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Newspaper Page Text
an honorable man to make 16ve to
one woman when you are engaged to
"No, I don't," he cried. "But how
can one help whom one. loves? lam
fond of Miss Lennon, but since I have
known you that other love of mine
has seemed tame and weak. I was
only a boy when Lbecame engaged
now you have made me a man."
"Will nothing I can say disillusion
you?"' asked Miss Ingleby despair
ingly. "Nothing," he answered. "When
I look at you you seem the incarna
tion of all beauty to me. I want you."
Miss Ingleby rose up slowly. Her
face was pale, her lips trembling.
"On. Thursday morning T will give
you myanswer," she answered.
That was Tuesday evening. Tom
Banks lived in. a fever of happiness
during the following day. He could
scarcely attend to the details of his
business. His whole being burned
with a consuming passion for the
beautiful singer. What though a few
years in age separated them two or
three, or five at most? He had known
of cases of greater disparity in which
happy marriage had resulted. He
did not think of Elsie at all.
And she hadSbeen a silent witness
of that last interyiew. From her lit
tle room in the wing of the house
she had seen Tom seize Miss Ingle
by's hand and cover it with kisses;
she could not tear herself away, even
though the sight scorced her heart
as though a burning hand were laid
She dreaded the evening jneal.
There were but three other guests
at that season; her father and herself
sat at a table facing miss Ingleby,
and Tom, who had boarded at the
hotel ever since their engagement.
Surely Tom would spare her his
presence that night But his in
fatuation proved too strong for him.
He entered and bowed coldly to her,
nodded to the old major, who, ab
sorbed in his soup, saw nothing of
Jha little jtragedy And, waited for Miss
Ingleby to appear. And Elsie could
hot tear herself away, though she"
knew that each glance between them
was like an arrow in her heart.
The door opened and a woman
came in. A gray-haired woman, with
wrinkles round her eyes and mouth,
and pallid cheeks. She was dressed
in a plain black suit of antiquated
cut; she was just motherly-looking"
body of forty-odd years. The major
looked up and stared hard.
"Who Is that, Elsie?" he whispered,
as she seated herself at Tom's table.
"Miss Ingleby!" stammered theirl
The rest of the meal was passed in
absolute silence. Elsie's eyes took in
every detail of the incident. 'She aw
the expression of amazement that
crept into Tom's eyes, saw" him at
tempt to speak, choke, and at Jast rise
and hurry from the room. And "Miss '
Ingleby, brave Miss Ingleby whb had
stripped herself naked of her artifices
to save another woman, sat there un
concerned, the cynosure of .all eyes,
making a courageous show of eating
until the last course was served.
Then she went to her room.
There Elsie found her afterward.
She understood that the elder woman
had made atonement for her offense.
There could be none greater than
that. The dazzling beauty, the pride
of the footlights, turned into a plain,
old woman to save an innocent girl's
"Why did you do it?" whispered
"Because," answered Miss Ingleby
slowly, "I was young once, and sweet
and innocent like you."
She kissed her good-bye and none
of them saw her again. But on the
piazza Elsie found Tom, walking like
a madman. When he saw her he
came humbly up to her."
"Elsie," he said, "you know what
sort of a fool I have been. I suppose
we can never be the same to each
other again, but if you will give me
a chance "
'Perhaps we can be more, Tom,"