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Newspaper Page Text
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shadowed here She had no thought
of eavesdropping, but on indefinable
sense of danger to her loved one held
her practically on guard.
The low hum of voices came to her
hearing, then the words: "Published
love letters make interesting read
ing." There was an indignant re
sponse from her husband. Then the
mocking tones of the other: "You'd
better come and "bring the money
Clara quieted her emotions as Er
vin came up the walk. She was smil
ing, caressing as ever as her husband
"Oh, Ervin," she said quickly,
"there was a man here to see you a
few minutes since."
"Yes, I just met him at the gate'
replied her husband. "A matter of
During the evening meal the ever
watchful Clara noted an unaccus
tomed restraint In Ervin's manner.
When he went up to their room, how
ever, he kiBsed her more fondly than
ever, as he told her that he wished
to get a light overcoat and would be
gone on a business call for about an
hour. Restless and anxious, Clara
went up to their apartment after he
had gone. She noticed a drawer in
which her husband kept his private
papers half open. The cover of the
box in which she knew he usually
kept some ready cash stood carelessly
open and the box was empty.
Again her heart sank. She went
back downstairs and stole to a dark
corner of the parlor away from her
mother and the others. Her husband
held a secret from her and what little
she had seen on the surface concern
ing it bewildered and alarmed her.
"I will not ask him, never!" she
breathed. "No cloud shall come be
tween us of distrust. I took him on
faith I will believe in him to the
She heard her husband come in
and hasten up the stairs. She waited
his appearance in the parlor for near
ly half an Tiour, but he did not come. 1
Then Clara went tremblingly, fear-
somely up the stairs.
Clara opened the door softly. Her
husband sat at a table. He was ab
sorbed n reading a letter. Beside
him there were half a dozen other
letters. His face was drawn and
"May I come in, dear?" she asked,0
Ervin Dodge sprang to his feetg
quickly. He included the letter in
his hand and those upon the table
in a quick grasp, sliding the mass into
his pocket. Then, smiling with a ten
der gesture,- he drew her to his kne.
"Looking over some papers," he
said casually, affecting calmness with
a mighty and a futile effort. "Why,
my darling! what is the matter?"
Clara could not restrain from
breaking down. A barrier seemed ris
ing between them. Her faith, her
patience gave way.
"Oh, Ervin" 1" she sobbed, in the
midst of a wild uncontrollable storm
of tears, "let .me share yur trouble.
It is about that jnan who came here
tonight it is about those letters you
were reading! liet me see them, let
there be nonsecret between us two,
who must lovo, one another always,
always, just as dearly as now!"
He placed, her gently in a chair
facing him. He regarded her gravely.
"My dear," he said, "there is no
trouble. It ends with the destruc
tion of those few letters. Do not ask
to see them. They are a dead issue
and there is nothing to fear and noth
ing to worry over."
"Oh, Ervin, please tell me all! I
know that you -are bravely carrying t
some terrible burden. Ob, let meb
share it with you!"
For a moment he was silent. He a.
sighed deeply. He met her glance b
with one of infinite love and trust, 1
"Remember," he said, "I ask no a
explanation. It is of the past dead 3
and buried, like my own mistakes d
long since," and he handed her the
With a gasp- Clara regarded the. 3