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bittered by his rash act, but he was!,,
proud, and long since he had de,-
cided that Lucia must have forgotten,
him as he deserved, he told himself
And now transferred nearer to
his old home, his first task had.been.a
"You needn't tell me," interrupted
Tyler, with a frown. "I knew this
district pretty well once."
"Oh, you-did?" asked the foreman.
"Well, you can't miss it, following the
line. If the break id serious, reach
the nearest telephone and we'll send
help some way or other."
"There's an extra fee if we get the
connection before eight o'clock," ad
vised the foreman. "You see, there's
a big vedding at Hampton. They
want to get the lights on at any ex
pense. It's the rich Miss Norton, go
ing to marry hello I"
The 'new man was a strange man
as well, decided the astonished fore
man as the former bolted from the
place as suddenly as If shot. As the
mention of, that name Miss Norton
Dale Tyler shrank as if his inform
ant lfad drawn a red hot iron over a
He left the place muttering strange
words, his eyes fixed ahead In a
pained, intense stare, heedless or the
roaring wind, the cutting sleet, the
great snow drifts.
"What did I come .back for," he
cried bitterly "more torture? Lights
for the wedding! And I, of all men,
to add to the grandeur and brillancy
of the occasion ! Is it Fate or Retri
bution?' This man's soul was a seething
volcano. No marvel that he disdain
ed the cold, the discomfort, the hard
ship! A storm of emotion, of an
guish, was sweeping through his
brain with rushing, devastating force.
That name Miss Norton had un
locked the most secret chamber in
bis heart of hearts.
Two years before Dale Tyler had
been engaged to Miss Lucia Norton,
of 'Hampton. There had come a
lover's quarrel. He was impetuous,
and she was just. In a fit of pique he
had gone west. Losing his ambition,
from work as an engineer he became
a practical linesman on account of
the bustle and exercise of outside
work. All that time his life was em-
to repair the broken wires for the -wedding
of Miss Norton. Ob,f the 1
cruel, bitter irony of it all! '
It was a fearful task breasting the1.
storm, mastering with grim desper
ate resolution that rigorous tramp
six miles along a lonely, snow-clogged
highway. He counted the poles..
The fever in his blood defied the in-J
tense cold. He found pole 585. tylth
in thirty minutes he had repaired the
break, but as he started to descend
the pole he found himself frozen to iff
The reaction had come, and he
reached the ground coated with'ice," ',
chilled to the marrow. He swept the
frost from his face and leaped against
a tree to steady himself. A light
showed in the distance.
"I must reach it some way," Tyler,
told himself. "I must 'phone the ofj
fice. Besides, I must get to shelter
somewhere." it was his hardest experience -tin
two years' service in a hard line. ( It
was a staggering, slipping, falling
progress all the way to the source
pt the light, a small cottage. le
knocked at the.door.
So blurred was his sight, so chilled
and numb was he, that he made out
a feminine form in dim outline only.
"I am a linesman nearly perished
with the cold, and must telephone to
headquarters," he faltered out
Tyler was conscious of a cry of g
some kind, and that his hostess stood "
aside. He staggered across the,
threshold, fell to a chair and nearlyt .
fainted from the qbrupt transition
from the intense cold to heat Life
was a blur for some moments. Then .
his vitality came back' to him.
"I must beg pardon," he hegan,
arising and removing his cap,
"Lucia!" , t
It was a gasp of wonder, that
name. Before him was the woman