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the day arrives when they have
enmeshed their victims and are
"Peterson," said Ralph, his face
pale with anger, "if ever you
speak in that way about Miss
Dunn again I shall have nothing
more to do with you."
Peterson only laughed that
hollow, mocking, cynical laugh
which had done more than any
thing else to make him interest
ing. Nevertheless, in spite of his in
dignation, Ralph was vaguely
conscious of Peterson's remarks
when Cynthia began to shower
loving little attentions upon him.
For instance, there was that
birthday gift of a box of cigars.
Ralph Blair was fond of cigars,
but Cynthia had chosen these be
cause of the picture on the box,
which she considered artistic.
Cynthia was very artistic. She
was becoming more so. She liked
poets and writers, and before
their engagement Ralph had
often sniffed scornfully to see
some long-haired devotee of the
Muses seated languidly in the
That he had to hurry through
the box of cigars, with painful re
sults, rather than deceitfully de
stroy its contents, might have
been a passing affair only. But
then came the affair of the neck
wear. On the fifth of October
Cynthia 'handed him an oblong
box, surrounded with prettily col
ored paper. Inside Ralph found
a crimson and yellow tie. He
stared at it in dismay.
J "This is for you, dearest I
made it myself," said Cynthia
"But Cynthy, I can't wear
this!" exclaimed Ralph in horror.
Then, seeing her eyes cloud, he
"I mean, it's too good for me,-
dearest. What would a fellow r
like myself look like, wearing a
beautiful tie like this?"
Cynthia smiled happily.
"Never mind, dear," she said,
kissing him. "When it's worn,
out I shall make you another."
Before he left she made him
promise to wear it every day. He
dressed too somberly, she told
him. Ralph promised, and fled
home, gulping. When he awoke
next morning he hoped that the
tie would look better by daylight.
Instead of which it looked worse.
It was not only yellow and red,
but it had a pale green stripe in
the fabric, which Ralph had not
noticed in the gaslight.
"Ho, feHows, look at Blair,"
sang out the youngest book
keeper at the office. "Say, Blair,
you ain't married, are you?"
"Shut up!" yelled the victim,
picking up a ledger, and, the
youngest bookkeeper discreetly
withdrew into himself. But BJair
could not avoid overhearing
whispers which seemed meant for
his ears. In the street, too, a boy
looked at him and, with his eyes
fixed on his throat, asked for a
The next morning, when he
was not wearirfg the tie", he met
Cynthia in the street. Her man
ner was cold, to say the least.
Ralph resumed his neckwear,