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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 20, 1896)
THIS ( VMATIA DAILY STXHAV , DISC1 13 \\Ktt 1 \ \ 20. 1800.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ . _ _ _ . . .
Itvas the day before Christmas The
men who get out the afternoon paper had
about finished their work nml the men who
toll nil nlRhl that the public may read n
morning newspaper before breakfast wcrp
Jusl htrnggllng In ahead of the time when
tholr dally labor was to begin. It was al
ready dnrlt outside , but Intlde the editorial
rooms a few electric lamps had been turned
on so an to spread a dusk ) , drowsy glim
mer through the place.
"Hello , thi ret" fiald one of the Incoming
tilRht men. "HettcrUh you n Mirry
Christmas nwhlle , If I don't BOO you to
"That's PO. Tomorrow Is Christmas.
Same to you , " came n chorus of replies.
A half dozen men looked nround and
found that they were all gathered together
In the IOOR reporter's room. The mention
of Christmas seemed to have started simul
taneously In nil of them a train of holiday-
" \Vliy not a Christmas story from each
of us ? " came n faint suggestion from be
hind a corner typewriter.
"Good Idea ! "
"It's agreeable to me ! "
"Start her off then ! "
One by one they emerged from their
desks nnd crowded onto the tables In the
center of the room. Gradually the number
Increased as reporters and telegraph editors
made their appearance , nnd before anyone
know It there were people enough In the
audience to nil a small al/cd hall.
And these arc some of the talcs they
TIIK MRIIT KIMTOIl'S STOUV.
It was 3:30 : n. m. and the last page had
gone to the stcrcotypors The night editor
was wearily clearing nway the debris of the
night's "news run from his desk , while the
old telegraph editor sutked his pipe In seri
ous contemplation of nothing at all.
"Christmas doesn't mean much to you or
me. " cald the telegraph editor , ca the night
editor leaned back with a grunt of relief
from the tcsk ho had Just ended. "Now , If
wo were Chtlstlans wo might look forward
to the day with some sort of expectancy. As
It Is , wo will bo hero as usual , nud the
world's story will glide through our fingers
In the saint old way ; Its Joj.s and sorrows ,
triumphs and disappointments , holidays and
work days are too much the same thing to
us , " and ngaln the smoke rolled up In a
cloud , to whlth the night editor added his
"Well , Ilobart , " said the night editor. "I :
wo don't have the holidays , we ha\o dome
satisfaction In knowing that we escape much
of the misery they occasion.Vhllo we arc
out of the world , so to speak , we Know more
of It than many dream , and wo can nee bet
ter than an ) the sorrow that Is hidden be
neath a holiday face. 1 used to mi's much
the mingling with the people of the world
that Is now denied me , but 1 am coming to
bo convinced that m ) Isolation la something
of a blessing In disguise , after all. If there
Is any Ilfo that will make an Uhmaollto of n
man It Is the newspaper life. It Is enough
to destroy the faith of the most trusting In
"Wlmt'H the matter now , Litta ? " asked
lilobart , " 1 thought you had been setting
noiiiu stern by the coming holiday looking
for some sort oC miracle to give jou n hold
on your belief that mankind was not wholly
bad. I am afraid you will yet como to my
way of thinking , that the doctrine of total
depravity Is founded on fact. "
"Well , Ilobart , I have almost. I'll tell you
how It came about If jou care to listen. "
And while Ilobart silently smoked John
Latla told this tale :
"Twenty-llv-o years ago I Kicked the dew
off the grans as the aim rcu > e , trudging bare
footed along the overgrown path that led
along the edge of thn timber to a field wliero
I with some half dozen other youngsters
were engaged In picking beirles. It was on
a fruit farm , and the emploincnt , although
for but a brief time , paid much better than
It does now. I was one of the 'swifts , ' and
was made a port of ovcrac.fr for the work In
the Immediate vicinity Hem I met a girl
whose nlmblo fingeis filled boxen faster than
oven mine , nnd by the dispensation of the
'berry boss' wo weic given the same row to
work on , and during thu whole season were
chirms. She was about m ) age , pretty as
jou wish , and bright and vivacious as any
girl I u\er knew. Marj Haney was her
name. Well , she and I were soon fast
friends , and our friendship didn't end there
Through the next winter wo were chums ai
Hchool , and during the next three or four
years I saw much of her. I went away , nnd
fnr about font jcars was gone from the town
of my boyhood On returning nil old boy
hood friend told me thn fate of pretty Mary
Haney. It was the old story : shu loved , was
Ijotrajt'il and deserted , and the rest Is easy.
1 was shocked , but I didn't know thu world
ho well then ns now Where one was none
Knew. She had gone from her home , and
had not been heard from.
"I found employment on a dally paper
printed In one of the pretty cities on the
upiier Mississippi , and was goon making a
v. Ido ciiclo of acquaintances In the place
One night I was Invited to attend one of the
local society affairs. You may guess
If -I was astonlbhed at being In
troduced to .Miss Mury Ilaney , one
of the belles of the evening. Shu
received mu as a Etianger 1 hardly knew
what to do. I was between denouncing her
nnd withdrawing , when he came with a
lino-looking young fellow on her arm , and
Introduced me to him , saying as oho did she
Imped I would llnd It convenient to call ,
giving mu her address and a look so Implor
ing that I assented , saying I would call
and did go the next day She broke down
when we were alone , sa > lng she had guessed
I Knew from homo her story ; but she told
inn all. She hail fled from her shame , and
had gone fnr down the broad highway , but
her mother had scaichnd her out. She was
now living with her mother's brother , and
none knew her past. She had tried to live it
down , and she wanted a chance I could not
escape giving the promise she asKed , but
noon left the place. How she secured my ad
dress I do not Know , but about n > ear after
I received n card announcing the wedding at
her uncle's house of M'es Mary Haney nnd
the jomig man she had Intiodurcd mo to at
the party the night I met her. His home
was In an eastern state , and once after
that when t > hu had almost passed from my
memory 1 again got a card announcing the
birth of n ( ion to the couple , f heard In an
Indirect way that they vvrra happy together ,
and I made up my mind that the world
wasn't all hid I thought of that poor girl's
experience , and believed that her wandering
feet had at taut found the toad to peace , and
that her nln had been forgiven her. "
And the night editor heaved a reminiscent
sigh and lighted hU pipe again.
"Woll ? " queried Ilobart.
