlnucil. )
"The secret la not ray ownr" ho con
tinued earnestly nftei' n minute ; "you
muat be satisfied with halt confi
dences. '
I waited.
"What I want to tell you , Kitty , la
this. I am bringing a. visitor hero to
night to sleep. I want no one to know
that he la hero. Ho Is eluding Justice. I
am eorry to cay that I am abetting
him. "
"John , what has ho done ? "
"Don't bo frightened , Kitty. Wo can
sleep In safety without fearing for our
llvea. Ho has forged a cheque a
cheque for a large amount. It Is not
his first offense. Many ycara ago ho was
guilty of a similar forgery ; then the
would-be prosecutor was bought off ,
the case was never brought Into court.
This time ho has to deal with men who
arc made of sterner stuff. They will
hear no compromise ; they Insist on
prosecuting ; for weeks past I have
been' ' trying to negotiate with them , to
save him. I have failed. . "
"Is ho worth It , John worth all your
work ? "
"No , I think not. "
. "Why are you so anxious , then ? "
"For old friendship's Baku. "
"Was he an old friend of yours ? Oh ,
let him come hero ; wo can hide him ! "
"Kltly , you spoke then almost as
your old self might have spoken. No ,
dear , he was never a dear friend of
mine. Aa I said before , Kitty , you
must ho content with half confidences.
A few weeks ago I hoped ho had es
caped. Ho could not ho found. Then
we discovered that ho had returned to
London and was hero In hiding. ( To
day I find , what I feared yesterday ,
that his hiding place has been discov
ered ; ho dares not return there to
night. When It Is much later and the
way Is clear , I shall bring him here.
No ono need see him , Kitty. I have a
"Don't stand at the window , Meg , " I
Hut Meg did not heed mo. She stood
jctwecn the parted curtains , and
ooked out across the wet pavement
shining In the gaslight.
"Madame Aruaud ! " cried Meg sud
"Madamo Arnaud ? " I repeated.
"She Is coming in with John. She
chooses strange hours for calling , Kit
ty ; the clock Is Just striking nine.
Well , I am glad that some ono has
come to enliven our dullness oven n
dull caller Is better than no ono. "
"But not tonight , " I said absently.
Meg turned away from the window ;
wo both waited for John to bring
Madame Arnaud Into the drawing-
room. Wo waited In vain. There
were steps In the hall , then John's
study door closed , and all was silent
In the house.
Meg and I were silent , too ; the rain
beat against the panes ; I sat and lis
tened to It absently. Presently Meg
crossed the room and stood beside my
chair , and kissed mo caressingly.
"Madame Arnaud must have gene
again , " 1 said , almost detlantly , defying
Meg's unspoken sympathy , turning and
looking up at her.
Meg did not answer. Presently she
drew a low chair just opposite to mine.
An hour dragged by. All through
that hour , even whllo Meg talked , I
was listening with a strained atten
"Go to bed , Meg , " I said at last ,
"Why , Kitty ? "
"Do go , Meg , " I urged.
Meg glanced at me. Then for once ,
she rose and kissed me again and
The wind had risen ; the rain beat
deafenlngly against the window.
Sounds In the house were lost In the
sounds of the storm outside. I crossed
dlsgulso prepared for him. Tomorrow , j
when ho leaves here , ho will , I hope ,
bo unrecognizable. His berth has been
taken for him in another uamo In a
ship for South America. Once there ,
ho will be beyond the law. "
John ctood talking to mo for spmo
tlmo longer , arranging the details of
our plot.
"Shall I BOO him , John ? " I asked.
"I think not , Kitty , "
I rose at last to go. John detained
mo a minute longer.
"Not a word to Meg , " ho warned
"No , " I promised.
"Ono would not willingly trust state
secrets to Meg , " ho added , with a slight
smile. "Try to keep her with you all
the evening , Kitty. As for the serv
ants , I will tell thorn to build up the
study flre and then not to disturb mo
again tonight. When dinner Is over ,
take Meg back to tbo drawing-room
and keep her there. "
"You will not bo nt dinner , John ? "
"No , " ho answered abstractedly , "I
am going out now. "
"Where ? " I asked.
The question escaped mo before I had
time to think ; it was not often that
I questioned him about his goings. Ho
looked u little vexed at the question
"To Madame Arnaud's , " he answered
simply ,
I turned toward the door ; ho opened
It for me , smiling at mo as he did so.
