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a distance. It was a strange thing,
but he was more bashful with the
girl he loved than with the general
run of gay ladies.
Nannie had given him a good many
bright glances. These he took for en
couragement and lived on them.. In
his reticent, awkward way he fancied
that Nannie must see that he adored
her, and everybody else.
When Lucius reached the Wl3on
home that evening all in a bewilder
ing flutter he found Bertha in the
garden.' She invited him to a rustic
seat, kind and pleasant with him as
she was always.
"I'd like to ask a question, Miss
Wilson," spoke Lucius abruptly.
"Certainly, Mr. Borden," she re
plied. "You are so kind and good to me.
I've got a ring here," and Lucius
brought to light the little case. "It's
an engagement ring that I may want
to use later in the evening. Will you
just tell me what finger of the lady
I put it on?"
"Why,this one," explained Bertha,
rather seriously too, and she held out
her hand and Lucius slipped the cir
cuit in place, took it off again and
"Did I do it right?"
"Oh, perfectly," assured Bertha,
and she looked a trifle troubled.
"Then could I see your mother,
Mrs. Wilson, for a few minutes?"
"Just go into the parlor, Mr. Bor
den directed, 'Bertha,' and I will find
"I've come you see, well, I -want
to ask you for the hand of your
daughter, Mrs. Wilson," blurted out
Lucius, as the matron entered the
He was red as a peony and trem
bling all over. He felt like running
away. Having said so much, he was
"Mr. Borden," spoke the lady, very
kindly, but he fancied very gravely,
"I have anticipated this, for Bertha
just gave me an inkling of how mat
ters stood. I am very sorry, butmy
daughter has been secretly engaged
to a young man, now abroad, for
over a year."
"Oh, my!" gasped poor Lucius,
wishing the floor would open ancb
swallow him up.
"We are your friends, your true
friends," went on the kind-hearted'
lady, placing a sympathizing hand on"
the arm of Lucius. "It is our wish1
and desire that you continue to visit'
us. We value your company and we1
will always be your friends."
How Lucius got out of the house
he did not know. He saw his fabric
of loving dreams and ardent hopes all
in ruins. Just crossing the garden he
came upon Nannie.
He advanced towards her. She de
liberately turned her back upon his,
she actually made a face at him, and
sailed away, her head lifted contemp
tuously in air. Heavens! was this the
boastful "friendship of the Wilson
Lucius was crushed. He stole home
wretched. After that when he passed
Nannie on the street she turned her
head away. .He evaded Bertha.- Lu
cius grew thin and pale. He wore the
ring next to his heart, wishing to die
and hoping they would bury it along
It was at a town picnic that he next
came directly in contact with any of
the family. His aunt, really alarmed
at his state of health, had induced
him to take a little change and recre
ation. He groaned at the word. Lu
cius stole away from crowds to a se
cluded spot. He was staring dolefully
at the river when a light form flashed
"I have found you. I am glad,"
spoke Bertha Wilson. "Mr. Borden,
do you realize how mother and I are '
worrying about you? This is all
wrong. We think everything of you
"Don't speak of it. I know it," said
Lucius in a distressful tone: "That
don't mend it, -though. Here, keep
that as a memento and forget a poor,