Latta finally looked up through the cloud
of smoke bo had blown and resumed : "You
remember that woman who wandered In hero
imo night last winter , bringing the notice of
the death of a fallen slater ? "
"Irish Alary ? " answered Ilobart. "I
vhotild say I did. Say , she's a pretty good
Illustration of total depravity. Isn't she ? "
"Yea , " assented Latta. "She's about as
far duvvn the scale of womanhood as any
being can get and retain nny semblance to
fomlnlnn humanity. Well , that's Mary Ila
ney , or what Is left of her. I recognized her
that night , and oho did me' , although she
gave no algn of It then. I thought over the
matter for a long time , and finally went to
ice hof , I wanted her story. You know ,
she Is running one of the toughest joints In
the Third ward , and I was a llttlo curious
to hear from her own lips why she had for
saken her eastern home for her Omaha mis-
cry. I felt satisfied ho would tell mo Un
truth as nearly as she could , and I couldn't
bring mvtulf to betlevo that eho had souiiht
the Ilfo iho had once forsaken without she
had came strong reason. Sha told mo , .and I
believed her , 1'ram the day bur betrayer
had droortcd her In the town of her birth
until years afterward she had never seen or
heard of him lie wan the non of a wealthy
family , and had married in his own ntntlon.
About six yearn ago Mar ) went with her
husband nnd child to spend the summer at u
fechlonablc eastern rciort. They entered
Into the pliirurcs of the placp , and were do
ing nicely , until the iran who once nil biu
wtecked her life met her face to face , I
s.i ) man , but he wasn't n man Ho Inquired
out her condition r.nd then with n dcvlllsh-
ncsd bnrd to conceive proceeded to put her
husbind In pussrralon < > ' all the facts In
connection with Mary's pant , except thu mls-
er.iblo part ho hpil ployed himself The
huiiband , humiliated and nngry. taxed his
wlfo with the story She denied It. He fol
lowed her back home , learned the truth and
"la she n typo of total depravity or a vic
tim of that dread condition' If she was
wrong , what must wo sav of the man who ,
not content with robbing her of her Inno
cence , must when he finds her In her now
ll'e. needs push her back to the ways of sin
In which he IIrat plunged her ? Is he n.nt the
one who d n that telephone boll ! I wonder
If Homo folks don't sit up all night to get n
chance to ring us up In the morning , " am'
again the shrill call of the Hell cimlnc oi
civ lllo 1 communication Interrupted the talk
I-attu go : up to answer It.
"Yes , " he answered the other man , "this
Is the Dilly Journal "
"Pierce ? No. There's no Pierce on the
"An Item ? Yes ; I'll take It. "
"Sulcldo ? Yes ; morphine ? When did she
dlo ? "
"Just died ? Give me her name. "
"What's the matter * " asked Ilobart , no
Latin's last exclamation came In n tone o
despair , "who was If"
I tta hung up the receiver , wrote a short
notei to the city editor and handed It to Ilo
bart to read before ho folded It. It was-
"Jim : 'Irish Mary' died at 3:45 : this morn
ing from the effects of morphine taken with
suicidal Intent. Latta. " MAC.
Tin : I'oi.in : itP.pnitTuic'S TAMJ.
"What Is the yuso ot llvlrm on the square
anyway ? I might just as well stick up oomi.
guy or do n job an1 go to the- pen as to be
111 run In the calaboose all the time for
moochln * an' lieln" a vag. There ain't nothin
In It. When I got out agin the Ily cops ' 1
pinch John the Vag fnr somcthln' else
'sides havln' nolzble means of supper
nnd bcln' drunk. "
John the Vag , ns ho always appeared on
the police court blotter nnd as he was knowi
to the police foice and his acquaintances
who had " ! gotten that ho over had any
other n , indulged In this silent soliloquy
as ho i to find a soft spot on the hard
bench In his cell at the city jail. He had
just finished the last of his thirty days oi
the chain gang , but the cold weather am
the labor of shoveling the snow on the
streets had added such zest to his appetite
that he wns glad to accept the turnkey's In
vitation to remain for the prisoners' even
The prisoner was a typical specimen of
the hundreds of his kind who are habitues
ot pollc ? stations nnd courts the country
ever during the winter time. Ho was one
of the men born of the hard times. Nothing
moro than a hobo , ho was unable to tun
his hand to anything after tbo panic swept
awny his means of employment nnd he
shortly drifted Into n membership In the so
ciety of the great unwashed Ho became
a tramp pure and simple and then a con
firmed drunkard. Ho gained the few dime :
that ho required for whisky by "nioochin'1
or begging. Ho obtained Ills food at free
lunch counters and his lodging at the police
Dirty , unkempt , ragged and trembling , the
wretch first appeared before the police Judge
over a > ear back. As It was lib first time ,
the police judge discharged him , but when
ho came up again on the following day to
answer lo the charge of drunkenness and va
grancy , ho was given n few days' sentence
After that ho became a periodical prisoner
on the same charge ami thus gained his
nickname from the policemen , nnd It spread
out among his acquaintances. There WPS
usually very Ilttlu surplusage In the trial
proceedings when he was called before the
"Hero again , John * " the Judge would say ,
"I'll glvo you ten days this time. I don't
wnnt to hear you talk , " he would add hur
riedly , as John attempted to make his stere
otyped promise of reform , and then would
turn to the desk nergeant frequently and
say : "Thero ought to be some homo to take
care ot drunkards llko him. "
On Jolm s last appearance neroro tno court
ho was either inoro than ordinarily full of
bad whisky or the judge was not In thu best
of humor , for ho was sent to the chain gang
for thirty days. Dally ho marched out with
his shackled companions and scraped and
s.vopt upon the streets. Often It was cold
nnd he shook and trembled beneath hla
beauty coverings As tbo days of his sen-
tnnco passed and ho sobered and returned
to his scnsu , he- became bitter toward the
rest of thu world and turned toward positive
crime as a possible means of escape from
Jalio are most successful schoo'a of
crimes and thcro are anv number of In
structors In all branches , t-o that no student
need lock for pointers. The graduates are
"Sorry you won't be with us nt our Christ
mas dinner tomorrow , John , but you will be
hero on New Year's , " was the Jailer's laughIng -
Ing farewell to John aflci hupper , as ho
turned over to tht > vacrant his ono posses
sion , a brokun-bladed knife. John mumbled
a good-hy , but his heart turned moro bitter
yet at the words , and beneath his breath he
cursed the ofilcer.
The sorry figure stepped out of the police
station Into the darkness Snow was on the
ground and It was bitterly cold The home
less being shivered and hugged his ragged
coat moro closely to his breast , but the shafts
ot the wind penetrated to his bones. For an
Instant ho hesitated , debating whether It
mlghl not bo better to apply for lodging In
thd Jail , but his hatred of the "copper * "
prevailed , and with an Imprecation ho moved
ott toward the center of the city.
The retail business sccthmwas alive only
as It Is on the ono night In all the year-
Christmas eve. Tbo stored were all alight
and wcro visions ot the fairyland of toys
and gifts. Happy crowds filled them nnd
jostled to and fro ulong the pavements. Men ,
women and children wcro on the hunt for
gifts for the morrow and their faces were
Indicative of the far greater happiness that
comes to the given than to the iccelvor.
