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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 23, 1903)
(Copyright, 13, by William Hamilton Os
borne.) HFIN Lord Southdown died, his
surviving family was the center
at once of that typical tragedy
I -'ll of KnKlUih 11 fe that oprlnKa from
Ifci.lliU the genteel habit of entailing
The Instant that the breath left his body
he and hM'were Immediately stripped of
the title to the famous Southdown estate
In land. For thane vast estates had been
conferred by some ancestor upon Iord
Southdown and upon his heirs male.
Heirs mule he larked, and while tils soul
Was fluttering; away, the title to the lands
hovered for an Instant In the nlr und then
swooped down upon a distant relative
aome remote Southdown unknown even to
the late Incumbent.
Lord Southdown was not childless, for he
left behind him the Honorable Pe?gy
Southdown, f.ilr, slimier und some 19 years
f uge. And he left also his worthy sis
ter, the Honorable Carolina Southdown, a
senile spinster of resource and tact. Hut
when this gentle spinster begun to realize,
as she did noon after her brother's death,
that her brother's entire wealth was now
the property of someone else, her tart and
her resource nee mod Incontinently to uban
don her. However, she kept the news from
her fair and slender niece.
"If It were not for Peggy," she kept ex
claiming to herself, "I would not mind. I
could get along. Hut Peggy " With a mist
floating before her -eyes the tender-hearted
spinster watched her young niece as she
swung along the green.
"We certainly must do something,"
wuiled Aunt Carolina to herself. "What
can wo do what can we do? Poor Peggy.
Bhe'll know it all too soon. I must keep It
from her while I can."
One day the Honorable Carolina was ex
ceedingly leiluMered to rerelve n. formal
looking package by post. When she had
opened it, however, she uttered a sigh of
relief. It was a brief note from tha Lon
don solicitors of the new Iord Southdown
Staling that his client would refrain from
demanding possession of his estates until
some tlmo during tho middle of the sum
"Thank goodness!" ejaculated Aunt Caro
lina, "this gives us plenty of time to turn
around. And now I must get my wits
together and arrange some plan of ac
tion." Iady Carolina was good at arranging
anything, and she was post mistress in
the art of planning, but the present situa
tion put hor to It beyond any experience
that she had ever had. Aunt Carolina was
not a woman with an immobile face, and,
though she told herself that she was keep
ing her secret well and safely from tha
Honorable Peggy, this same Peggy finally
put two and two together.
"Poor Aunt Carolina," she said to her
self when she found It out, "what will
she ever do?"
Now, on a certain memorable day in her
career, Aunt Carolina shut herself up In
her rooms In the east wing, and surrep
titiously untied u bundle. When she did
so, every dally paper In the kingdom fell
out of it, and Aunt Carolina began her
systematic search for profitable and dig
nified employment. In the very first paper
She tackled a small notice in a corner
attracted her attention. She read it through
and then gasped with horror.
"Dear me," she exclaimed, "that any
gentlewoman would so demean herself.
Walt, let me rend that over again." Then
after reading It, she shook her head.
"No, no," she exclaimed, "that would
never, never do. I could never do It, and
If Peggy ever found It out"
She continued her perusal, but ever and
anon she returned to that small notice.
"I wonder if It would be so bad." whe
reasoned. "Perhaps I could manage to
keep It from Peggy after all. And I roulc?
tell her that that they were were distant
Cousins, or old school friends or any
thing." She glanced about uncertainly.
"It Is just awrul to think of. It,
hut why not, after nil. Needs must when
when there's Peggy to be considered. And
we'll have four months more here, and In
that time, why" Aunt Carolina rose and,
taking a pair of scissors from her work
box, cut out the little notice. "I'll do it,"
she oontinued firmly. "It Is awful, but
I'll do It."
Hallburton was a young man, who, for
a time at least, had nothing to do. He sat
at one of the windows of his rather ex
pensive London lodgings, yawned onee or
twice or thrice, and then rose and stretched
his arms above his head, after the manner
f young men when ull alone. He frowned.
"Confound it!" he exclaimed, "this Is the
first time In many years that I've had abso
lutely nothing to do. I feel like a cat In
a' strat.ge garret."
Be was a strong Individual with a
bronsed complexion. Hla attire was of the
cut and fashion of the season, but there
was about liim an unconventlonality of
movement and appearance that set him
Just a bit apart from other London men.
