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Newspaper Page Text
Eagerness, gratitude In her sweet
animated face, she was beckoning to
me. Her little hand rested on my
arm as I backed away towards the
vehicle. Her eyes looked down into
"You grand hero!" she spoke, the
vibrations of her muscal tones strik
ing a rapturous chord in my heart of
hearts. "How can I thank you!"
I realized not my boldness. I was
blind to all save the spell of her magic
perfumed presence. She wore a rose
at her breast. I pointed to it.
"Give me that," I said simply.
-She handed it to me with a smile
and a blush. I lifted it to my lips.
Then the team was led away and I
.stole down a passage way between
two houses to escape the plaudits of
an excited mob and because I was
faint from excitement and the need
The latter drove me to seek work
four days later. I never went near
Beale for that check. I stole many a
glance at his fiancee, however, at a
distance. When my little store of
money gave out I found work' in the
Meantime I had learned all about
Miss Virden. Desaba was a rough
town and her uncle, an unprincipled
money maker, Jacob Virden, practi
cally owned it She was an orphan,
he her guardian; the man Beale a
partner of Virden, running the gamb
ling hells about the place, -where he
took away from the miners the
money Virden paid them. Some one
told me that Beale had the rich mine
owner in his power for some past
crime and had demanded the hand of J
-his niece as a bribe.-
I knew nothing about practicalH
mining, put I knew enough to do pa
trol service as a night watchman in
side the diggings. Every flight I was
let down in the cage. Until daylight
it was my duty to watch out for fire
damp or cavings-in, to the dull awe
some accompaniment of the ocean
beating' against the sea end of the
I was resting from my routine
rounds i o midnight and had sat
down to my accustomed lunch. I fell
to, thinking of Miss Virden Stella, as
I called her in my secret thoughts. I
took out the faded rose she had given ,
me. I kissed it, I murmured her name'.
A shadow flitted across the lantern's
rays. I looked up to view a dusky
figure garbed in the conventional
miner's costume and wearing the
usual eye and mouth mask. It was
removed. Miss Virden stood before v
I deemed it a fancy, an apparition,
until Bhe- spoke. She must-' have
guessed my loyalty, my devotion, for
she spoke as an environed woman to
a brother, a friend.
She had stolen from the house,
where they were bound to marry her
to the man Beale, the day previous.
She "had hidden in the mine, disguis
ed. She must get far away from De
saba. Would I "help her?
I made'the poor hungry, girl par
take of my lunch , J dared not -telephone
for the cagej for she might be
recognized. There was one route left
outside of that an abandoned slant
shaft now" used as a ventilator,
Oh, it was dear work helpings that
sweet thing over rocks that bruised
and cut,'-and at last' carrying her in
my arms 'Up "the last Incline, 'her
breaQi sweeping my face, her jeweled
eyes 'glowing-into mine! " '
It was the Canadian border and the
home of a married sister that we
made for, and then the law invoked,
and Stella safe.
Because she needed my protection
I lingered near her new home. A
good position offered, and when the
legal end of her trouble was settled 1 1
could not go away, nor did Stella
wish to have me do bo. '"
It was when, one starlit night, I
spoke out my soul into her willing
ear that I said:
"I have something to give you, and'
something to keep, love."
You" mean?" she. Inquired in. her
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