John could mingle with the crowds only a
short time. The hatred and rage In his
heart soon drove him from the happy multl-
tutlo ami ha took his stand on a darkened
corner. In a few minutes a well dressed
man passed by and the vagrant , overcome *
with thu tumult within him , mndo a threat
ening movement toward him. He recollected
himself , how over , and with grinding teeth
and clenched hands rushed oil In the oppo
site ) direction toward the muck heap of the
cit ) * ; whore ho had dwelled with vice und
The church bells had thrown forth tholr
chiming welcome to thu day of all days
that U reverenced In the Christian heart.
It was an hour after mldnlghl and Christmas
had arrived. The stores wore closed. The
crowds were gone from the streets. The
city was dreaming of the joy and happiness
of the glorious Yulctlde. Silently the -white
Dalies fvll from heaven to enshroud thu old
wicked earth In pure and holy crralno for
the coming day.
Out In the suburban district , on a street
lined with fine residences , skulked a crouchIng -
Ing figure. It moved slowly and cautiously ,
Keeping well out of the glare thrown by the
big cleetrlo lights. U hlvcred as the wind
whirled iho fast falling snow about. A cap
waa drawn closely down upon Iho forehead ,
Kv-ory few minutes the lips hUscd , "They
don't got me for moochln' this tltno. " The
figure was thai ot John the Vac.
The midnight piovvler crept slowly along
the street and stopped several tlmoa before
ttig rcflldoncci. The auoerllclal examination
" .riV . * S'S
did not Boem to satisfy. Finally , however
ho halted before a new cottage , the occu
pants of which were apparently fp\v , to Judg
from Us size The prospective burglar se
le-ct-,1 this and after n careful look up am
down the street entered the yard An ex
amlnnilon of the premises was satisfactory
and the man crouched down before ono o
the windows on the ground floor and drew ;
few tools fiom his pockets The wlndov
would ml give , nor would the next nor tin
next , but at last one w-cs forced With i
revolver In hln hand the burglar careftillj
dropped Into the darkness within.
A match showed John that ho was In tin
Kitchen of the uuttagu , and ho careful ! ;
crept to an even door which led Into an
other room Ho passed through this Into i
hallway and then stealthily felt his way ill
lliu stairs to the next floor , the stairs haidlj
creaking beneath his footstets. Hu ful
nlong the well for a door , found It , am
turned the Knob. The door opened vvlthou
an effort. Ho entered and closed the dooi
cgMn. He struck ono more of his matches
The flnro of the burning stick lighted tht
room dimly. John saw thu vague forms ol
chairs , settees toblca nnd a piano and tlu
bits of ornamentation on the mantelpiece
Everything seemed to bo rich nnd luxurious
and promised well In the way of booty. The
burglar was silently examining the surround-
Inns when his eye suddenly swept to the fur
ther end of the room and caught the Indefinite -
definite outlines of an unfnmllar object. HE
crept up closer and as the flare of the matcl
spit-ad lrthrew IntonOinlo a Chrlstmns tree
It wns n huge ovcrgreon , heavily laden Tht
Hash of the light danced upon thu man )
scintillating , brllllant-huDd ball ) and string !
nnd other gewgaws that draped It and threw
Into prom I n en cj the heavy gifts with whlcl ;
Us branches were bent down ,
John gazed nt the magnificent tree like t
man transfixed. The match burned uuhcode < :
In his lingers until It scorched them. Tlicr
ho turned abiuptly and lit the gas of c
chandelier. Turning the light low , ho walked
back to the tree and ga/ed upon It. Over
come by the Ihoughts aroused by the rilfir.il
and rendered drowsy by the heat of tht
room , he- dropped Into an easy chair ncai
by in a very unbnrgarllkc manner. His eyes
remained fixed upon the tieo and the ob
ject of his visit slowly vanished from hli
HU mind journeyed back many , many years
The beautiful tree before him dwindled lull
a scrubby branch of evergreen , sUick Intc
a rough chunk of wood. Of Itself It would
have been n miserable apology for a Christ
mas tree , but It had been dressed up by
loving hands , until with Us gaily colorei
glass balla , Its candy figures and string !
of red and white popcorn , dancing In tlu
r.ijs of the lighted candles , It matle a brave
show. II stood upon a plain deal table lr
the center of a room that was evidently r
dining room , a parlor and n kitchen com
bined. Plain wooden chairs , n stove , ai !
ungainly cupbonid , were Ihiown Into dim
view by the dickering lights. About the
trtM was a group , father , mother and three
happy chlldion leaping and shouting In thclt
Joy. John himself v.as the1 voungest.
The burglar smiled ns this vision of a
long pnst Christmas night arose before hi ;
eyes. He looked about ns If to find the
plcturo in all Its details around him.
"I must get out of here or I'll be pinched , "
ho sleepily mullcicd , and half nro.xc , bill he
sank back again , stuplficd by the languoi
produced by the warm atniosphtro of tht
room upon his half-frozen limbs
The memory of many other similar Chi 1st-
mas nlghls passwl before his rccollccllon
Ono came when there was no mother In the
little group. That was when John wns a
big schoolboy. Then the glamour of a
child's Chilstmas vanished nnd he remem
bered his scorn ot the existence of a Santa
Claim , born out of the wisdom of his 1C
years. The following years tumbled past
through his memory , and then once moro
a Christmas night flashed upon him nnd his
eyes grew tender.
The surroundings weTO ngain somewhal
shabby. The picture once more contained
only deal tables and chairs , uncarpcted floor ,
a small stove with a bla7lng llro showing
through Its chinks. Another llttlo Christmas
tree gllltered and looked pretty In the cen
ter. A little child leaped and jumped and
shouted and waved Its hands aboul It. An
other In the arms of a plainly dressed , but
smiling woman , gazed with all Its childish
oycs al the strange fascinating sight , clutchIng -
Ing fearfully In the meanwhile with Its arms
about the mother's neck. Beside the woman
was another figure , thai of a man , the proud
and happy husband and father. The man vas
Another vision of another Christmas night
followed , pushing the happy plcturo nv.ni.
A woman , dressed In rags and clutching in
her arms but one child , crouched shivering
In the corner of a mhcrably furnished room
A little steve yawned cold and empty. The
woman's face wns drawn and haceard , hue
still pretty. She -was almost screaming In
her rage and despair as her tongue attacked
a figure thai was huddled In another comer
ot the room. It was n man In rags , with
bloodshot eyes and dirty face , drunk almost
to Insensibility. It was John once inore.