"Nothing to do for the first time In
vara," he repeated. II reseated himself
listlessly at the window and picked up a
asornlng paper which, with tha exception of
Entrance Into Good Society
the advertisements, he had already read
through. Under the circumstances, there
fore, he tackled the advertisements. With
a curiosity that would have done credit to
a Yankee or a woman, he first examined
that column of the paper which, In Amer
ica, and In England, too, contains per
sonals, spicy and otherwise; those delicate
bits of Inquiry and answers Inserted by
ladles desiring husbands and by gentlemen
desiring wives; by sportive youths who,
having seen for the first time, upon a tram
car or a couch, some object of especial ad
miration, sock to extend their admiration
Into acquaintance, and acquaintance Into
Half way down tho column he paused
with his finger on tho page. "This one,"
he said aloud, "Is not quite so nervy as
the rest. By Jove, I'll answer otio or two
of these. It will give me a good sort of
entertainment, and who knows " he added
with a laugh, "it may get me Into good
society, after all."
Tho published notice that he had Belected
read About like this:
KXCLUSIVK member of nobility will In
troduce Into exclusive society gentleman
or lady of wealth. Instruction In eti
quette. Rec imm'.'ndu'. Ion n to character
required. Terms must be of the most lib
eral kind. Applicants must be persona of
some refinement ; stranger from other
countries preferred. Address, Dowager,
This young man, with nothing to do
and therefore being a fit agency for tha
preparation of miHchlef Immediately an
swered thl.i and one oth?r such nr.tlce.
Two days later, by appointment, he en
tered tho Metrop.ile In London, and with
but little hesitation, he plrkod out a
sprightly little lady who seemed to be ex
pecting him. He doffed his hat and bowed.
"I am 'Young American,' " he announced.
The lady blushed. "And you?" he In
quired. "Dear me," exclaimed tho lady some
what flustered, "dear me. Yes, I I am
Now Hallburton was taken somewhat
aback, for originally he had expected that
"Dowager" would turn out to be some
coarse representative of the upper crust
whose sole claim to gentility and refine
ment lay In title, and the former posses
sion of Borne wealth. But this, which he
had started as a joke, he found to be too
serious an affair, when he realized that he
was dealing with a woman whose breeding
was of the best. And the Honorable Caro
lina Southdown, on her part, was quite
as agreeably surprised, when she looked
at this young "American."
Aunt Carolina, looking Into the face Of
Hallburton, felt herself Impelled to tell
him all. And she did it she gave him the
whole story from beginning to end.
"And now," tho asked him as she fin
ished, "what would you have done your
self?" Hallburton bowed. "Your choice," he
said deferentially and with a world of gen
uine respect in his manner, "was the only
courso left to pursue." Aunt Carolina
breathed a sigh of relief.
"And now," continued Hallburton, with
a strange smile on his fuce, for he had
suddenly made up his mind to go through
with tho part he was playing, "the ques
tion Is, may I come, and If so, when?"
In twenty minutes more the parties to
this compact had exchanged references,
which wtre satisfactory on both sides, and
Aunt Carolina, the spinster "Dowager,"
and Hallburton, the "young American,"
had gone their several ways. Hut young
Hallburton wns not yet satisfied. "While I
am about It," he said to himself, "I may
just as well run down this other one.
There's a possibility that there'll be some
fun In that one."
A short time later. In another part of
town, he stepped up to a young and business-like
young person. "I beg your par
don," he Inquired, "but Is this er that Is,
are you Miss 'Church Mouse?' "
Tho young hidy rose hastily and looked
at him. "Yes," she returned, "but but
there must be some mistake. My my
notice referred solely to members of the
"Sex," responded Hallburton, "exactly,
"And." went on the young lady, "your
answer was signed 'Mary Wltherspoon.' "
Hallburton blushed. "Exactly." he went
on, somewhat awkwardly, "otio one of my
noma de plume er I should say, noma de
guerre er that Is"
The young lady, whose poise was excel
lent, executed n curt little bow.
"Good day. Miss Mary Wltherspoon," she
said. And .then immediately turned upon
her heel and left him.
"Now," said Annt Carolina Southdown,
two days later, to Hallburton as they drove
In from the station, "you-you will not for
get that you are one of the Hallburtons of
Hertfordshire, and the only son of my
mother's cousin. It Is quite Important. I
assure you, for my niece knows nothing
"I understand," replied Hallburton,
gravely, "I shall respect your wish."
"Peggy," announced Aunt Carolina, some
short time later, to her nelce, "this this Is
William Hallburton, our my cousin, whom
I mentioned to you."
