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Newspaper Page Text
By Vera Straight.
Esther Norris was to be married
the next afternoon. She sat at her
window, her chin upon her hand,
looking out into the shadows of the
maple trees. Her fiance had just left
her and she had slipped away to her
room, leaving her mother to put" the
final touches to the decorations and
to rehearse the wedding dinner.
Esther was thirty-one. Francis
Pryce, whom she was to marry, was
V VV ffii'llllU"" $F
"Housekeeping!" She Repeated.
forty-se,ren. It was not a love match,,
but born of mutual respect and con
fidence. Both had been in love be
fore and each knew it of the other.
Two years and three months be
fore Esther had sent away her lover,
Harry. Goddard. They had been en
gaged five years and Harry sho.wed
no prospects of doing anything either
for himself or for her.
"It isn't that you are unfortunate,
Harry," she said. "But a man who
thinks of marriage must be prepared
to make a home for the woman he
loves. You can't stick to anything;
you squander your money; you drink.
If you had ever saved I might " She
broke off and continued: "Harry,
I'm going to put you to the test. Do
you think you can get a position,
hold it two years and save five hun
dred dollars? If you can I will mar
ry you when the two years are up.
If not I don't want you to come
"If you'll only marry me now!" he
cried, and Esther shook her head in
her obstinate way.
"In two years," was all she would
answer; and so Harry went away.
Then Francis Pryce, state senator
and millionaire, had wooed her. So
gently, so persistently did he set
about the winning of her that he had
won her consent almost before she
was aware of it. And six months
before, when he asked her, she told
him about Harry.
"I won't hide the fact that we
cared for each other," she said. "In
fact, if he came back "
"You would care for him more than
for me?" asked the senator quietly.
"Yes. But I do care for you," she
"I am satisfied with that," Pryce
answered. "Goddard shall have his
chance. If he does not return when
the two years are up, I shall claim
you. And I shall test you both," he
added, smiling inhis enigmatic way.
Goddard did not come back. Esther
learned that he had been living just
the same life as of. old. He hdd
been just as dissipated, just as im
provident and reckless. She knew
that life with him would have been
Now she sat beside her window,
thinking over the past. Life had
never given her much. First it had.
offered-her the love of a worthless