The burglar's face grew black and devilish
as his mind Inoxorabiy drew forth the mem
ories of those days. Ho recollected the lobs
of his employment during lhe panic. J''e
despair that seized him as the savings
dwindled away nnd his wife and llttlo ones
fell into rags , the grief when the little one-
died of starvation. Then he began to diink
Not a cent for Iho wife or child did he have
Ono day John left the garret and never
icturned. Thereafter he was a drunkard , a
beggar , f vagrant.
The burglar brushed his forehead. The
plcturo of the garret leturned again and
again. The haggard faces of the woman and
iho child were full of sadness and pleadlns
The figures sank upon their knees and raised
tholr arms to heaven The lips let fall the
words , "Husband , " 'Tather. "
Tils burglar abruptly arose. For an In
stant ho hesitated nnd glnnccd about the
rich room. Then ho walked slowly through
the door. A few minutes later John the Vag
was walking down the street.
Thcro was a happ'ykcelebration In a humble
llttlo cottage In Omaha on a Christmas
night not long ago. The roam In which It
was held was omnll and shabby , and Its
furnishings were old and bore a second-hand
appearance. A little and rather naked
Christmas trco stood on a table In the cen
ter. About It were three human figures
clad In well-woin clothes a healthy boy ,
laughing and clapping his hands as ho
danced about , and n man and woman who
looked upon his capers with happy smiles
Suddenly the woman turned to the man ,
throw her arms aboul hl.s neck and raised
lier eyes lo heaven. With a world of thanks
giving In her voice she whispered :
"John. " J. P.
oxi : OK THI : itni'oiiTUits' .STOIUIS.
Newspaper stories are like wild flowers
that spring from tbo most unexpected
! > Iacrs. The most promising assignment
often dribbles oul to a stickful of slush
thai the reporter writes because the city
eJltor forecasted a good story , and ho feels
: hnt he must wrlto something to hold his
lob. The city editor prints It solely bn-
CAU80 U would be an Indirect reflection on
its own judgmenl lo throw U In the waste
jnskct. And then the disgusted scribe cccs
out after a brevity and stumbles ever a
story that mlghl furnish an excuse for n
novel. Something llko this happened In
Omahn the other day. A reporter was sent
oul lo sea a local banker In regard to a
trilling matter of news. It was Just aftir
mslness hours , and the only occupants of
the bank wcro the olllccra nnd the clerks
who were busily engaged In making out
their balances for the day. The president
was In hla private olllco engaged In the-
ileasant contemplation of a handsome jewel
case , which was evidently designed to give
a. favored daughter a happy Christmas
iionilnir. Perhaps U was the spirit of thu
; lft that prompted the man of finances to bo
more cordial than usual in his greeting. Hu
I cheerfully gaVfc 1 the Information requlrei
and then talk'ed pleasantly on general topics
Hut his nttemlcm continued to recur to tin
handsome ornament that lay on his deal ;
nnd a rcmaik Inadvertently dropped by hi ;
\l3ltor evidently suggested something IIP
te-rcsllng to his mind. It worked inpldly , foi
after n nil mi IP'S reflection he astounded hi :
visitor with tin- exclamation , "Do 1 look A ;
though 1 was the biggest fool In the worKI
] thirty-five ) ears ago ? "
The reporter admitted that he did not
mainly because ho could say nothing rise ,
"Well , I sometimes think I was. " con-
tinned the financier , "and If yon care tr
listen I will tell jou n pretty good story.
It all occurred Just thirty-five years ago this
Chrlstman , and us all the other parties tc
thu transaction arc dead It will do no harm
to tell It. I had just finished school when
thu war broke out , ami ns 1 had n mother
nnd sister dependent on me I had to get out
and hustle for a situation while the other
bos were marching away to Dixie 1
finally obtained u , pcoltlon In a bank in my
native illy , nnd although I often felt like
a coward when the girls were lauding as
hcroea my friends who were fighting for the
flag , I stuck to business anil succeeded
fairly well IIy the tltno the war was ovu
I had become assistant cashier of the bank
nnd as the cashlir was the otilj son of the
head of the Institution nnd did not visit
the olllce once a week , I was really the
business man of the bank I had just ar
rived at Hint atage at which n'man begins
to think that ho has nothing left to lotrn
and It was right hero that 1 got a setback
that left me In doubt for several ) ears to
como whether I had ordlnaiy Intelligence
Thcro waa a woman In It ot couisc When
a man gets a bit of experience that docs
him good It Is a hundred to one that some
woman Is responsible for it And my par
ticular genius has probably furnished as
much experience for her masculine coso
elates ns nny woman that ever wore petti
"She was n stranger and she dropped Into
the society of our rather old-fas-hloned city
as naturally as a bird In Its nest With n
face that did not Include a regular curve
she was more wonderfully fascinating than
any woman I over met before or since.
Physically , her great charm consisted In a
figure that realised an artist's dream.
Socially , her power was that eUraorUnary-
capacity to play on the passions of men that
Is born in some women , but can never bo
acquired. No man could know her without
feeling her power , and It was not remarkable
tliat with my inexperience in feminine dlolo-
macy I Imagined mjsclf very much In love
before she had been In town a week.
Naturally I was much Haltered to find that
she seemed to enjoy m ) society and when
she allowed her Pies lo drcop aifi'l a molest
bluth to color i her plump checks as I
approached , my , self-e-tecm reached Its
zenith. I regarded her piefcrciicc for mo as
a deserved tribute to my superiority to the
other men of * our clicle and nothing llat-
tcrcd my vault ) more than thu Interest that
she manifested In the affairs of the bank
Her Ignorance of business matters was MI
womanlike and sh6 was glad to listen by the
hour while I tried to explain the Intricacies
of the business. She was especial ! ) In
terested In tlo ( big safe that filled one side
of the ofllco , 'and ' * ven allowed herself to be
Induced to visit the bank and let me show
her how the 'great ' boltp could be so easily
ninnlpiiLato.il And It was easy to see from
the deference * \vhfMi she nccorded my some
what technical explanations that shu thought
I ought to ovvh the bank If I didn't
"There was about a month altogether of
this sort of thltiff , and jou can Imagine how
thoroughly Ivds 'unlit'r ' this v onion's Infill'
cncc. I spenl ever ) evening"1 ! ! ! her society
and even got Into the , habit of rupntng In
after the .bank closed to be sure that uhe
was well and happy I scut her flowers and
bonbons by wholesale , and was altogether
something like what I have -seen rcfencd teas
as on 'angel' In dramatic papers Ily this
time the holldas were at hand , and I drew
more largely than 1 could afford on my Bill
slender resources to give her a Chihtmai.
memento worthy of my divinity. It was
a magnificent gold watch , studded with diamonds
mends , for which I had exchanged my whole
salary for over two months. I had selectee
Christmas eve as the occasion for present
ing my gift , nnd by previous nrrangemeni
was to spend the evening aluno with her at
"I ahall never forget that evening , al
though the recollection Is not altogether
pleasant. She woie a Hsjht house dree'
which scaiccly concealed the exquisite out
lines of her figure. Her big dark eyes were
lit with some unusual excitement , which
I fondly Imagined wcs due to the prospect
of our evening together and what she must
have known I Intended to say. I gave her
the present and listened ecstatically to her
extravagant pralsc.T of my tcste.
