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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 16, 1897)
"Good morninp, Mrs. Bruncr. I just
thought 11 step in a minute this morn
ing anil pee how jou was getting along.
I smelled your doughnuts too as I canio
around the corner and besides, I had a
bit of news to tell to you."
"Well I'm glad you've como. Have
eome doughnutB," said Mrs. Hruner as
she slowly lifted several delicious brown
cakes from the kettle of seething grease
and placed them on a plate. "I was
just thinkin' I would run over and see
you when these doughnuts was frhd,
for I had eome news too, and now, may
be," she continued, without taking
breath, "my news is the same as yourn."
Mrs. King, the first speaker, was a tall,
largo boned woman with iron grey hair
brushed straight back and revealing to
tho best advantage the light in her
kindly brown eyes. Siio was the good
Samantan of the villago and a splendid
person to tell tho news. Her most in
timate friend, Mrs. Bruner, a rather
Btout, easy-going woman had tho same
characteristic of gathering and spread
ing news quicker than anyone in the
village, quicker even than the editor of
the "Jonehville Sunrise," win often de
clareJ good-naturedly "he'd either have
to hire them two women on his staff or
give up tho business.'
Mrs. King did not wait to hear what
Mrs. Bruner had to say for fear she
might get to tell it first if it was tho
same. "I've heard tho new minister is
coming tomorrow afternoon on tho two
forty-tire train, but his wife and little
girl won't come till Saturday night so 1
don't 'speso we'll get to see them till
preachin' Sunday morning '
"Yes, that's my news too," answered
Mrs. Bruner cheerfully for she had
something to add, "and they do say
that she's a step mother to the little girl
whose own mother died when she was
just a little thing."
So the news spread until erery one in
the ton was discuesing the new Meth
odist minister, bis wife and littla girl.
They wondered if hs wouldn't be far
ahead of the Congregational preacher,
whether his wife made a good step
mother and which one of the tire empty
houses in town they would take, for
there was no parsonage. They had pic
tured their minister tall and broad
shouldered, light and dark, sociable and
sullen; so that when tho train pulbd up
at the little depot on Wednesday after
noon there wero quite a number stand
ing around besides the committee with
bluo ribbons who wero to receive him,
to catch the first glimpse of the new
The subject of such great interest
quietly stepped oir of the train, shook
hands with them as he told them be
was Rev. Stanhope whom they were ex
pecting, before they hardly realized it.
Tho next few days ho was very busy,
securing a house and getting it repaired
so that by Sunday everyone in the vil
lage knew that he was a rather slight,
stoop shoulderoi man of about medium
height with black hair and blue ejes,
rather quiet and pale-looking, with a
weary troubled expression which never
left his fac? for an instant, and now
they were ready to see his wife.
Sunday morning the Methodists were
all out to church early, and a few Con
gregationaliste as well. Tho little
church was packed when a stir was
heard and the suppressed whispers told
of tho arrival of the minister and his
family. The little girl and her mother
entered their pew as the minister reach
ed the pulpit. Tho service began im
mediately and the well prepared sermon,
simple, but touching, haU held the atten
tention of the whole audience so that
only by peeping through their fingers
during prajer and during the singing of
the hymns did tho female part of tho
congregation note the light curly hair of
the minister's wife and her proud pale
face, as well as the hand-some silk gown
Fhe wore. Tho little girl was dressed in
white cfshmere and ribbon? and the
Fame sad expression which they raw in
her father's face seemed rellectcd in
Tho following week all tho prominent
ladies in the church hnd called at tho
parponage, and at the Dorcas Fociety
Saturday afternoon had given vent to
"Sho'll never bo t e president of tho
aid society, the secretary of tho mission
ary Fociety, and the head of Mercy and
Help as wo planned,'' said Mrp. King
"She looks like a hie wax doll with
that whito frizzly hair." added one lady.
"Well," said Mrs. Bruner quietly nR
sho settled back comfortably in a rock
ing chair, "I'll invite her to my liouo to
tea and Peo how she acts. I believe
sho'll bear acquaintance; we'il try her
Mrs. Briinr cavo her t"a and an she
told Mrs. King the next day. "She jupt
talked and laughed and praised my light
biscuit and we had a real good timo.
She's real delieato for she didn't eat
enough for a bird, but I don't think it's
"cauFe sho didn't like my supper for sho
said it was splendid."
So the days passed in gossip and
tcai until the minister's wife herself en
tertai ie'. Sho had prepared an elegant
supper but tho dear women invited
couldn't imagine where sho cooked it
for tho room that was a kitchen was
now a verv pretty dining room. The
finger bowls bothered thorn and they
wondered why 6ho had six cushions on
tho sofa in euch a disorderly fashion.
Sometimes she was very pleasant and
agreeabl, and again so stiff and distant
in her manner that they were at a loss
for something to say. By and by when
ever they called tho minister and his
little girl. Marie, talked to them, always
saying. "Mrs. Stanhopo is ill today."
The lit'lo girl clung to her father and
no one had ever seen his wife smile or
talk to her.
The good ladies had pUnned a pound
surprir-e party and only gave the minis
ter an inkling of it eo bo would be at
homo. They all came early and wero
talking and laughing with the minister
when his wife hastily left the room. Lit
tle Marie and her father glanced at each
other, and ho excused himself hastily,
presently returning to say, "Mrs. Stan
hope is ill."
Mrs. Bruner went upstairs to see her,
thinking "the poor thing ought not to
bo left alone." She camo down in a few
moments and the party soon broke up.
On tho way homo Mrs. Bruner, for once
very much excited, talked to them in
broken sentences. "Brethren and sis
ters the door was shut tight and poor
little Marie was holding the door knob
and 6he says so pitiful 'Please Mrs.
Bruner you cannot go in. Papa would
not like it and he has gone forn.e lieine'
and just then sharp screams and
moans and curses came from that room
and scratching and tearing like a wild
animal. Tt child with tears stream
ing down her face begged me to go or
papa would be so angry and I left her
clinging to the door knob.''
Silence reigned a moment unbroken
save by the sobs which Mrs. Bruner
seemed unab-lo to control, and then a
burst of voices told of the terrible con
sternation which had siezed them after
such a recital. Explanations were use
less for no one was satisfied, and tho
longer the discussion tho deeper the
mystery grew. Finally they separated
for their various homes and not a few
spent half the night in earnest prayer
for their minister and his family.
A few days later tho loafers around
the depot were surprised to see tho
minister's wife step on the train unat
tended and veiled.
Two weeks later the minister told his
people he too must eave and with his
littlo girl was standing at the depot
bidding them good bye where so short u
timo before ho had received their
As they etill talked, tho train was in
with its roar and steam; a message was
placed in the minister's hand, which he
anxiously and nervously tore open. The
next moment the faces pressed against
the car windows paw a nnn sway and
then fall heavily on the platform i h it
yellow paper Muttering in bin lingers;
and then a little girl bonding over him,
tearfully entreating him to speak to her.
Tenderly the villagers bore him into
the waiting-room and while some en
deavored vdiiily to bring back life
another examined the bit of yellow
"The body or well dressed lady -proven
by several articles found on body
to be Mrs. Klizibeth Stnnhope, found
dead in her room -Windsor Hotel. Both
arms covered with littlo needle pricks.
Overdose accidental no doubt. Mor
phine case half empty marked E. S.
found on body. Come immediately for
Tho next day the train boro the min
ister to his wife, but he did not travel
with tho little girl dretsed in deep
mourning who sat in tho second coich,
but back a'ono in tho baggage car.
We have purchased (because It Is
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