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Newspaper Page Text
By Augustus Goodrich Sherwin.
(Copyright hjrJW. G. Chapman.)
"She is very pretty."
' "Everybody- says that."
- "Which is the main magnet, I as
sume, from what I know of the pres
ent state of your finances."
4 "You hit "the nail on-the head ex
actly," acknowledged Duke Bellew,"
but there, will be no lack of capital
izing your end of the proposition if
you are willing to sell me the use of
How He Had Retrograded.
your brains until I make my impres
sion." "You put it brutally plain," re
sponded Roy Borden with a slightly
better snarl. "However, I need the
cash and I accept the commission."
"Minus any wayside strayings in
, the direction of the barroom, remem
ber," warned Bellew coarsely.
Roy. Borden flushed and mentally
resented the insinuation, It was" a
just challenge, however, ne had to
dmit that Borden was a man of
genius. He had dragged his abilities
Into the mud, however. Long since
his old literary' brilliancy had become
dimmed. He was now a mere penny-a-liner,
and that with little reliable
work to do.
. "You see," proceeded Bellew, "I've
got in with Tresham set They are
social leaders and really of a high up
sort. Among them is airs. .Tresham
and her daughter, Elida. The girl is
heiress to an independent fortune.
She is smart, bright and cultured.
Art, science, literature those are her,
fads. There is a struggling young'
artist named Alden Hope who has
interested her. That was my- cue.
I'm going to pose as author and poet, '
see? You are to furnish the goods, I
the money. Here is a first instal
ment" " Roy Borden went to his poor room
with a sneer upon his lips. It was one
of contempt for himself. Once he
had known the thrill of honorable
ambition. How he had retrograded.
Strong drink and indolence had land
ed him sheer at the bottom of the
ladder. A momentary impulse sway
ed him to do the work just assigned
him, save th.e money received, give
up the drink and start afresh in some
new community. Within twenty-four
hours, however, the old temptation
overcame him. Borden began one of
his lonri bouts of dissipation and hired
cheapty an unscrupulous scribble to
do the work he had engaged to do.
Duke Bellew, schemer and adven-,
turer, proceeded on his campaign.
He was a polished man in appear
ance, a tasteful dresser and had the
attractive smattering of the knowl
edge of a. shrewd man of the world.
He made large claims of valuable
western investments and alluded
often to his literary income.
Naturally Bellew made an impres
sion, particularly on Elida's mother.
He was a specious rogue and within
a week had captivated quite a coterie
of fashionable friends, He met Aldea