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your girl is above him. Well,
my own father was a judge, but I
was poor when my husband died,
and Fred liked machinery, so I
let him do what he wanted to.
He's a mechanic, but there isn't
-a better looking lad in this town."
"Yes, he is handsome,'' ad
mitted Stuart, who evidently-did
not wish to be drawn into an ar
gument. "You must let them marry,"
said Mrs. Williams decidedly, "f
I was Lily I'd do it without your
consent, but she's afraid,"
"Lily generally does as I say,"'
he put in complacently. "I hav
no fears on that score."
"I suppose not," said Mrs.
Williams dryly. "By the way, 1
expect you remember my sister
Of course I do, assented
"You thought' a good deal of
her once." " ' ' '
"I .guess I did, in a boy's way,"
he replied uneasily. "She's-well,
"Yes, she's well." Mrs. Wil
liams laid the packet on her lap
and her lips curved in a cold
smile. "You used to write lef
' ters to her when you were a full
grown man. Mighty sentimental
ones, too. When she began to go
with Harry Avon you certainly
wrote some wild ones."
."Did I?" queried.Stuart, look
ing as embarrassed' as a middle
aged man will when confronted
with follies 6f his youth. 'But
all that was long ago. "I have,
burjed a wife since then. Mrs.
She held the packet between'
her finger and thumb. "I have
some of your letters here," she
said. "JCitty left them at my
house she read them to me when
they came. I wouldn't touch
them now if you had only treated
Stuart reddened to the roots o
his scanty hair. "This is black
mail' he exclaimed angrily.
"I don't care if it is," retorted
Mrs. Williams placidly, untyipg
the string and taking a sheet from
its. envelope. "Listen to this one:
'Nobody can ever love you as I
do. Darling, v won't you prom
; "Stop," shouted Stuart, driven
beyond endurance by the level
cadence of his tormentor's voice.
"I swear I never wrote such
"Oh, I guess you did, for your
signature is at the end," was the
genial response. ''And there's lots
of them a deal more amusing than
this one. Here, for instance,
where you rave about the sun
shine of her smile and star-like
eyes. To look at you now, a per
son would never think you could
be so poetical."
"I've a nation to take them
away from, you," he cried sav
agely, rising from his chair,
"There's plenty more at home'
she responded, without moving.
"What is it you want me to do,
then?" lie demanded furiously.
"I want you to permit Lily and
Fred to get married. If you re
fuse I'll read these letters to
everyone I know and make youv
the laughing stock of the town."