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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 22, 1896)
mind. He could not even study for think
ing of what he had done.
He looked across at Pete wondering how
in the world he was going to get his courage
up to toll. Jt was easy enough to go and
lintl new rooms; it had not taken much care
to get his things moved out unnoticed. He
dreaded to have Pete look up and notice, per
haps, that there was one trunk less in the
room and that the bookcase had two empty
shelves; that, of the assistant- and his belong
ings, everything had vanished except the
assistant and a liindfull of papers and books
on the table. Hut Pete evidently had too
much on his mind tonight to notice trunks
or empty shelves He shifted his chair u
little and looked up. The light through the
white shade on the lamp made his face look
gray and somber. His thin hair hung damp
across his forhead.
"Paid today, Hilton" he asked at last.
The assistant did not answer quickly.
"Paid today? I said," he repeated.
The assistant nodded.
'GoiiT out tonight, then, I suppose,'' he
Hilton flashcd'up. "I'd like to know what
business that is of yours. If I go, I'll o;
If I stay, 1 11 stay.1 '
His eyes met Pete's and he weakened sul
lenly, but he went on. "I was paid today
and I have the money. If it will be any
comfort to you to know it, I mean to keep
jt. I've fooled away now enough to buy a
kingdom; I'm going to quit, I'm tired of it."
"You've tried it before, you know," he
Hilton shut his eyes. "Nobody knows
tlmt better than I do," he said slowly. A
picture came before his eyes of Jean's face
JW lie had seen it in the laboratory. He
willed up eagerly. "But this time is differ
ent." Pete shifted his chair again. The muscles
of his mouth twitched and he leaned heavily
forward with his hands on the edge of the
"You're a fool, Hilton," he began irresis
tubiy "You're a fool. You know as well
J do that you can't change. You've gone
w far as devils generally go and you can
tome back as far a devils usually come
vwk Don't I know? You'll make your
self miserable for a week. You won't touch
u cam or go near a saloon. But that's all
the good it will do you. Afterwards you
will be all the worse. Sit down. Let's
have a game to steady your nerves "
Hilton was gathering up his papers.
"It isn't a matter of nerves," he said des
perately. "You fellows have had your own
way wit h me and you know it. You have
spoiled me, and now you can spoil my good
name whenever you please. I can make a
new one. I'm done with you any way. I've
And with a gesture, half of fear, half of
defiance, Hilton turned and opened the door.
"You can tell the boys," he said with af
fected carelessness. "I don't expect to "
Tuesday, as Jean came towards the lab
oratory she met the assistant. She had been
thinking on the way. She just hated chem
istry. How nice it would be if girls could
always study just what they liked, mathe
matics and history and nothing else. Or if
they had some other assistant in the labora
tory! If the professor of chemistry could
help them with the experiments. lie was
at least polite. And now after what had
happened last Friday she would feel less at
ease than ever with the assistant. How rude
he must have thought her.
Then she met him. She saw him and al
most ran agaiiiuta sin-ill boy on the walk in
front of her. She looked from the boy's
dirty face up to the assistant's eyes again
just in time to get one glance before he
dropped his own eyes to the boy Then an
odd smile crept over his face and made Jean
wish that he had smiled at her instead of the
boy. In a moment the assistant had lifted
his hat to her and was gone.
Jean went on to the laboratory The as
sistant had fciniled at that dirty, ragged little
boy. She felt that it was odd for him to do
that But she fell better acquainted with
him than she over had in the laboratory.
Ad for the assistant, he went his way in a
curious frame of mind. Why in the deuce
had he smiled at that little beggar. Ho had
meant the smile for Joan.
This was in tho fall. In the winter it
came to be different. Tho laboratory work
went quietly. Jean did not know at first
that her attitude towards the assistant had
changed. She liked her chemistry better;
she felt less disturbed when the assistant
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