theft of ten thousand dollars!
Why, he was not getting a thou
sand a year in those far-off days
when he was engaged to Isabel!
But Alvin was not going to kill
Howell for that. ; He was going
to kill him because he had after
ward married Isabel. That was
the barb, that the secret of his in
credible vindictiveness! He had
never suspected a rival- in the
smooth, plausible bank director.
And Isabel, her foolish little head
turned by the opportunity of a
great match, had promptly mar
ried him. That was eight years
ago. Nobody had wasted any
sympathy upon Alvin.
He had pieced events together
with difficulty since that day. His
father, the faithful old cashier
with the Glass company, had, he
knew, forbidden his name to be
mentioned again. His mother
was evidently dead. Nobody came
near him ; nobody had written to
him. He was a pariah. Even
now, for one helping hand he
would have turned aside from his
project; but none was extended.
He changed trains at Lowell and,
during the interval, purchased a
The thought of his revenge,
cherished during those terrible
years, had become a monomania
with him. He felt exiled from
humanity; life was something
fantastic and alien. He did not
look upon the uninterested, hur
rying passengers as fellow-beings
of his. He lived in a world of
It was strange how little Myr
tle had altered. When Alvin de
scended at the station he noticed
two or three new blocks of build
ings that had not been erected be
fore; otherwise the streets were
much the same. Nobody recog
nized the dapper young bank
clerk in the gray-haired man who
strolled up tne high street, iuj
inougn ivin Knew several 01
them. There was Joe Miller, the
banker unchanged ; Schmidt
the butcher unchanged ; and
that stout man with the paunch
who hurried past must be the
cashier, Knowles unchanged! A
sudden thought impelled Alvin to
"Don't you know me, Mr.
Knowles?" he leered, thrusting
his grinning face within an inch
of the other's. "I'm Alvin."
Knowles stammered in embar
rassment. "Why, I'm glad to see
you, Mr. Alvin," he muttered.
"Let me see you've been' away
quite a while, haven't you?"
"Yes, but I've come back," an
swered Alvin. "Mr. Howell has
promised me a position with the
bank again, but he's moved,
hasn't he? Where is he living?"
"On the corner of Main street,"
faltered the other. "I positive
ly I have an engagement." And
he shambled away, casting back
frightened glances at the ex-convict
as he walked.
That was all Alvin wanted to
know. He guessed that Howell
occupied one of those new white
frame structures that he could see
in the distance, very pretty in
their groves of shade trees. If he
hadn't been a fool he and Isabel
might have occupied one of them
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