Hallburton, who had been standing, some
what confused, with hla eyes upon the
ground, made an obeisance. Then be
looked at the girl tor the first time. As he
did so, he started. So did tho girl.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Hallburton, "I
I'm very glad to meet you. Our people In
Hertfordshire so often speak of you."
The Honorable Peggy smiled. "And you,"
sho said genially, "do not seem a total
stranger, for, singularly enough, you bear
a strong resemblance to a London girl I
Hallburton winced, but the girl kept on.
"That London girl," she said, "is Miss
Mary Wltherspoon." Then, even as she
had done In London, she turned and went
Hallburton, who hnd brought some of
his luggage down, felt, as he looked about
upon the old Southdown estate, and as he
kept In mind the countenance of Miss
Peggy, that he was beyond question mak
ing his debut Into good society.
The Honorable Peggy was quite ns fond
of fun as was Hallburton himself, but for
that fact might have held herself aloof
from him. Hut she understood the situa
tion at a glance, and realized the fact that
Aunt Carolina, In her concern for her niece,
had dono quite the same underhanded thing
that her niece had done for her.
Therefore, by way of no harm, at dinner
that evening the Honorable Peggy, who
had spent a good hour In the solitude of
her room, examining Beveral bulky volumes
under the letter H, this Irrepressible young
lady plunged forthwith into an animated
discussion of that portion of the kingdom
known by the name of Hertfordshire. Hall
burton winced and so did Aunt Carolina.
Hut Hallburton was a fairly good liar, and
ho piled Ids avocation unblushingly.
Lady Carolina, true to her engagement,
announced her Intention of Introducing
"Cousin William Hallburton," as she called
him, into the neighboring exclusive society
Of the Immediate vicinity, but Hallburton
begged off. He explained thnt lie was ba-sh-ful,
nervous, timid and unused to the ways
of the upper world and that he desired
more time to prepare himself.
As a matter of fact, he confided to him
self that before entering upon his active
social career a considerable amount of
dally Instruction by the Honorable Peggy
would not bo amiss. The Honorable Peggy,
whose appreciation of the circumstances,
made her a bit more unconventional than
usual, kept him on the qui vlve, and
amused herself by calling him by tiie name
Time flew, for Hallburton. And as for
the Honorable Peggy well, that's another
One day, late In June, however. Aunt
Carolina took her youthful niece Into the
library and closed the doors.
"Now, my dear," the said, and she said
it apprehensively, "I have something to toll
you. Lord Southdown is expected here in
Just about a week. Lord Southdown, my
dear," she continued, placing her arm about
her young charge, "is is the owner of
of all that there la to Southdown, our
The Honorable Peggy never winked. "Of
course," she responded.
Aunt Carolina gasped. "I knew it all
along," said Peggy. Aunt Carolina gasped
again. "I've always known It," went on
Aunt Carolina nearly fa'nted. "My dear,
dear child," she said, "how did you ever
The Honorable Peggy waved this sugges
tion aside. "And so. Aunt Carolina," she
said, "it Is up to us to go."
Aunt Carolina was puzsled. "Up to us,"
. she repeated.
exactly," responded Peggy, "that's an
Americanism of Miss Wltherspoon',"
"Miss Wltherspooss," repeated Aunt Car
olina. "I beg your pardon," said Peggy, "I I
meant Mr. William Hallburton. What I
meant was that we must get out."
She said It with such Indifference of
manner that Aunt Carolina rose and struck
her small hands sharply together. "I am
so glad," she gasped in joy, "that you take
It that way, Peggy."
"We shall move to London, my dear,"
explained her aunt, "and Cousin William
Hallburton will take lodgings with us. He
Is anxious that I should take him under
my wing and. In short, my dear, I think
that we shall get along very well."
lArd Southdown was due on the first day
of July. He did not arrive. Aunt Carolina
would not leave until she had in her old
fashioned way welcomed tho new Incum
bent. Hut us they were sure he would
turn up on the second, they took a sort of
formal leave of the old place on the even
ing of the first.
At dusk that evening, as Aunt Carolina
sat beneath the shelter of the porch.
Cousin William Hallburton and the Hon
orable Peggy strolled about the grounds.
Suddenly Hallburton touched her on the
"Whither does this lead?" he asked,
pointing to a path.
"It leads nowhere," answered Peggy,
"that Is Lover's Lane."
