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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 25, 1913, Image 14

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-03-25/ed-1/seq-14/

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"Clapp -was trying to murder him,"
said the girl with a low sob. "It was
his life or the other man's."
"The life' of a fellow man under
any "circumstances, deserves con
dign punishment," continued Alton.
"There may have been some slight
extenuation. But- Jones has 'been
amply considered iri escaping the
death penalty: My decision is final."
"Will .you let me tell you his
story ?'' said the girl. "I will only
a"sk you once .more when I have
ended, .and then", if ybuistlll refuse
well, that will pe all," slie said, sigh
ing. ,
"I cannot well help myself," an
swered Alton -with a frosty smile.
"But lam not-a man of mere moods.
I base -my convictions upon justice,
and, once .they are made up, they are
unshakable.'.
'Tm Agoing to tell you;"-said the
youmjwoman. "Don't tie afraid that
I shall create a scene just listen, Mr.
Altoniv Jones; of course, !isr not his '
proper name; that he-has refused to
reveal even to me, untU' he can as
sume it as a free man. James was
brought up in-'the family -of, one of
those good men we all kriowrabout
'one of those hard, unyielding' church-,
ly men was his father. -'You know
them ! Justice, inflexible justice but
never pity. For every childish mis1
deed he was -flogged. When" other,
boys played James was kept athome
to study, lestf Satan enter -into him
through idleness. His mother died
when lie was a boy; his father loved
him, I believe, but never showed, his
love. When: he was sixteen , James
got into 'some: trivial scrapje... ' It was
about money. -It was .not honest, but
he should have "had -f pity and sym
pathy. But his" father only thought
of justice. He turned him out of his
home. The son fell among bad com
panions. He was weak; he sank
lower and lower until I met him. It
was in a mission, and he had gone
there to listen and deride. Instead of
thaf the spirit of love entered into his
heart We worked together for three
I months. I was engaged to marry
"him " . .
"Then well, he fell in with some;
old friends. They laughed at limt
when he told them of his changed
life. In mockery they tempted himt
with liquor. He could not resist. He,
fell once more. For two weeks he
was gone where, I do not know.
On the fifteenth day Jie stood in the
magistrate's court, charged, with,
murder. But it was his father who,
should have saved him,, and the guilt
is, on his soul, not on the boy's." . ,
For the first time she glanced 'up
at Henry Alton. -The man was visibly
shaken. The perspiration was
streaming down his forehead and his
hands were shaking. Her words h'ad
gone home. "One of those hard, unT
yielding men," she h'ad said. A mask
seemed to fall from before his spirit-:,
ual vision and he" saw .himself, a
Pharisee, one of those who obeyed
the letter and nqt the spirit.
"And you intend, to marry him
when he is freed?" he asked.
"I have waited nine" years," she an
swered. "I can wait eleven more.
But, Mr. Alton, will you, not set him
free? O,-what.good will it do to keep
in prison one who .has long repented,
whose crime was' the .result of a life
of evil atoned for? Make him
happy!"
She might have said, "Make me
happy.'thought Alton.
The train rushed on", but he did not
answer her. He was struggling with
a whole uprus'h of new feelings
which had long lain prisoned beneath
the icy boniRr of iis conventional
righteousness., He thought of his
own son, his only child, whom he had
driven from home for just such a
boyish escapade years before. How
often he had longed for another
chance to help "the boy, but pride
forbade. He had tried to balance his
deeds before God, and he had for
gotten that God's Bice are loaded and
his balanced weigpted. Nothing but
love could counterbalance, sin.
."Miss Lomaxr" he said presently,

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