"For one long evening I reveled In a fool's
paradise. She was never BO dimming as
when she sat by my side nml blushlngly al
lowed my arm to encircle her waist. I hail
determined to have her answer that night ,
and she gave It. Gave It as n woman can
give It when she wishes to make a man hci
slave. How coly bautlful she was , as with
maiden protestation she allowed me to clasp
her In my arms and press her throbbing
bosom against my own We talked of HIP
future and of the homo that she was to make
the happiest spot In the world. Natural ! )
the conversation drifted to m > business pros
pects and wo talked about the bank and
of the outlook for an Increase of salary that
had been ijiudclngjy held out by my su
perior. I did not consider 11 strange when
she turned the conversation to the saf ? nnd
Induced mo to explain for the twentieth
time how the big door was opened I had
always retained enough of my business trainIng -
Ing to Ice.ii thu combination a secict. but
how could I deny the curiosity of rny
promised wife. At her request I wrote out
the combination on a slip of the violet-
scented paper on which she had wiltton me
scores of loving messages. And then It was
late , and she bccamp so sleepy that I felt
It would bo n sin to stay longer , and re
luctantly Klbsed her goo 1 night.
"I started homo , but with my heart
bounding with my new found happiness
sleep was out of the question. I walked
out Into the country and spent a couple of
hours In telling the stars whut n lucky man
I was. My ccs itlll retained the picture of
nil her languotous beauty as she bade me
good night aUlho door , and I could almost
feel the soft ptrsjlire of her bosom.
"I came bacloliyilanother route and chanced
to pass the bonk. I felt my private kc > In
my pocket and. boncluded to look in and
have a chat witII tin. watchman , who alwojii
ata.vcd In the -prl-tito olllco. Anything waa
better tl-ar. ttylugnto sleep after such an
evening ns thlst * I noticed that the light
that Stcbbln. uauhlly kept burning In front
of the safe wnii tcarccly discernible and
wondered If that'ubually reliable personage
was stealing n nap As I approached to
turn the Jet TrrgKOT n shadow started up
directly In frcnl oVine , It was not Stebblna ,
for Stcbblns was short and fat , and this
IndlvlJunl was'roller ' than msclf. Ho made
a dlvo at m ) throat and then I waw that ho
was masked. 'Hls sleeve had caught on the
gas Jet and turi/td / full on. The safe door
was open nncK/J wide a second man had
paused In hla ccyivitlon of bluffing a sack
with (30.000 In greenbacks that had been
deposited to pay the employes of the nill-
road eliopj tbo next afternoon.
"I undtistood It all and realised that It
was too Into to call for help. I had enough
presence of mind to turn elf the gas , and
then I reacted a drawer In which a couple
of big revolvers were alunja deposited. 1
opened llro at random with a revolver In
each hand. A couple of policemen weriT
soon at the door , nnd when I let them In
the robbers had gone. The money was still
on the floor of the safe , where they had
dropped It. Nothing waa missed and I had
saved the bfiik.
"Tho officers searched for somo. clue to
the robbers , but tholr efforts wcro useless
I stooped over and picked up a slip of paper
that had fallen at my feet. It bore the com
bination of the safe nnd the odor of violets ,
"Yos , that was all there was to It. Of
course my divinity was never seen again
and I was as thoroughly disenchanted an
Individual as ever existed Hut I came outer
or It pretty fortunately , considering what
a fool I bad made of myself , for I got ( ho
credit of saving the hank and n big Increase
In salaiy the next dny. And from Hint day
to this 1 nevct told any one how thnt safe
came to be opened without a drill. "
II. I. T.
TIM : SPOUTIM ; r.nriuirsv. .
"Say , " Interjected lli ? sporting editor , na
ho relighted his torch nnd took n sent on
Iho city editor's desk , "will you ever for
get the night before Christmas two years
ago , down at ( hei Turnover club the nlghl
Solly llakcr knocked us all Into n fit with
his new suit of clothes ? "
"Wasn't Ihcre ? No ? Well , I'll tell you
n bo ut It. Handle bad n full house thai even
ing. Hvery cluilr wns pre-empted , the gang
was nil In and the heart game was just get
"About S o'clock Solly strode In. Ho was
out of slghl In his new 'clothes. Tight
trousers , stiff hnl , striped collar , link curu.
In fact , a very modern fashion plate. He
also had on a clean white shirt nnd n red
necktie nnd can led the most proper kind of
"Hully Gee' " exclaimed Judge llendcr-
shol , "der peacock wins. Mils' be gain' ter
cut a fat hog ? "
"Looks llko ready money , sure , " ehlppcJ
In Wllllo Aimbnister.
"A four-Umo winner , " echoed Senator
"Goln' ter give her n llttlo ficsh air ,
Solly" " Inquired Comptroller \Vestberg.
"Yep. Coin' to dero oprey , " if piled Solly ,
with an exultant smile , and pusfllng his hat
a little further over on his left ear ho con
tinued * "Youso guys'll hcv to 'sense mu , an'
I'll see you later , " and he l > oughl a couple
of packages of hop and went out Into the
"Twenty minutes later , and Solly brought
up at Miss O'Ncll's door out on North Stx-
teeii'h street He gave a rap or two with
the h'ad of his cane and Miss Daisy herself
let him In.
"Ah. dere. mo Joblots. " nnd the arduous
maiden gave Solly n dig In the ribs that
would have done credit to Peter Maher. It
s nt him up against the doorjam w Itli a
"Dat's light , me lady , when youse sco a
good ilng , push lf aloni : "
Then they tackled the sofa , and Miss
Daisy asked :
'How's dey comln' , Solly ? "
'Dei 1 easy , ' says he , "every day's Christ
mas w id mu "
Haint you rollln' jus' a trifle high ? "
'Youfc knows me hobby ? "
'Hut whcrc'd yoiibe git 'em "
Wet ? "
"Dcie clothes. "
"Hit dere policy. "
" ' "
"Dal s wet "
"Good Gawd , Solly/youse a peach. "
Maybe she was giving Solly something new.
Yon ought to have seen him. Hu was a
Eight ns he sat thcru nnd beamed triumph
antly on Daisy , working nwny at his big !
standing collar nnd pushing back the cellu
told cuffs thnt persisted In working dowi
over lih knutklts
"Wnnt ter go down ter dcro People's , me
slob' " hi ? abiuptly Inquired , aa he pitched
his ciqcicttu snipe Into the caid basket.