"Dear me," responded Hallburton, "we
must take a farewell of this, too." Mo led
her gently down the path, and then when
they had reached the end, without a word
of warning, be placed his arms aboat lier.
By William Ham.
She tried to step back, but he would not
"Dear little girl," he whispered in her
ear, "there ought to be none but lovers in
this Lover's I.ane."
The Honorable Peggy trembled, but she
did not move. "I don't believe there
are," she said, reluctantly, with downcast
eyes. Hallburton caught her wildly, joy
fully and kissed her.
"At last," he murmured lightly. "I am
In good society."
It was some time later that tho Lover's
Lane crowd entered the presence of Aunt
Carolina Southdown. That genteel ppln
ster was In a state of agitation. "Dear
me," she exclaimed, "Just look at this."
She thrust forward a dally paper. On its
first page these lines greeted their sight:
Lord Southdown cannot be found. Palls
to kerp mvpotntment with solicitor und
chambers found deserted. Alarm sent out.
"Dear me," continued Aunt Carolina,
"and tomorrow he was to be here und
And now, perhaps, he may not come. Dear
The Honorable Peggy clapped her hands.
"May he never come," she exclaimed,
Hallburton shook his head. "That's pretty
rough on him," he suggested.
"And here," went on Aunt Carolina, "Is
a special letter from his London solicitor,
in which he tells mo that though Lord
Southdown lived abroad for the last three
years, he had returned to Ixmdon some
time ago, and had made a positive engage
ment with the Arm to come down with
them yesterday or the day before.
"He never appeared and they found his
chambers completely deserted. The lawyer
thinks that his client has been kidnaped,
but Is coming down here himself, to take
possession In his client's name. I expect
him any moment. For all I know, this
may be he now."
Aunt Carolina was right. The wheels
had no sooner come to a stop outside than
a hurried ring was heard at the door, and
a little stout man bustled into the room.
Ho was the solicitor.
"Well, ma'am," he started in to say,
"This is a dreadful" Then of a sudden
he stopped short and stared at Haliburton.
"Good Lord!" ho exclaimed, looking at
that gentleman through his spectacles,
"what the deuce are you doing down here?"
Hallburton smiled. "Who has a better
right?" he answered, holding tight to Hon
orable Peggy, "than Lord Southdown on
Lord Southdown's domain?"
Aunt Carolina looked up In alarm. The
Honorable Peggy felt so faint that she
had to cling to the young man at her side.
"Are you are you," she gasped feebly,
"are you Lord Southdown?"
"Kxactly," answered the young man.
"Why In heaven's name didn't you keep
your engagement? Why did you disap
pear?" asked the lawyer.
Peggy started In some alarm. "Dear me,"
she exclaimed, "doesn't he doesn't lie keep
his engagements? Dear me, I"
Lord Southdown gently took her hand.
"Hallburton," he explained to her, "was
my mother's family name it Is the name
I used to hide my Identity In a country
where titles are everything if you have
the right kind of a title. My title over
there was 'Haliburton of the Fourteenth
Ward.' " He drew himself up formally.
"Mr. Bolton," he announced, "allow me to
present to you the future Lady South
down, the future mistress of the estates."
The Honorable Peggy's eyes twinkled.
"Lady Southdown!" she exclaimed. "Dear
me," she said to the young man at he
side, "you are getting Into good society."
A Wonderful Light
A fast-flashing beacon light that can
be seen in favorablo weather for more
than forty miles has Just been installed
by the German government upon the
Island of Heligoland, in the German ocean.
It la the most wonderful in the world.
The light used equals 30,000,000 candle
J)ower. The light lasts one-fifth of a sec
ond and repeats Itself in five seconds. It
illumes the entire horizon In that period.
At forty miles distance the pencil of light
flashes over the sea at the rate of 180,000
miles an hour.
The German parabolic mirror reflector la
"There was no disthurbance whatlver
whiles the king were visitin' our old home
In Ireland," said Mr. Hafferty, approv
ingly, "lverythlng wor puceable as could
"Iv coorse," answered Mr. Dolan, coldly.
"It wor a distant an' polite welcome. Ya
didn't expect us to get so enthusiastic an
celebracious as ty start a fight, did yes?"
Johnnie Mother, say, that is all nonsense
with the life insurance, isn't it?
Mother My, what an idea, Johnnie. What
makes you think so?
Johnnie Well, didn't Mr. Brown tell you
the other day that he had his life insured,
and now he la dead all the same. Brooklya
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