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ing a poor demented woman who
wandered aboutrthe district; cared for
by charity in her lucid spells and kept
under lock and key when violent.
Poor" Margaret had been crazed
through the death -of her only child.
At times she fancied" her little Nellie
was still alye. y
"Don't get frightened, dear," spoke
Margaret, quietly enough, but Neva
noticed that her eyes were.more than
ordinarily wild looking. "I just want
- to borrow your pretty scissors for .a
"But" .what do. you want them, for,
Margaret?" inquired Neva, doubting
the prudence of trusting what might
be used 'as a weapon in such unsafe
"Never mind," answered the de
mented creature, with a crafty smile.
"It's just the chance to get what I've
wanted for a long time. I must get
it," she added, a sudden determined
glare in her eyes, "or pink, pink blood
will flow," and she wayed the scissors
in a menacing way. "I wouldn'tharm
you, deary; never fear that. You have
been too good to me. Besides, your
hair is dark, and, here is just the
"Whose?" pressed Neva, eagerly
striving to define what impulse was
stirring the witless Margaret.
"Never mindl' I'll tell you when I
come back,'replied the woman with
a sly laugh, and she darted away.
Neva was on her feet in an instant.
She was greatly alarmed. She made
out the object jof her anxiety, disap
pearing through a hedge and ran in
rapid pursuit of her.
Margaret darted' through-a row of
lilacs fringing the rear of the Man-,
ville place. Neva halted, hesitating
and undecided. She shrank from
meeting 'Portia Manville. The very
name caused a great pang of pain, at
her heart Then, recalling-some vio
lent escapades of the mad woman,
she ran on again. As she peered
through the lilacs Neva witnessed a
startling scene preceded' by a wild
shriek. v "
j '.Mad Margaret had come up softly
uwutuu x. jl uo xuauvuiWi v uuju. uv "ri
she stood grasping in one hand they
long luxuriant braid's of hair. In the 1
other she waved the keen glittering
"Don't .you cry. out again," her
voi6e sounded harshly, "because if
you .do. I will stab stab !"
"What what do.you want?" fal-
tered the frightened and tremblipg
Portia, shrinking in dread from the
"I anrgoing to cut off your hair,"
declared Margaret determinedly. "It's
so beautiful. Besides- that, "I've got
tp have it. Little Nellie wants it, and
I must always get anything for her.
Portia dared' not stin Her1 heart
sank at a sense of her certain" help-"
lessness. She sickenedat the thought
of a. chance mar from those glittering
scissors on that faultless face. To
be shorn of her chief glory, those long
silken-tresses, was to bid adieu to a
marvelous adjunct to her rare beauty.
"See, Margaret," she faltered, "the-
pretty brooch I 'wear or I, will go to
the house and get you some money.
Please don't cut xff my hair."
"Take care! take care!" warned"
her captor, "you're stirring. I've got
to have your hais. I've made 'Nellie a
great rag doll and I want toifut real
hah-on its head. Light hair, golden '
and shining;, just like yours."
The scissors made a snip. With a
frightful'scream Portia tried to tear .
Way from her persecutor. Instantly
Margaret, jerked her back, never re-1
laxing her hair, but holding her head '
tightly, raised the scissors, the blades
crossed till they became a dangerous
daseer. i I
iNot tne nair now!" she cried, los--j,
ang' all control of herself. "It's you.'s
If I let you'go now you'll tell on me
and I shall be locked up again."
'No, no " choked the nearly-in-
sensible. Portia. "f
"I've got; to kill .you." .
' Just- as the cruel blades -ere de-&
scendirig, Neva reached the-spot She