" ' "
"De genowlnc tlm ; ? "
"Do tin * * : . "
"Do I. ' Jcs' wait until I pile Inter me
"Git Into 'em quick , then , " he. urged.
"Yrio hain't er glvln' mo no Jolly , Is ycre
Sol' " she turned at the door nnd asked
"Not on your wishbone. Daisy. Git Inter
the best rags you've got an' we can't Icnc
Yero see , laln't fashionable to go In late
uny mure anyway that's wet Spud says"
And Mr. Haker got up and strctchci
himself , lit a fresh hon. nnd htrnlli-d rninu
Iho room Inspecting the bilc-a-brac unit
"Wuz I long ? " she cilcd , as hho finally
burst Into the apaitmeiit , radiant In auctloi
Btoie satin and a big black hat with real
"Haul live feet six on' n half , " said Solly
facetiously , glvlnn his pantaloons n hitch
and grabbing up his stick.
"Let's sntak , " ho admonished , "It's glttln
long torts 9 o'clock an' I'm glttln' a tlrst
on me that would do credit to Jim Den. "
And out they wcnl Into the crisp wintry
air. Daisy hanging like * a hod full of mud on
Solly's left wing , out down Sixteenth and
Int. ) Douglas.
'How'd yero like de fresh air , Dais ? "
softly coord Solly.
"I'll take a high ball everytlme , Solly , "
she coyly responded.
"Pat'a wot. An' maybe dey won't cum
thick v hen we wunst git planted. "
As they passed Poley's a big crowd of
sports jammed to the door to see the pro-
cession. You would havn thought an air
ship wc3 going over.
. "Ah dere , pal , " cried Ilrlck M unlock
"won't you cum In an' hev a bowl ? "
"Nope ! Dcre's nothin' but troub In
bowls , " replied Solly over his shoulder
"Wo'rc goln' down an' Kit In dere swim. "
"In de river ? " called Jack Morrison
"De river ? Yousc enough ter give n
scgar sign de apcndesitus. Wc'ro goln' to
der ope , Dais an' I , &co' ' Addy 0. "
They weie LOOII nt the theater.
"Now , Daisy , " sas Solly , "look as blnz-
say rs you know bow. Dat's der stuff. YOIIHO
aeo dere's lots o' swell gus Inside w Id
Kc-ncwlnc sealskins and spaiks on as big aa
loaded dice , but dero none too many fer us
You see dls Is different from de L'relKhlon
or Doyd's , whcro you only gets water , but
here wo kin lush and smoke jcs as much ai
wo llko as long as we'vo got dere price , t > o
you bee , It looks llko a good timo. De
holler days , see ? "
"Yonuo de cleverest I ever see , Solly , "
nnd Dilsy squeezed his arm , "an" I'm wld
you In everytlng from a glass of beer to
manslaughter ! "
Solly and his girl were soon scaled , far
down the parquptte , nnd as they Bottled
themselves to the heavenly strains of the
orchestra tholr faces beamed with the enjoy-
merit swelling In their hearts.
They had never been In the People's be
fore. It was too near the heart of the
fashionable precincts. The hist they had
over scon was nl the Crelghton nnd the
lioyd ; hitherto the People's had been a little
tlo too rich for their1 blood.
For n moment ihcy were spellbound.
The gorgeous blare and glare wan Intoxi
cating. Tl'clr begemmed surroundings ,
thu masterpiece drop curtain , stylishly at
tired fashionables , flashing diamonds , blond-
Incd hair and the aroma of Marcchal Nlol
roses and Third ward cigars was enough to
luke the breath of a stronger pair than
they. Ilul they gradually rounded to , and
finally Solly says :
"Say , Dais , we're In do furst flight ter-
nighl , and wo musl make no bulls. Wal'll
you have ? " .
"Straluhl budge. "
"Dai's good enough fur mo. Here , waller ,
lot's h v a couple o' whiskies. Hurry up de
"Dot vlsky don'dr go here , vas U ? "
"Wol'a dat ? "
"Metz's beer. "
"Do you'so know me wants ? " Indignantly
demanded Solly , standing up nud glaring
a * the waiter.
"I knows vat you won't git ? "
"Well , I kncws wet you'so 'II get If yon
don't ict thai borso blanket of a face of
yours away from mo an' trol oul mo order ,
uul got 11 quick , lee , " and Solly began to
grow Incandosccnl about Iho gills.
"Vnt's dot ? I gel so quovjck you vas a
good lookln' monkey ! "
Hlff ! That was Solly's good right duke
colliding with the Teuton's jaw. With a
gurgle thai sounded llko the tapping of a
[ rcuh keg the waiter went flying over onto
ho trombone player In the orchestra as If
10 had fallen off a house.
"Da copi , Solly ! " screamed Daisy as the
grabbed Solly'n light top-coat and cano and
led down the olslu Juit as Chief Haze , Dan
laldwlu , Low Uodola and Charlie Uloom
' ' * V * t * ' S X Sr TT V S
I gvvarmod nut of one of the wlno room * ami
swooped down onto Soil)1 llko n sky-painted
It was midnight when Solly dropped In
at Handle's The city bells wore Just
chiming In tlm glad Xmas time. Hut
Sollv had no car for muMc nud he wn.s not
n bit Kbul Ills clnsist friend hardly
lecoKtilzed him Om > car was hanging by
a thread , both o > es were closed and beauti
fully tanned , his jaw was swollen like n
piece of liver nnd Ills nose looked llko nil
exploded tomato Ills hut was missing , his
coat bedraggled and pants ripped , and he
presented about ns poor a. specimen of n
Christmas ornament as one could turn up
In a di's search. Turning to the heart
game , he cnld :
"S.iv. yotise. dls Is wet I call beln' strictly
In II " S. . V 0.
TIM : srisMms ii\vs rovrniiH'Tiov
Ily Dnratliy Sotlmron In Sollinron'a
Jack Harding was rich , young and single.
The latter was plainly his own fault , for
many a designing mamma , with a losebud of
a daughter for bait , had skillfully angle I
for him without avail He had given up
society pud oven his dearest friends could
not conjecture whcro he secreted himself or
the cause of the change In him. Of course
there wns the usual conclusion love but
Ono night when he nnd his most loyal
f i lend , Marls Williams , were havlm ? n quiet
smoke together , Mnrls tactfully turned the
conversntloi to the change that had come
over his friend
"Como now. Jack , what Is It ? You and I
have known each other since we were In
pinafores ami I really do want to know all
about her. Is bbu Koster'a or Proctor's ?
or , better still , some demure llttlo maid jou
iMt your heart with In jour jaunts this siiin-
IHT ? "
Jack took a tew slow puffs from his
Havana , watched the smoke- until It had all
passed Into space , then , turning to bib
friend , said
"Well , Marls , ) on arc my oldest friend nnd
I will bo candid with you , though I had in
tended to Keep my new philosophy to
mjsclf. I am sick of living for pleasure ,
stilvlng each da ) only for some new excite
ment to keep one's self from ennui.
