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Newspaper Page Text
from an unsuccessful search for
work $o find the house empty. After
a day and a night of agonized search
ing she discovered hat he was stay
ing at the house of a friend of his.
She went there, fearless in her hu
mility of love. 'Ilie man refused her
admittance. Lucia saw Lawrence at
the window; their eyes met and he
turned away. Then Lucia went
It was long afterward that she
learned the cause of her husband's
abandonment. He had followed her
to the theater, with the.intenUon of
meeting her and taking her to lunch.
He had seen her in another man's
arms. The other man was old Col
onel Brett, a lifelong friend, of whom
she had not told Lawrence during
their three weeks' engagement. Col
onel Brett had been her father's
comrade in the war and her guardian
for a while; he had taken her fath
er's place after his death. He had
accompanied his daughter to the
theater when the stage-struck girl
insisted on seeking a part and, meet
ing Lucia there, too, the old fellow
had broken down and cried.
Ten years had passe'd since then.
She had heard little of Lawrence.
She would never explain, and if he
had learned but he could not have
learned, or pride would never have
suffered the continuance of this hid
"The curtain's up, Miss Clay," an
nounced the colored woman who as
sisted with the wardrobes. Miss Clay
put the final touches to her make-up
and Joined the little group in the
wings. It was a repertoire piece, one
of those that are put on by the best
companies at times, either during the
dull season or for some special cause,
such as to fill up an unexpected gap
in the schedule. There had been only
two rehearsals, for the company had
played this often before, and the
scenery "had been completed only
that morning, the properties heing
lost somewhere in a tie-up in the
Middle West 1
Lucia, walked on the stage. She
heard the applause of the audience
as an accustomed thing, she glanced
indifferently into the packed masses,
and bowed; and then she saw Law-'
rence's face, and he might have been
her sole auditor, for everybody else?
was but a blur in the darkened audit
She had never seen him since they
parted. Now he sat in the third row
of the parquet, watching her. He was
hardly changed, but somehow the
look on his face told her that his soul
was hers, and that across the inter
vening years thefr spirits would leap
together. And then, for the first time
in her experience, Lucia Clay forgot
For on the canvas background was
the little cottage of her memories.
There was the clematis over the
door, there were the everblooming
roses and the sweet Williams. And
then Lucia was back in- fairyland
with her lover again. (
How she stumbled through "her'
part she never knew. Once or twice,
waking out of a sort of dream, she
saw the other members of the com
pany regarding her with wonder. But
when the curtain fell the last thing
she saw "was Lawrence's eyes look
ing into her own, and the old spell
was on her, and she hurried to her
dressing room, avoiding the anxious
questions of her friends. She knew
that an -influence stronger than
either of them had taken possession
of them and had humbled their pride
and enunciated the ancient law that
marriage should last as longas they
two should live.
She found him at the stage door,
and because there was nothing to be
said she took him by the arm and Jed
him back upon the darkened stage.
And there, by the feeble glimmer of
the gas jets in the wings, they stood
together before the little cottage and
their vows were plighted.
"Mr. Prescott, I have some news
for you," said Miss Clay that even
ing. "I am going to leave the stage."
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