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Newspaper Page Text
ashamed of her, but it would have
been impossible for her. You
know how these things are ! But
I persuaded her. I promised to
aid her in her desire to obtain an
education. I would teach her, as
a father teaches his child. I re
member sending to New York for
fifty different text books, and I
would find her at night pouring
over her grammar and writing
out maxims in her copy-book. It
was very pitiful and very strange
to see her eagerness.
"The day before our marriage
I received a letter from England.
My father and brother were dead.
Both had been killed instantly in
a train wreck. I was heir to the
title and the family estates and
fortune. In my elation I told Eva.
"I shall never forget the scene
that occurred. How she refused
to marry me, how her old father
discovered the cause and threat
ened her, pleaded with her, im
plored her. He was not avari
cious, he would never have left
his ranch ; but he felt that his girl
was good enough for any man. In
the end we overcame her opposi
tion. We were married the next
morning and Eva cried all
through the ceremony.
"There was to be no honey
moon. It was haying time, and
after the marriage I went off to
work as usual, leaving Eva to
keep house in the little cottage
old Aaron had built at the head
of the valley. That night, when I
came home, Aaron stood at the
door, waving a letter, frantic with
rage and humiliation. Eva had
run away. She would never come
back, she said, would never ac
knowledge the marriage. I was
to be free. She had timed her
movements so as to catch the
night train east. It was just the
foolish act of an ignorant girl. -,
She may have had a hundred dol-
lars saved. I don't know what
became of her. Detectives failed
to find her. Old Aaron died curs
ing her and asking my forgive
ness for having ruined my ltfe."
"You did not want a divorce?"
asked the woman softly.
"No. How could I? I knew
that the brave little spirit that
had given itself into my keeping
was mine always ; that I was mor
ally responsible for her; if ever
she -appeared I should have taken
her home and asked no questions.
I kept the detectives at work for
years. And lately I have felt that
I must do something more ear
nest to find Eva. So I am going
out to Colorado, to the old ranch,
if it still there, and I shall try to
discover whether she has not
come back. Perhaps I have
hoped it the early memories
will draw her home again."
He ceased and the woman
withdrew her hand and placed it
on Lord Alwyn's shoulder.
"Stop, dear!" she said. '"Now
look at me. I want to ask you a -question.
Do you love her as
much as you love trie?"
Lord Alwyn laughed rather
"I don't love her at all," he $aid.
"But, my dear, because I do not
love her I fell my duty the more (
strongly. So I am going to try
to find her and so "