"Listen , my friend ; do you over think
how selfish we who have so much are we
who never know what It Is III want ? There
Is so much we tan do for our suFeilm ;
fellow -denture ? , tie tplrlt wet king In Its
little sphere finds Its mortal life too short
for Its vast means of Ubifulucss ; so , noi
being qul'o ccilain what comes after this
mortal life , I have , after thinking calm ! )
nl out the matter , decided to devote my
time nnd money to the downtrodden the
Marls , who had remained perfectly quiet
until his friend finUhcd , looked thought
fully at him , sank batk deeper In thu
cushions , and sighed.
"What has brought the subject homo to
) ou ? You have never known what It Is to
want or suffer. "
"Yes. I have suffered. Mails. All the.se
years I have felt the lack of a Fomcthlni ;
In the very depths of my being a vital
something , without which ) life is void ; and.
Marls , a newsboy was the means of leading
mete discover that for which I sought a
"A little before Christmas I was hurryIng -
Ing along a crowded street , when I felt
a tug at my sleeve , and. looking down.
saw a newsboy clad In thin , worn clothes
much too large , and the remains of shoe ?
through the holes In which the Icy water
poured. It was storming , and 1 was mutlled
up In my great coat , with Its fur collar
high up over my ears. The contrast be
tween us was so great that aa I looked at
the wan , thin face , pinched with cold and
hunger. I thought of my brother's rosy ,
romping chapi no larger than this little
strug lcr. and felt beneath my great coat
The boy did not understand my silence , and
In n thin , shrill voice , cried :
" 'Please , Mister , I nlnl or bcggln'
don't call thu cop I wants tor boll me
papers Meg an' mo don't beg , wo works '
"Putting my hand on his shoulder , I drew
him away from the crowd , and , would you
believe it , Marls ? I brought him home
with mo to dinner I wlsti you could have
seen his eyes when he and 1 tvit down to
our meal together After filling his plaie
with what I thought a email boy could eat.
I busied my-Fclf with a duck Henley had
cent me. Ilelng used to taking my meals in
silence nnd the bird being one of those
prime celerled ones from the Chesapeake , I
did not think of my llttlo friend for soue
time When I did , not one mouthful of his
food had been touched , and he was actually
weeping I am not used to youngstets ; nil
I have ever reen only cry when they wont
something they cannot have , fo rather
ungraciously 1 asked him If It was tome of
my bird he wanted , and was chagrined when
" 'No , pkaso sir. but Meg she's my
sister , an' I forgot her. May I take this to
' ' cold an' ain't had
Mtc ? She's sick an' ,
nothin' but some crusU for two diyb
Please , mister , let me have It for her ! I
warn't crln' for the food , mister , but
'taukx ! I foigot her. '
"I bade him oat his dinner , and promised
to provide one for Meg. Dlxon prepared a
ba hU , and with it in one hand , 1 started
on" , lather shamefacedly , with my new
"It was the night of the Stepheinons
ball. I did not go. Do yon know whcie I
was ? At , Meg's deathbed. The llttlo fellow
and I went to that patt of the city which
wo all reid of but nldomseo Wo stumbled
up thecicaklng btalrs until the top floor was
reached Oh , how cold and bjiicn it wab1
On a cot In the corner lay the emaciated
form of a young girl who would hove been
pretty but for the stamp that want and
distress had Imprinted upon her fate. The
wretched boy leaned lovingly over his slater ,
kissed her thin , blue lips , and whispered :
" 'Meg , Meg , I have had a great big
dinner , a dinner bigger than they give us
jos at Christmas , and , Meg dear , wo have
jrought you tome of It'
"The poor girl started and looked vacantly
at mo. As my eyes bceamo more accustomed
to the dimly lighted room I saw u figure ,
whoso every movement neomod familiar to
lie. ministering to the wants of the ( dying
girl. Do you remember ICltty Kavvrcnce ,
and how abiuptly she gave up all social
events ? " >
"Why , of course I do She dropped out of
our set Just before you did ; one raioly hear *
ler name now , I btllove ahe has the mis ,
Blonary fad. " , , , , '
"Well , Marl * , call It what you will , but
f you could hear how they who live In the
very depths of poverty nnd despair
speak of and love her. you would not
call U a fad. She was the
one tit Meg's deathbed the one
who drew the laat confession
from the girl and prayed that her soul ,
freed from Its burden , might have pome.
Icr body shaken nt Intervals by a hard , dry
cough , Meg told hi > r stoiy a story , alaa'
hat has so many counterpart ! ! .
"She and Jimmy had known no rather ,
and tholr mother was one only In name.
At the ago of 16 Iho girl had taksn her
Itllo brother and struggled to support both.
She labored diligently , stealing many houra
rom the night , bending over Iho course
vorlc and plying her ncedlo back and forth.
n that way she earned bread for the boy
and herself. Then ho was taken 111 , nnd
lay nnd night she strlved to case his pain
Of course she could not work , and vhen
vorlc ceases with the poor , theio Is no bread
Vo do not know how callous weak beings
vho have grown old In want become , nnd
hat whlth was born In the girl then crept
forth. She saw , for the first time , that she
was fair to look upon , Why should uho
not sacrlflco herself for Jlmmlo ? Bhe would
dlo the worst of deaths moral sulcldo but
Jlmmlo should bo saved. At thu beginning
of her downfall the cold , bitter contempt of
the pasucrsby pierced her llko a northeast
wind. Gradually , after two or three months ,
Bho uhook oil her feeling of uhamo and
I came nnd went wjlh head erect and hitler
smile Jlmmlo got round ami ros.v again ,
but Meg wasted away ; her strength failed ,
I and her life became moro repulsive than
j e'ver. At length she could not leave her
I bed Tlu < boy , brave little chop , trleM hard
to sell his papers but man ) davs thcro was
no food , and that night when I reached hep
ahi * wna lipyond aid 1 can sco her burning
Ccs now. ns she pitifully cried. * I hnvo
bwn a slmirr. but when Jlmmle Is by my
Blilo I feel that God has forgiven me' Then
she aniic , supporting herself on her stlffonrd
arms and hands , nnd , looking first In my
eyes , then In Kitty's , gasped 'You can do
nothing for me , but for God's sake help
these who have to struggle , from a llff such
ns mini * . ' Theru was n rattle In her throat ,
her ttolh chattered , she stretched out her
arms convulsive ! ) , nnd suddenly fell back
upon her pillow , dead.
"I unclasped her arms from the boy nnd
tried to calm his grief , but It was Kitty's
gentle touch and loving assurances that
Meg would never suffer or be cold again that
quieted the lit tlu aching heart.
