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reliant young man, but he saw his
way clearly to accept the gift. In
his mind and in his uncle's mind and
in the minds of all who knew a great
deal, but could not legally prove the
same, when Vane's father died his
brother-in-law had managed by a
quirk of the law to get hold of some
valuable property by all moral, right
belonging to the Denslows.
There was no doubt that old
Trench's conscience as he got older
had urged him to a grudging restitu
tion, the way Vane figured it out.
The crafty plot regarding his ward
was characteristic of the old schemer.
Vane had expressed his sentiments
boldly and let the matter rest, there.
He disliked leaving his home town
and his fiancee, devoted Leolne Bel
ton, but they talked It all over and
settled the sacrifice to business in a
mutually satisfactory way.
Then Leolne, at Wllby, began to
Tecelve some letters that nearly
broke her heart at the first, and Vane,
at Merlden, in turn received news
concerning his fiancee that amazed
him. Fortunately he ran down to
Wilby for an explanation.
"It Is all clear to me," he said to
Leolne. "Some trouble maker has
'got the news to you of my 'gay life'
at Meriden, and to me of the numer
ous beaux you are going around with,
to separate us. I know who it Is, and
I know why. Leolne, dear, we must
outwit these plotters. Whisper, dear,"
and the interview wound up In an ex
cursion to a near by city, and then
Vane went back to his work.
About that same time, too, In a
gleeful chuckling way Lawyer
Thacker Informed Mr. Trench that
the track was clear," that young
Denslow had "broken" with his
fiancee, and everything "was coming
"Their way" meant the introduc
tion one evening at the sumptuous
Trench home of Vane to his uncle's
ward, Miss Dolly Nellis. Vane found
her to be a dear little doll of a child,
who knew little of the world except
seminary life and her dear, dear girl
friends! Old Trent chuckled gaily as
he managed to leave them alone in
the garden. He rubbed his hands
gleefully. It meant a good many
thousands a year ta-him to keep the
Nellis estate in the family.
Dolly made sure that her guardian
was out of bearing as she sat down
on a rustic bench. She was very pret
ty, had a gentle, confiding nature
but was gushing and somewhat af
fected. She clasped her hands sud
denly and fixed her dove-like eyes on
"Mr. Denslow," she whispered In a
fluttering tone, "are we all, all
"I think we are, Miss Nellie," re
plied Vane wonderingly, '
"Can I tell you a dreadful, dread
ful secret?" she Wavered,
"I shall be honored by your confi
dence," intimated Vane.
"Then then, oh, dear! I hope it
won't break your heart, but II am
"I must congratulate you."
"Oh, I am so glad," gushed the fair
Dolly. "You are all that Guardy said,
a splendid, handsome young man, but
I have promised ray dearest school
girl friend, Nettle Danvers, to marry
her dear brother, Reginald, and think
how disappointed she would be if I
"You mustn't -don't think of It!"
advised Vane forcibly. "I see you
know of Mr. Trench's scheme to
have me marry your fortune. I will
tell you a secret, dear Miss Nellie. I
am already married."
"I could almost kiss you for de
light!" cried Dolly. "I will your wife,
when I meet her. Oh, I am so hap-
When old man Trench learned how
his nephew had outwitted him
through a secret marriage to Leolne
at the time his emissary Thacker
was plotting to separate them, he
wrote an awful letter to Vane.
In a dignified way the latter in
formed him that the business he had.