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go on -m'th the show. Morton bvs
canceled their contract and Lucia,
soft-hearted Lucia, has turned the
house into a hospital."
"You don't mean to say that she
has taken those two children?"
"Yes, I do, and Morton is there,
too, helping nurse them."
It was all true. Without pausing to
analyze feelings or motives, Lucia
Warden had drifted into a new en
vironment. The curtain had risen on
the prospect of a new delightful life.
Hers was a heart that had gone hun
gering through the world, and now
she lavished all the riches of her
warm, sympathetic nature on the two
little waifs under her roof.
Never had an ingenious, true-soul-ed
li&le woman more appreciative
friends. After the hardship, uncer
tainties and discomfort of half a sea
son of roughing it with the circus,
the little children snuggled down in
the pretty, cozy home of Miss Lucia
like birds housed in a cherished nest.
Their uncle would scarcely leave
their presence. His ministrations
were assiduous and untiring. When
Lucia came into the sick room, a sort
of glorified contentment came into
his bronzed, serious face.
Lucia learned the history of the lit
tle ones, left under a year's contract
with the circus company, with" whom
their father and uncle had been con
nected. "That is all over now," Morton
told her, with profound satisfaction.
"It has been a prbvidence that their
illness came at a time when your
kind heart opened the doors of your
beautiful home to the homeless and
distressed. As soon as the little ones
are well enough, I shall seek a quiet
village like your own, engage in some
business and make them forget the
old, artificial life we have led."
,He told her how he had never mar
ried because of the hard round of du
ties, the broken fortunes of his brbth
and his family had required. She
read in his face the steadiness, the
depths of longing of a matured mind.
If r.0T.p jib though the'r meeting
had br d a chasm of two loyal
souls seeking an empty heart to make
of it a palace of love, fidelity and
And then, one evening, as they sat
in the glow of the firelight and the
shaded lamps, the little ones asleep
n each other's arms, like cherubs,
Henry Morton boldly, bravely told
this superb friend that he loved her.
She was waiting for the declara
tion, for she was hoping for it. -How
true, how manly he seemed, as the
actual tears of joy came into his -honest
eyes when she told him how her
heart had gone out to his lonely life
and had cherished the dear little
"We must do something!" declared
Miss Tabithajto her nephew two days
later, when she learned- how matters
Morton had gone away to cl6se out
a littie piece of property he owned at
"Leave4t to me' replied Bart, aft
er he(had gained every detail he could
as to the past life and antecedents of
Four days later he sent for Miss
Tabitha in great excitement and ex
ultation of spirits. T
"I've got him!" he chuckled. "That
hint you had about bis living at a
certain town five yedrs ago has
brought results. I wrote to a law
firm there. They sent me a photo
graph of him, said it was the only one
they could find, and that after his
trouble he had left there, and they
had not seen him since. Look there.
Triumphantly, he handed to his
relative a photograph. It pictured
Henry Morton only in a- convict's
"I wonder what Lucia will say to
that?" cried Miss Tabitha. "We must
unmask this villain at once"!"
Henry Morton had just returned to
the village as Bart and his aunt ap
peared. "I have come upon a solemn mis--
sion," said" Bart, filled with a sense oi