"And now. to make n long story short ,
MnrU , I will not be a bachelor much longer ,
for Kitty will soon be my brldu What good
will ever come to Jlmmle , though * Why , 1
will tell you Kitty has plated him nt
boarding school , nnd wo will make n man
ot him. He spent Christmas with me U
was the Impplesl day of my llf * The boy
had n queer idea that lu > wUhed to sprtnd
the day In iho room Meg died In , for ho
said ho felt nearer to her Ihere ; so we had a
big tree wllh piesents on It for hU news
boy friends What glorious appetites they
had for tht ) dinner , .seated mound the long
table , with Jlmmle at Its head ! When night
came ho called them around him and said
" 'Hos , t want you all lo wish Mr. Jack
and Miss Kitty much happiness , and , ' huio
his voice grow husky , 'to pray for resl nnd
pi'ice for my Meg ! ' "
Marls nroso from his chair , clasped Jack's
hand llrmly. and said
"I most heartily echo Jlmmlo's words , nml
I trust thai ho may achieve nil you wish
for him , but , ) ou know , my theory Is , that
thai which Is born In one. no matter how
long U ii'inuliis latent , will , through the
laws of nature , ultimately triumph Gooil
night , my filctid I may , some day , como
to your way' of thinking , but not now "
When the door had closed Jack throw him
self back In his chair , heaved n sigh of 10-
lief. and muttered : .
"Thank God , thcro are differences In man
kind ! '
TUP. rot UT tini'OHTP.It'S STOHV.
Wo were sitting In the private olllco
which adjoined Judge Smith's court loom
In the county court hou.so walling for the
Jury to bring In n verdict In the will con
test which had occupied the court for the
ppfit three weeks. . It was just after dark
of the day before Chiltitm-is. The day-
had been blttcily cold nnd the wind
whistled about the nooks mid corners of
I lie ( sturdy old utone building In fitful gusts ,
piling the feathery snow In huge dilfts.
Jackson and I had taken supper nt a near
by chop house and had returned to the
cosy prtvnte office to await developments.
The Judge had notified the jury that ho
would receive n verdict any time before
midnight , so there was nothing for us to
do but to bo on hand Jackson to lead tlio
verdict and I to BCO that the thousand )
of readers of the Morning Tribune wcro
given the latest news In the celcbiated
case. We had been dliciiFsIng the caho
Just about to bo ended and conjcctuilng
as to the veidlct , and thu tiansltion wns
easy to reminiscences In our own experi
ences. Jackson had been a court reporter
for nearly twenty-three years , and had
served In tint capacity In several of the
judicial districts of the- Mate I had grown
up In the newspaper business , nnd had
bad a great dial of the varied experience
that falls to thu lot ot a newspaper man-
but that's another story.
As the shadowH deepened In the room
and the street lights flickered coldly and * - % .
fitfully through the snow-burdened air , the A
conversation lagged nnd finally ceased ulto- IF
gether. The mournful howling of the wind
sounded like the wall of some tormented
spirit , and the ghosts of forgotten memories
Btemeil to fill the loom. II was Jackson
who broke the silence."I
"It was Just such a night aa this , seven , ,
years ago this very day , " said he In n slow.
reminiscent tone , "that I formed one of a
llttlo party anxiously awaiting the outcome - _
come of a will contest Involving an estntu *
worth many thousands of dollars The par
lies to the contest were both women , ono
the daughter , the other the mistress of
: ho testator. The daughter was the- only - *
Ivlng relative , nnd all the property had
icerr willed to the mlstiobs 'Iho legal /
battle had been one of the fieicrst I ever
witnessed , and the Jury had hi en out five
lays when we sat in the tomt room that
cold , cheerless Christmas eve walling for
ho verdict "
After a few moments' sllcnie , during
vlilth I sat mutlonle.sH , waiting for him to
rcfiime. he exclaimed "I wonder If I
nm to be un cye-vvltneM to any fiiithcr
developments in the history of the Stuart
family ? Do you know' " ht continued ,
tinning to me. "I Ijnvo been an Interested
spcttator , without being directly connected
with it , of one of the strangest casts that
has < ver come to my Knowcdge ? "
Hclng pressed for nn explanation , hn
rc.stid his ftet on the long table and hcttlcd
back In his large armchair while he told
mi- the following story , which I give In
hh oun woids
was born In n llttlo town In Now York
state The name of the town Is not ma
terial , i-o I will omit It. When a boy I
frequently heard mother ami father < pcalc
of Lorln Stuart and express all sorts of
HiirmlMs as to what had biMomeof him.
I noon karncd that ho had btcn ono of
the well Known boys In thu little town
and had suddenly left homo about nine
teen ycnrs before the time I spc-ik of. He
had been very attentive to Madge Ascot , nt
thai time the belle of the town , nnd rumor
had It that they hud quni ruled and that
Stuart had gone nwny In a huff How
ever that may Imvc been , he had not been
heard of slnte hr left home. Soon after
ho went away Madge Ancol married John
llarkcr. a worthless sort of n fellow , who
was not i.1'ncrnlly credited with being over
burdened with common ECIISO. They had
one child , n boy named Itleh.inl , nud he _ _
nxombled his father in the imttcr of
brains At the time my story opens ihln
boy was about IS years old
'One day the llttlo to.vn wan startled
by the report thnt I.uiln Ktuirt had re
turned. It divcloptd thnt lie had tomi
for a visit to his old ham an. ! had brought
with him hh wlfu end daughter They
stopped at the best hotel and were evi
dently In easy clrcumstanies. It sccmid
that Stuart had bren living In Cleveland ,
0 , and had became a proHpcrou.s menbnnt.
His wife -.vac ono of the handsomest women
1 had ever seen , and to my untutored eyes
i.ho lookid like n queen , with her rigJl
hearing and elegant dothtf. Tin lr daugh
ter was n beautiful girl about II ! yc.ns old ,
and was iho Image of her mother. They
remained In town about two weeks , anti Y" "
Stuart vUlted nil his old familiar haunts
and renewed his acquaintance with old
"During the year following this visit of
the Stuart family , Stuart WOH In our town
four times , remaining several days at each
visit. Ho announced each limn that ho
was on a trip to Now York -City to buy
goodi , and had nloppcd to visit old friends.
It was soon noticed , however , that the t
greater part of his time was iipent at the > w
homo of John Darker , and the village gns-
sips were soon rolling a sweet tr-or-el over
"It wasn't long after Stuart's last vl.ilt
that the nowH ( lew about that Madge
linrltor had disappeared. Of courise , Iho
nosfilps noon connected her disappearance
with Stuart' ' ! visits , but when her eon ,
Illchard Harkvr , disappeared a few rlayt
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