"Thank yout Kitty , " ho said In a
grateful tone. "You have helped mo
very much , "
"A wifely duty ! " I returned , with a
hitter little smilo. "Don't thank mo ,
I was bound to help you ; " and I
turned away from him with the sound
of my own bitter mocking volco ringIng -
Ing in my ears. - -
"Ifelgh-ho , what a long evening this
Is ! " and Meg sighed. "Wind , and rain ,
wind and rain ; listen to It. "
the room , took up my stand at the
window , where Meg had been standing ,
and closed the curtains behind mo to
shut out the light of the room.
Minutes went by , minutes that
seemed like hours. At last the house
door opened , shut softly , and John and
Madame Arnaud came out together ,
and passed the window where I stood.
I waited. Ten minutes passed. The
clock struck cloven slowly , and John
passed the window again this tlmo
Ho lot himself In silently ; ho went
back to his study , and for an hour
longer I waited.
The flre had gone out , the .room had
grown cold ; but my head was hot and
throbbing. I threw open the window
and knelt beside It , welcoming the
cold wind that swept In , oven wel
coming the rain that heat against my
burning cheek. After a minute I
shivered. But even then I did not
move. Physical cold seemed to
deaden for a minute all the passionate
burning tumult ot thoughts that were
Eurglng through my brain.
The wind caught the curtains and
made them sway to and fro. Suddenly ,
as the door was opened , I turned to
see John coming In with a firm quick
step across the room. Ho drew down
the window sharply before ho spoke
a word. Then ho turned to me , with n
quick glance of mingled severity and
.gentleness. Ho tried to speak pa
tiently , but there was something ot
anger In his self-controlled tone.-
"Do you try to make yourself 111 ,
Kitty ? " ho asked.
I had risen from my knees , and I
stood leaning against the shutter , my
hands held down before mo. I looked
straight at him , all the agony , all the
hopelessness of the past two hours
shining in my eyes.
"I try to die , " I said calmly , with the
palmness of the deepest passion. >
'John's eyes expressed a passion as
deep as mine. Ho was putting a curb
upon his speech ; his effort after self-
restraint was evident.
"Why should I wish to live ? " I
asked. "Why ? Tell mo why. "
John sighed and tnado no answer. I
went On passionately
"If the wind blows upon mo n little.
If the rain touches mo , you are sorry.
You nro not sorry that my heart la
breaking. It Is breaking all day long
always. And you you do not care. "
"Kitty , I think you are mad when
you talk like this. "
I pushed back my hair , which waa
falling loosely about my forehead , and
looked at him with an odd little smile
u heart-broken half-bitter smile.
"I should bo happier If I died , " 1
said. "And you could marry Madarao
Arnaud , John. "
John's gray eyes flashed a quick ,
startled , scrutinizing glance at my
"That Is one of the things , Kitty ,
that I cannot allow even you to say , "
ho returned at last severely.
There was n long silence. It was
John who was the first to brauk 1C.
Ho spoke slowly , and his tone was
heavy as ho spoke.
"You asked mo the other day to let
you leave me , " ho said. "I refused. I
was wrong and you were right. You
may go , Kitty. I will not try to keep
you with me. "
I was silent. John turned away ,
with a tired and heavy sigh.
"Wo will talk of It tomorrow , " ho
added. "It's too late wo are neither
of us calm enough to talk tonight.
But you shall go. 1 promise. "
I think I murmured a few incoherent
words of thanks as I turned away. I
might go ! The privilege seemed an
empty boon , Indeed. I had no feeling
of elation , no feeling of contentment In
having won. Life stretched away
blankly before me , bereft of every joy ,
every hope.
j Even now I cannot recall the long
hours of that night with an aching pity
for that old self of mine who lay sleep
less , tearless the whole night through ,
and heard the hours strike one by one ,
and waited In a dull , hopeless , uncx-
ppctant way for the dawn to break.
The dawn came nt last. The sun
rose slowly above the house tops a
red orb in a copper-colored sky. I
dressed wearily , and turned with a
heavy heart to go down stairs.
My hand was on the handle of my
door When the door was opened from
outside. Meg came in. At the flrst
sight of her face I stepped forward
quickly and put my arm around her.
Her face was deathly white white
eyen to the lips. Her lips were tremu
lous , and yet they were trying In a
pathetic way to laugh at herself and at
me at herself for her emotion , and at
mo for my solicitude.
