. A STRANGE MARRIAGE
By SelinaNCillian Higgih's.
"It was 4iard; Juckj!' sai'd Leslie
I Brampton to jiis companion , on J;he
train. "Th.'lathous I,
V owed. on . thepjacp; was" growing up
out of the soifat "&e rate of ,$100 a
day, when the cyclone -came."
' "Going toigive'lfcjUptfiW?'"
"No, Lamgoing-ix) getw'ork; in the
city.hopihgu can inakerVnew start
later on." . , ' -
Rev. iJared.. Bayd spoke a few
consoHng'and. encouraging words to
Seemed Laboring Under Some
Strange "Mental Distress.
the bright, earnest-faced young man,
he had met casually. Brompton fas
glad to talk to any congenial spirit.
He felt hard'hit, and wanted friendly
interest, stunned as he was by a dis
aster that had made of .a smiling
landscape a void of devastatiqn.-
The seat in front1 ofthem was oc
cupied by a young-lady. Her beauty
and then the. extreme pallor of- her
face' had attracted the attention ;o
Brompton. She seemed laboring un
der some intense mental .distress.' Her
companion was .'a hatched-faced,
shifty-eyed old. man, who might have
been a lawyer. The girl had shrunk
from him to the 'extreme edge of the
seat. Brompton traced disgust, re
pugnance, fear in her movements. He
wondered what vital life drama their
utter' silence revealed.
The man. finally "went to the smok
er., Brampton's casual acquaintance
crossed the. .aisle to join some, friends.
All in a moment Brompton was star
tled, amazed, to see the girl turn
directly around to' him. Her eyes
bore a pained, agitated expression,
her color was heightened, but she
subdued the quivering of her lips with
a will , that seemed, to nerve her
mightily because she was facing a
situation that .mtist be met sharply.-
"I wish to speak to you," she said
in 'a low rapid tone. "I want .you to
think .of your sister, if you have one,
and pity and held a woman in. peril)
sorrow over deep, deep trouble. I
know you, are air. Leslie Brompton,
and an unmarried man. You must
forgive me, but I. purposely listened
to your conversation with the clergy
gan. It has given me hope a last
In sheer bewilderment and stupe
faction young Brompton heard these
strange worjJs. A vague suspicion
crossed his thoughts that the utter
ance might-be impelled by a mind dis
"The man with me," proceeded the
girl, "is leading me to a fate I dare
not combat for the sake of those near
.and dear to me. He holds a power
over me I cannot defy. - There is one
bare loophole of escape from misery;
ruin yes, death itself. You can pro
"I-I!" repeated Brompton; lost Fii
"Yes, and now, and here, and
quickly, for the precious moment of
respite may pass before I can act.
You need money. There is over a.
thousand dollars," and the, speaker
drew, an envelope from her hand bag.
"I heed aid, protection. You shall re
ceive double what I have here later,
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