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OLD LOVE LETTERS
-By Walter Joseph Delaney.
"The letters! They are -gone."
Muriel, Gray gave a great" gasp, was
obliged-to lean upon the'writing desk
for support, and stool 'th6re pale and'
trembling, mystified arid frightened.
She was thirty yejirs.of age, but
still a girl. Many a one of sixteen
might envy; her the radiant, soulful
"It's a Hundred, or.Nothing.
eyes, "the glowing cheek,,, fair and
velve"ty as, a damaslc rose. Sorrow
had been.Her;s, grief anddisappoint
ment; but she had bonfe;her troubles
patientiy. She had continued to ex
hale gentleness and love;for others,
and .no one knew thashe-cherished
a memory that had kept.'atibay num
erous suitors for her hand.
Tlfe old secret wound, was torn
open afresh' at her present startling
discovery.- A. hidden package, of let
ters was missmg-from tier-desk; They
wer,e' the history of her brief buty
happy acquaintance with Ranald
Dyer, rudely disturbed and broken to
a single twenty-four hours. Why, she
had never known, and she had riever
seen him since.
The letters she had preserved, even
as she had retained the memory bfg
the blissful period when life had beej.
filled to the brim with golden sunr
shine. .Now- they were gone. Muriel
sank to. a chair and tried to thin ,
Had her aunt incidentally removed
them? Had 'the maid, dusting and.
setting things to rights, stowed them .
in some new receptable? Hardly,'.
Muriel told herself, for neither to her,
knowledge ever disturbed the desk, .
v Just then jolly, ringing, boyish
voices broke upon hef hearing. Rosy
cheeked, bright-eyed, full of juvenile"
vim and excitement, two little lads
burst into her presence'. They were
the children of her sister, whd came
regularly once a week for a visit 'r
William and Paul Emory. .
"Oh,Aunt Muriel, we have had sucli
rare sport," breathlessly announced"
the'latter, the elder of the pair. ' ,
"I should say so," echoed his broth-;:,
er. "We always have lots 'pi" fun
here." ' ,
Despite a vague pain at' her heart,
and her worry over the missing- let
ters, Muriel smiled indulgently. f
"What have you been up to now?",,
she .asked ' ""
"Playing .postman," proclaimed1
PauTexultinglyj "We went right up,
the. steps" of the hpuses just like realiT
postmen. We didn't ring any bells,
but we put letters under. doormats
and on the top stps," and around '
the door knobs."
"What letters where did you get?
letters?" exclaimed Muriel, a dull
premonition arising in her mind.
"Why, right from your desk there,"
aunty," explained Paul. "Don't wor-.
ry," he added, noting sudden appre
hension on the part of his relative r.
"they were old, good-for-nothing let-f
ters. Some of them didn't have even 1
a stamp on them,"