"I ought to faint , Kitty , " Eho said ,
looking at me with a queer , tremulous
little smile. "It would be befitting
and and romantic , dear. "
She pushed away the eau do Cologne
I had brought her , and gradually the
color came 1-ack Into her cheeks.
"You should have told me ho was
here , " she said , after a minute , half
lightly , half reproachfully.
"Did you see some one , Meg ? Were
you startled ? A a friend of John's
came last night to stay. I didn't tell
you. "
"Do you know who ho was ? " she
" ' John didn't toll
"No. I don't know
me. But ho told mo that he was com
ing. I wish you hadn't seen him , Meg.
Ho startled you naturally when you
didn't know that any one was otaylng
here. Would you mind , Meg , not sayIng -
Ing to any one that you have seen
him ? "
Meg laughed harshly.
"I am not likely to mention It , Kit
ty , " she said drily. "It is not often ,
dear , that I boast of that early es
capade of mine. When I am an old
woman and very dull I may weave a
romance out of those ices and love
letters and Jam puffs ; but I am not
old enough Just yet. I shan't talk ot
It , dear ; don't fear. "
"Meg , what do you mean ? Who was
It you saw ? Not Arthur St. John ? "
( To bo continued. )
_ Mam _ _ a
How a Xtnlao Was Mitlo to lilt Snlary
The Chicago News of a late date
gives currency to the following story :
A few years ago Collls P. Huntlngton's
private secretary , Mr. Miles , asked for
an Increase of salary. "Do you need
any more money ? " asked Mr. Huntington -
ington , thoughtfully. "No , sir , I don't
exactly need It , " replied Mr. Miles ,
"but still I'd bo glad to bo getting a
little more. " "Ah hum-m-m , " mused
his employer , "can you get along with
out the advance for the present ? " "Oh ,
yes , " answered the secretary , "I guess
so , " and the matter was dropped. A
couple of years later a now boy ap
peared at the Miles homo and the
secretary thought the tlmo propitious
to renew the application. "Why , my
dear sir , " said Mr. Huntlugton , when
ho heard him through , "I raised your
salary when you asked mo before. " "I
never heard anything about It , " said
the secretary , In amazement. "Proba
bly not , " returned Mr. Huntlngton ; "In
fact , I used that money to buy a piece
of property for you. I'd Just let It
stand for a while If I were you. " Mr.
Miles thanked him warmly and retired ,
somewhat mystified. Recently Mr.
Huntlngton called htm Into his private
office. "By the way , Miles , " ho said ,
"I have sold that real estate of yours
at a pretty good advance. Hero Is the
check. " The amount was ? 50,000. The
property was part ot a largo 'section
purchased by the railway king as an
Investment for his wife.
llolcUt of Vulgarity.
Among the French , formerly , to
make oven the most casual reference
to a' handkerchief was considered the
height of vulgarity.
It was Thanksgiving time , nearly
thirty years ago. To the ordinary in
habitant of that portion of this coun
try where I then dwelt the season was
very much like other seasons of
autumnal fruition ; there was nothing
In the earth , the skies , or the waters
that gave to this period any peculiar
ity which would distinguish It from
the similar period of any other year ,
past or to come.
But there was Eomethlng that made
this Thanksgiving season very pecu
liar In my eyes. For some tlmo the
whole world had seemed to me to be
permeated by the knowledge that
somethlng was about to happen which
had never happened before , and which
could not , by any possibility , happen
I had always loved the Thanksgiv
ing season. To be sure , much of the
brightness and color In which the land
scape reveled In October was lost ,
but the rich browns of the oaks , the
heavy greens of the pines and the
cedars , lighted up here and there by
some late hanging sumac leaves or
reddening Ivy , with hill and dale
gently softened by the mists of Indian
summer , made a picture In which I
delighted as much as I did In the
beauties of any other season.
But In this year the late autumn folV
ago was much finer than I had evrr
known It before. Van Dyke ncvr
dreamed of such browns as I now saw ,
and the curtains pf distant mist seemed
ever about to rise upon visions cf
even greater beauty than those whlci
then entranced me.
I had always liked the first kee.j
winds which had come to 113 as thi
avant couriers of winter , making It
delightful to walk and bo out of doort.
and also agreeable and satisfactory to
go into the house. But this year then ;
was a sparkling spice In the air which
It would have been Impossible for
other people to understand , even ij
they had perceived It. I knew It was
there , I understood its origin , and I
did not care a snap of my fingers .
whether , or not anybody else know
anything about It.
In these days , after the regular
periods ot me eric showers , there
used to bo a good many falling stars
which appeared to be left over from
the grand display , and I had always
been accustomed to watch for these
with a great deal of Interest , for the
reason that I generally forgot to go
out of doors on the regular star-fall
ing nights , and , therefore , was natur
ally anxious to make the best of what
Was left of the shower.
This year the few stars that re
warded my vigilance by falling in the
latter part of November were excep
tionally fine meteors. They glistened
more brightb they scintillated , they
moved slowly , as If they wanted to lot
me know t-hat they knew of something
as well as I did.
The birds of that autumn were of
particularly bright plumage. I re
member that they sang very well , and
although I am not positive that those
who were In the habit of migrating to
the south In the late autumn delayed
their Journey this year , those of them
who did remain made themselves
very conspicuous and agreeable.
It was a great year for rabbits. In
earlier days I had given much atten
tion to trapping these little creatures ,
but seldom took much Interest In the
sport until the snow had covered the
earth , and thereby induced game
creatures of various kinds to cast their
eyes upon the delicate morsels exposed -
posed In traps by men and boys. But
now , although I did not care to trap
the rabbits , I was charmed to gaze
upon them as they skipped about on
the edge of the woods , wagging their
little tails and sitting up looking from
side to side , with their little noses
nervously trembling , while their long
ears waved In the breezes. The rab
bits' fur seemed very long and fine
that year , and I am sure that Us color
must have been extraordinarily well
adapted for the adornment of human
youth and beauty.
I do not know that there were great
crops of corn that year , or that the
pumpkins had gilded to a greater ex
tent than usual the brown , denuded
fields , but I felt the farmers ought to
be very happy people.
To mo the country was pervaded
with an atmosphere of richness and
unsurpassed fulfillment. I knew that
the apple crop had been very good ;
at least I knew that the trees bad
borne some remarkably good fruit ,
bccauso I had tried a good deal of it ,
and It had never possessed to a greater
extent the Juiciness and sub-acid flavor
of which I was so fond.
It was also a great year for chest
nuts , and a very poor ono for squirrels.
I do not wish it to bo supposed that'I
was not , and am not , fond of squirrels.
I like them better now than I used to
In my earlier days , although they are
as active competitors in the business
of chestnut gathering as when I was
younger. But in this Thanksgiving
season of which I speak the squirrels
must have been fewer or lazier , for 1
made no complaints about the scarcity
of chestnuts.
If I remember rightly , those I ate
were remarkably line , either one great
chestnut in a single hull , or a fairly
largo one with two little ones which
did not Interfere with the expansion
of the fittest.
There was a peculiarity about the
weather of that November ; very often
the skies were really cloudy and gray ,
and the rain sometimes came down
with steady persistence , while the cold
and penetrating winds made people
think of heavy overcoats before their
appointed time. But these days of
bad weather had very little effect upon
me or upon my spirits. It did not oc-
c\ir to me that the melancholy days
had come , and as for their being the
saddest of the year , that was impossi
ble. At that time some sort of a sun
was always shining. If It were not
the ordinary sun about which our
earth revolves , it was a particular orb
which existed for my especial satis
faction. It sometimes even shone at
night , after I had gone to bed that
is , if I happened to bo awake.
But it was not only nature that was
more than usually agreeable ; the people
ple of this world , ao far as I knew
them , were very pleasant , remarkably
so. I do not remember quarreling
with a living soul during the whole ot
that November. It seems as though
my intercourse with my fellow beings"
was unusually genial. In regard to
social progress and the steady better
ment of the human race , I was an
ardent optimist. Even people I knew
as not being very pleasant of manner
or intelligent of speech seemed then
good company.
Politics did not trouble me at all. I
suppose a good many people voted for
the wrong men , but I paid no atten
tion to their misguided actions. It
was scarcely possible there could bo
any candidates for office who did not
possess some virtues , and a strong
disposition in the direction of general
altruism made me wish well to all
good people who had been selected to
administer the affairs of township ,
county or state.
There was truly something excep
tional In this Thanksgiving season.
Other people may hot have noticed It ,
but It Impressed itself most forcibly
Upon mo. How could It be otherwise ?
It was a tlmo that my first book waa
In the Kiut.
At a fashionable Thanksgiving din
ner the butler brings In the turkey.
It Is then removed and carved In th
butler's pantry.